69Yearold French National Arrested in Nepal For Sexually Abusing Children

first_img French nationalGeorges Igor HimanskykathmanduKathmandu Post First Published: April 15, 2019, 4:28 PM IST Kathmandu: A 69-year-old French national has been arrested here for allegedly sexually abusing two teenage boys by luring them in the pretext of offering money, police said.Acting on a tip-off, the police arrested Georges Igor Himansky with his victims, aged 14 and 15, from Kathmandu’s Thamel area on Friday. “The police has filed a case on unnatural sex and child sex abuse against the French man at Kathmandu District Court,” a statement issued by the Nepal police said.Himansky had been feeding his perverse fantasies involving young boys for years by presenting himself as a benevolent foreigner who helped children from the street and from poor economic background, an investigator was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post. Investigation has also revealed that Himansky had been arrested in his own country in 2000 for a paedophilia-related crime.Himansky is the third French paedophile arrested in Nepal this year. Police had arrested two French men for sexually abusing children from Kathmandu in July, the paper reported. last_img read more

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Now Send 3D Animated Animal Emojis With Your Android Device Using Microsoft

first_imgThe feature is gradually rolling out on July 5 and will enable users to record themselves as a panda, cat, dinosaur, owl, or dog directly within the SwiftKey keyboard. The feature includes actions such as head movements, blinks, smiles, and the rest. The new feature relies only on the front camera of the phone and is powered by Microsoft’s 3D face tracking technology, which uses the cameras found in most smartphones. The app will allow users to record a video for 30-seconds and share it across. While the app is compatible to almost all smartphones, it will work best with the new and updated phones. Deepak Paramanand, Microsoft product manager, wrote in his blog post, “We wanted to give SwiftKey fans a fun way to communicate with their loved ones beyond pre-defined GIFs. That’s why we created Puppets, a group of cute and furry friends that people can control just by being themselves. Choose one of five animals, record a message of less than 30 seconds and share it via one of the many popular communication apps supported by Android devices.” Microsoft-owned keyboard app, Swiftkey, knows how to keep its user up with the latest trends. In its recent move, the company has announced a major addition to its Android beta in the form of AR-powered emoji. Through the new animated emojis, the artificial intelligence (AI) replicates a person’s detailed facial expressions inside a 3D animal character. Announcing the move on its official handle, SwiftKey tweeted, “Introducing Puppets – new in SwiftKey Beta for Android! Create and share videos of your own virtual puppets that mimic your facial expressions, head movements and voice. Which character is your favorite?”Introducing Puppets – new in SwiftKey Beta for Android! Create and share videos of your own virtual puppets that mimic your facial expressions, head movements and voice. Which character is your favorite? https://t.co/gWZJ0Z81pI pic.twitter.com/8T3FRHLjsC— SwiftKey (@SwiftKey) July 4, 2019 3D animated animal emojisAndroid devicesanimated emoticonsanimation First Published: July 5, 2019, 4:55 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Pink Polling Booths Boost Female Voter Turnout in Delhi Say Officials

first_imgNew Delhi: ‘Nari Shakti’ was on display in the all-women staffed booths in Delhi Sunday which drew more women voters, especially from the Muslim community, officials said. In a first for the city, as many as 17 all-woman staffed booths have been established for the Lok Sabha elections in the seven constituencies of Delhi, where from presiding officers to ground staff, all are women.Incidentally, four of the seven district election officer-cum-returning officer are also women, and they too felt quite enthused to see the impact of the initiative. Chandni Chowk Returning Officer Tanvi Garg said the Delhi CEO Office had envisioned this with a larger aim of engendering a sense of women empowerment and the “message has been sent”.”We have set up two such booths, one each Matia Mahal and Model Town Assembly segments. All our polling staff have worked very hard, and these women staffed here they are also quite happy to be part of an all-woman team. While women voters were pleased, male voters were also pleasantly surprised,” Garg told PTI.Out of the 17 booths, 10 have been set up in East Delhi constituency, two in Chandni Chowk and one each in rest of the constituencies — North East Delhi, West Delhi, South Delhi, New Delhi and North West Delhi.North East Delhi Returning Officer Shashi Kaushal said the initiative was “very successful” and would “definitely contribute” to push voting percentage of women in this election.”We have set up a pink booth in Zeenat School in an area which is a very Muslim-dominated one. And, in the morning a large number of ‘pardanasheen’ (in veil) women came to vote. It was so enthusing to see the women in ‘burqa’ queuing up to be exercise their franchise and celebrating the democratic exercise,” she told PTI.The women voters were also welcomed with a flower each, she said, adding that girl volunteers were also part of the team.But, more than individual empowerment, it is the large social message of “nari shakti” that has been conveyed to the society, and “aptly showcased”.Besides Garg and Kaushal, ROs of New Delhi (Pooja Joshi) an South Delhi (Needhi Shrivastav) are also women.They both said that during the training process, they would see a lot of women polling staff and it was a nice coincidence that four of the seven ROs were women.Voting is underway in all seven constituencies of Delhi to decide the fate of 164 candidates, of which 18 are women.A total of 13,816 polling stations have been established at 2,700 locations in Delhi, with a model polling station in each of the 70 assembly constituencies.There are over 1.43 crore voters on Delhi’s electoral roll. Out of the total electorate size of 1,43,16,453, as many as 78,73,022 are male and 64,43,431 female, while 669 belong to third gender.Such booths are aimed at empowering women and increasing their participation in the electoral process, officials said.However, some women voters said they were not fully aware about such a facility.”It’s is good to have an all-woman polling station, but what’s the use of it when one doesn’t know what is it for,” said Ritu Bahl, 46, a resident of Janakpuri.One polling booth (in north-east district) is completely staffed by persons with disabilities, while the Leprosy Home Complex at Tahirpur in north-east district has a booth for persons with disabilities only, Kaushal said.A pink booth has been set up by poll authorities at a school in Janakpuri which falls under the West Delhi constituency.Devinder Anand, 43, said the words ‘women empowerment’ came to her mind when she first read about all-woman booths in newspapers, but she didn’t know the polling booth she visited was such a facility.Presiding officer, Manju, 50, said the responsibility of creating awareness about all-woman booths lie with the Election Commission and the media.”We have done our best to highlight it. This is the first time such booths have been set up in Delhi. More people will become aware of such facilities with time,” she said.Sita, 23, a B.Ed. student, and resident of Nizamuddin East, said, “I voted with the issue of improvement in education sector on my mind. Education can bring about all-round changes in the lives of people.” delhi-lok-sabha-elections-2019Lok Sabha elections 2019Pink boothwomen voters First Published: May 12, 2019, 2:57 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Boycott Cong BJP Tells Journos after Aiyar Abuses Reporters in Himachal Pradesh

first_img Amarinder Singhhimachal-pradesh-lok-sabha-elections-2019Lok Sabha elections 2019Mani Shankar Aiyar First Published: May 15, 2019, 10:19 PM IST Shimla: The BJP on Wednesday said the media in Himachal Pradesh should boycott the Congress to protest against its leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s objectionable behaviour with reporters.”This is probably the first time that anyone has used such abusive language against the media, considered as the fourth pillar of democracy,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters here. He asked the media to boycott the Congress over the issue. Reacting to it, state Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore said he was not aware of the incident involving Aiyar.”I am unaware about any such happening. Moreover he was not on official tour to Shimla,” he said.Aiyar on Tuesday pushed aside microphone, made fists and used an expletive at reporters who questioned him about his ‘neech’ jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Congress leader lost his temper at TV reporters who met him at the Punjab government guest house here and questioned him over an article he wrote, recalling a slur he directed at Modi in 2017 which was latched onto by the BJP to target the Congress during the Gujarat polls.Hussain also hit out at Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, saying ‘both Aiyar and Sidhu are fond of abusing the Indian Prime Minister and applauding the Pakistan Prime Minister” and claimed Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh forbade Sidhu from campaigning in the state.”Have you ever heard that the star campaigner of any party is not doing electioneering in his home state. While Amarinder forbade him from campaigning, Sidhu made excuse of sore throat,” he said.”Punjab minister and Congress star campaigner Navjot Sidhu is fond of issuing pro-Pak statements like another Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar who once said during his Pakistan visit that Pakistan’s help is required to remove Modi.”That is why Amarinder has forbidden Sidhu from campaigning in Punjab as the former knows that whatever Sidhu says will benefit the BJP,” Hussain said. last_img read more

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Sonam Kapoor Scores 20 Million Instagram Followers Thanks Her Tribe for the

first_imgShe also shared a throwback photograph giving a glimpse of her family – father Anil Kapoor and her siblings Rhea and Harshvardhan – min her Instagram story. On the work front, she will be next seen in The Zoya Factor opposite Dulquer Salmaan.A few days back, the fashionista shared her new Filmfare magazine cover, looking all stylish in a high-neck black leather dress, with long luscious hair and black boots. In the interview with Filmfare, Sonam revealed how difficult it was to find out a male protagonist for her film Khoobsurat, as no actor wanted to work with her because of the film’s title. She added that she had to get Fawad Khan from Pakistan for the film. Read: Sonam Kapoor Looks Bewitching in All-black Avatar on Filmfare Cover Actress and fashionista Sonam Kapoor has scored a following of 20 million on social media platform Instagram, and celebrated it with a love-filled message for her fans. “Thank you so much to all 20 million of you, you fill my heart with so much love. Thank you Tribe,” Sonam posted on her social media accounts.The actress is quite regular with her social media updates, where she shares moments from her personal life with her husband as well as family members and friends. She also marked her 20 million milestone with three photographs in a green off-shoulder dress by fashion designer Emilia Wickstead. “Whaaat 20 million followers,” she captioned the first image. On the second photograph, she wrote, “Trying to be cool but jumping inside because 20000000”, followed by a third picture which read, “Yes hello? I have a tribe of 20000000.” anand ahuja sonam kapoorAnil KapoorSonam KapoorSonam Kapoor 20 Million Instagram Followers First Published: July 2, 2019, 4:22 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Naveen Patnaik Canny Politician Whose Soft Exterior Masks Nerve of Steel

first_imgBhubaneswar: An author, a connoisseur of art, a canny politician whose calm visage masks the ruthlessness he is capable of while dealing with rivals and mutinous partymen–traits hard to find in one man.That’s Naveen Patnaik, once a reluctant inheritor of the legacy of his legendary father and former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik. Patnaik Jr took over the mantle of his father as a novice upon his death in 1997. A little over two decades down the line, the once reluctant politician is all set to resume the reins of power for the 5th consecutive term, having led the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to yet another emphatic victory.Already the longest-serving chief minister of Odisha, having assumed office in the year 2000, Patnaik has weathered many a controversy—from chit fund scams to mining scandals—but remained the foremost leader of the regional outfit he heads.Patnaik’s image of a “clean and honest” politician is widely regarded as the reason why he was able to to withstand a spirited challenge thrown by the BJP, analysts say of perhaps the lone regional satrap who cannot even properly speak the language of his native state.He had his baptism in politics when he became a Lok Sabha member from Aska seat represented by his father in a by-election in 1997.A year later the Janata Dal split and Patnaik floated the regional outfit named after his famous father. He forged an alliance with the BJP and became a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet in 1998.He was re-elected from Aska in 1998 and 1999 as parliamentary elections were held in quick succession amid political instability.In 2000, when the BJD-BJP alliance won the state assembly elections, Patnaik was made chief minister. The combine retained power after 2004. However, the ties between the two parties soured in the aftermath of Kandhamal riots that broke out following the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in 2008.Patnaik broke the alliance with the saffron party on the eve of the 2009 general and assembly elections.The move was a political masterstroke as it strengthened his secular credentials.Contesting the simultaneous polls, the BJD won 14 of the state’s 21 Lok Sabha seats and 103 of the 147 assembly constituencies.Since 2009, Patnaik weathered many a storm, including an alleged “coup” attempt by leaders of his own party in 2012 when he was on a visit abroad. He only emerged stronger.The BJD posted a record victory in 2014, untouched by the Modi wave. His party grabbed a lion’s share of 117 of the 147 assembly seats and 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats.Hidden behind Patnaik’s enigmatic smile is a ruthless practitioner of modern-day politics. He crushed dissidence with an iron hand as he threw out and cut to size stalwarts like Bijoy Mahapatra, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, close aide Baijayant Panda and Damodar Rout, a known Biju loyalist.Despite his accented Odiya and somewhat deficient oratorical skills, Patnaik has a special place in voters’ hearts.His populist measures like Re 1 a kg rice and Rs 5 per meal schemes were instant hit and set his popularity chart soaring.Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha and state assembly polls, Patnaik not only pitched for 33 per cent reservation for women but also walked the talk by implementing the formula while nominating BJD candidates for the lok Sabha contest.He also unveiled the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, which will benefit about 92 per cent of state’s farmers. The scheme will provide financial, livelihood, cultivation support along with insurance support to small, marginal and the landless farmers.Though a votary of maintaining equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress for around a decade, Patnaik gave enough indication in the midst of the elections that his party was ready to support any alliance which will protect the interest of Odisha.A writer, who has authored a couple of books and also dabbled in arts, Patnaik has scripted a fresh chapter in Odisha’s history with his party’s stellar performance. 2019 Odisha pollsLok Sabha elections 2019lok-sabha-election-results-2019Naveen Patnaik First Published: May 23, 2019, 9:35 PM ISTlast_img read more

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BJP to Introspect Panaji Bypoll Defeat Says Manohar Parrikars Son Utpal

first_imgPanaji: Former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar on Sunday said the BJP will introspect its defeat in the by-election to the Panaji Assembly seat, which was held by his father for long.Congress leader Atanasio Monserratte on Thursday won the Panaji bypoll, necessitated due to the death of sitting MLA Manohar Parrikar in March. The Congress nominee defeated BJP candidate Siddharth Kunkolienkar by a margin of over 1,700 votes in the seat, which was held by the saffron party for 25 years.The former chief minister’s son was earlier among the candidates shortlisted by the BJP, but it later fielded Kunkolienkar in the bypoll, held on May 19.Utpal Parrikar, who actively campaigned for the BJP in the bypoll, said the party will do an assessment of its defeat and make all efforts to win the seat next time.”The state BJP leaders and workers will introspect on the results and will ensure that we win the Panaji seat in the next election,” he told reporters here.He said he will give his inputs about the poll results to the party leaders, as and when there is a discussion on it.”The party will go through the internal assessment and make the required corrections,” he said. Asked if he would have managed to retain the seat had he been given the ticket, he said, “I don’t think we will achieve anything by speaking about the past.”By-elections were recently held in four Assembly constituencies of Goa, out of which the BJP won three seats but lost the Panaji seat. Atanasio MonserratteBJPGoaManohar Parrikar First Published: May 26, 2019, 5:56 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Political Parties Agree on Certain Points to Ensure Peace At Meet Called

first_img all party meetingBJPCPI(M) leader Mohammed SalimMamata Banerjee First Published: June 13, 2019, 10:05 PM IST Kolkata: An all-party meeting convened by Governor K N Tripathi was held on Thursday to discuss steps to end political violence in West Bengal in which all the parties agreed on “certain points” regarding restoration of peace and harmony in the state.However, there was no joint declaration by the political parties, especially the main stakeholder the BJP and the TMC, who have been engaged in pitched battles in various parts of the state since the Lok Sabha polls. “The leaders of the political parties expressed their views frankly and in detail about how to ensure peace and harmony in West Bengal. The governor feels that all the political parties should adopt a constructive approach for the welfare of the state and its people, and he appeals to the people to work unitedly for peace and harmony consistent with the culture and traditions of West Bengal,” a statement issued by Raj Bhavan said.According to the statement, six points that were agreed upon stressed on restoration of peace, democratic values and harmony.”Democratic institutions, values and rights should be protected and there should be fair enforcement of the law and order. Violence should be stopped as the only loser due to violence is the state as a whole,” the statement said.”Peace and harmony should be restored and thereafter, maintained in the society. The media should also make positive contribution for maintaining peace in the state. No provocative speeches should be made by anyone. Democratic and social fibre of West Bengal should not be disturbed and instead, efforts should be made to maintain it,” it said.After the meeting, BJP state vice president Jay Prakash Majumdar said the governor gave some suggestions, but the TMC’s representative said he needs to consult the party.The TMC was represented in the meeting by its Secretary General and state minister Partha Chatterjee.Majumdar said the meeting proves that law and order situation has “completely failed” in the state. “The governor during the meeting gave few suggestions. We said we are ready to follow those suggestions. But, the friend from TMC said he needs to consult with the leadership,” he told reporters.”If TMC’s representative doesn’t have any power to decide then why was he sent to the meeting,” Majumdar said.CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim alleged that both the BJP and the TMC were trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the state.”Both TMC and BJP are working towards destroying the values of peaceful coexistence and harmony of the state,” he said. Chatterjee, however, didn’t talk to reporters.Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the Governor’s decision to call a meeting on the law and order issue and declined to attend it. She alleged that the meeting was called at the behest of the BJP. “The governor could call people for a cup of tea or a peace meeting,” the TMC supremo said, adding, “So I am sending a party representative there. He will go there, have a cup of tea and come back.”The all-party meeting by governor comes just three days after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and apprised them of the situation in the state. last_img read more

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NFL renews Microsoft Surface deal for another year

first_imgAccording to SportsPro, Microsoft will provide NFL referees with Surface tablets, as it has for the past few years, which will be used to review videos. This will continue through until the end of the 2018 – 2019 season, at which point it is unclear what the NFL will do.Surface tablets are also used by players and coaches who want to review footage, plus elsewhere in the League. It is unclear why the NFL chose to extend the contract for a single additional year; the Surface tablets have been a contentious addition to the League’s tech roster, and there have been at least a couple incidents involving them.There was that time a few years ago, for example, when announcers kept referring to the Surface as an iPad and an “iPad-like” device. Then there was that time a couple years ago when Patriots coach Bill Belichick announced that he was reverting back to paper because he was “done with tablets.” There “just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets,” he’d been quoted as saying, though the statements appeared to be directed at the use of tech on the sidelines in general. Still, he was caught on camera throwing a Surface tablet onto the ground.Despite this, the apparent frustration and problems few have with the devices — or tech in general — doesn’t appear adequate enough to shift the NFL away from the use of tablets. For its part, Microsoft gets to keep calling its Surface the “official tablet of the NFL” for another year.SOURCE: SportsPro It’s hard to believe five years have passed since Microsoft struck a deal with the NFL over its Surface tablet, but that is indeed the case. The contract wasn’t without its problems — the Surface was called an iPad on more than one occasion — but that hasn’t prevented a contract renewal between the two companies.last_img read more

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Android dark mode isnt happening Google blames miscommunication

first_imgGoogle briefly made waves in the Android community today after a post in its forums said that a dark mode would be added to a future Android release. Users have been requesting this feature for years and now, finally, it seemed official. Otherwise cautious Android users got their hopes up, and now Google has come around to drag them back down. Dark mode isn’t happening after all, folks. Google has issued a statement about the dark mode note that had been posted in its forum, where someone said that the engineering team had been on it and that such a feature would arrive in a future Android edition. According to the statement, a miscommunication resulted in the bug report (the forum entry requesting the Android dark mode) being closed “prematurely.”You see, there is a dark mode feature added to Android…sort of. However, this was a case of Google enabling a -night UI mode qualifier for developers within the Develop Options. Developers can toggle on a night mode, enabling them to better test apps that will use a night mode lighting scheme rather than a regular light theme.Developers already had access to that qualifier, however Google simply made it easier for devs to use it by adding the toggle within the Settings menu. That’s it. There isn’t going to be a dark mode that’s made available to the ordinary user, and it’s unclear whether Google will ever give its users that highly requested feature.In an effort to offer a small bit of reassurance, the statement did promise, “we will also not be adding Hot Dog Mode (where all the UI elements are yellow and red).” It’s probably safe to say that after all the previous claims that dark mode was finally arriving, plus this latest and cruelest mistake, Android users will only believe it when they see it.SOURCE: Reddit, Googlelast_img read more

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Galaxy Note 9 S Pen features found in Galaxy Tab S4 firmware

first_imgYes, that title sounds equal parts confusing and equal parts ironic. Features for an unreleased smartphone found in software for an unreleased tablet. And yet that is the wonderful discovery that was unearthed from the firmware of the Galaxy Tab S4, which may launch after the Galaxy Note 9 at least. And although the pieces of new information don’t drastically change anything we have heard so far, it at least gives us a better picture of what this new Bluetooth-enabled S Pen will be able to do. Truth be told, there is only so much you can do with only one button. It’ll mostly be limited to mapping an action to a single press and maybe a double press. XDA’s teardown of the Air Command app in the Galaxy Tab S4, however, does hint at what some of those actions could be.There is, of course, controlling music, though it remains to be seen if Samsung will allow users to skip tracks (probably with a double press) in addition to pausing/resuming playback. As the earliest rumors suggested, you can also use it as a remote shutter. There is mention of actions in a range of apps but the question is how much that will be supported, both in Samsung’s apps and other Android apps.The most curious feature suggested by the teardown, however, is being able to unlock the phone by pressing the S Pen button. The phrasing of the feature suggests that it’s only possible if the phone locks while you’re using it. It’s still going to be interesting to see if it will become an exploitable security hole.But while these features are expected for the Galaxy Note 9, their presence in the Galaxy Tab S4’s version of Air Command may suggest that it might also support that new Bluetooth S Pen. If that’s the case, however, it will be interesting to see how Samsung will charge the S Pen without looking as ridiculous as an Apple Pencil.last_img read more

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Facebook Portal puts AR Messenger video calls in Alexa smart displays

Facebook Portal+ and Portal Gallery Indeed, ease of use is Facebook’s primary focus with both gadgets. Video calling typically comes with friction, Rafa Camargo, Vice President of Portal explained to me. Whether it’s the headaches involved in setting up a phone, tablet, or laptop camera to capture you properly, or the feeling that the calls themselves need to be organized and planned for in a way that feels more businesslike than friendly, they’re issues Facebook believes it can address with dedicated hardware and some AI smarts. The Portal and Portal+ devices themselves put functionality at the fore. Both have front-facing speakers – 10W on the smaller unit, 20W on the larger plus a 4-inch bass speaker – and a 4-way microphone array. They’re finished in either matte black or white plastic, with Facebook’s logo discreetly placed on the back rather than emblazoned across the front. At the top of each is a 12-megapixel camera with a particularly wide, 140-degree field of view. The combination of that high resolution and broad perspective allows for Portal’s big magic trick, dubbed Smart Camera. Effectively it’s a combination of 2D pose recognition to identify bodies – and the heads atop those bodies – in the frame, and then digital cropping and zooming to make sure they’re centered in the picture. The result is a virtual cameraman, always making sure you’re in view. If you’re on your own in the call, Smart Camera automatically follows you around. With two or more people in frame, Portal will zoom so that everybody is visible. Alternatively, it’s possible to select a person and have Smart Camera focus entirely on them. It does so with surprising smoothness and grace; according to Carmago, Facebook called upon the expertise of an Academy Award-winning cinematographer to help get that right.At the same time, the Smart Sound system aims to do the same with the microphone array. That means, Camargo explained to me, that you shouldn’t need to shout, even if you’re on the opposite side of the room. After all, the goal is to make Portal calls – which can take place between Portal and Portal+ units, or to anybody running Facebook Messenger – more akin to casual conversations than organized video chats. That includes sharing more than just talk. Log into your Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio account, and both sides of the call can listen to music together. Newsy, Food Network, and Facebook Watch will do the same with headlines, recipes, and other videos. There’s something more fun, however. Facebook’s Spark AR-based augmented reality stickers, for example, will allow you to don silly hats or other add-ons, tracking you as you move around the room. Even more entertaining is Story Time: one person gets a teleprompter for a children’s story, while at the other end of the call there are AR effects, graphics, and sound effects. Portal will launch with “Three Little Pigs,” “Five Little Monkeys,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Professor Right,” and “Trouble Bubble.”The primary method of control for all this will be voice. Facebook has built its own interactive assistant, summoned by calling out “Hey Portal,” for a hands-free experience. Alexa, meanwhile, fills in the gaps for everything else, including on-screen graphics for things like weather forecasts and conversions. Alternatively, though, you can tap the Portal and Portal+ touchscreens. It’s a simple UI, but Carmago and the team have been thorough with it. The core interface is thumbnails of contacts, complete with availability indicators. Portal can suggest those for you, based on who you speak to most often, or you’ll be able to pin your own favorites to the top of the list. Multiple Facebook users will be able to log in simultaneously, with Portal supporting switching between friends lists. If you’re on a video call through Messenger on your phone, you can transfer it – without interruption – to Portal, and vice-versa. When you’re not in a call, Portal switches into what Facebook is referring to as Superframe mode, effectively becoming a digital photo frame. It’ll also show birthday reminders, and suggest friends who are available online at that moment, and whom you might want to have an impromptu call with. Selecting which images and galleries you want to be included in Superframe will be done manually: Facebook is looking to avoid any sort of unpleasant “why is it showing that?” surprises when you turn the corner and see what Portal is displaying. While the Portal team has been hard at work, it’s fair to say that Facebook has been going through a rough period when it comes to perceptions of privacy. Unsurprising, then, is just how much emphasis it’s placing on data security and how personal information is being taken care of, all the more important when you consider Facebook is hoping users will bring an internet-connected camera into their homes. Privacy was the first consideration when Portal and Portal+ were being designed, Carmago insisted to me, both in hardware and software. Hit the mute button, for instance, and the camera and microphone are “physically disconnected” the Facebook VP explained. If you still want Portal to be able to hear and respond to voice instructions, but not see you, there’s a slide-on camera cover included in the box. A screen lock passcode – of up to 12 digits – can be added to limit access. On the software side, Facebook says all Portal video calls are encrypted, and it can’t access or view any of the conversations. Both Smart Camera and Smart Sound rely on on-device processing, rather than Facebook’s servers, and the automatic framing is based on pose recognition rather than identifying and recalling faces. Like an Echo or Google Home, Portal does use server-side processing for voice instructions, though only after the device itself has recognized the “Hey Portal” wake-phrase. Your voice history can be accessed – and deleted – through the Facebook Activity Log. At launch, Portal+ and Portal will be fairly focused in their purpose. They’ll do video calls, play music, act as an Alexa smart speaker, and allow you to stream music over Bluetooth from your phone or laptop. However Carmago and the team is already thinking about future possibilities. Story Time, for instance, has proved a hit when he and the Portal group have discussed it with publishers, so we can likely expect more interactive storybooks in future. Similarly, some of the Portal test group – Facebook has around a thousand out in the wild right now, for real-world feedback – have asked for a way to record calls. Having an AI videographer to film you could certainly be an interesting prospect for YouTubers and vloggers, after all, though Carmago says one key point there will be making it abundantly clear at which times you’re being recorded. I suspect that caution is well placed. Facebook may namecheck Portal’s privacy credentials, but it can’t have escaped Carmago and his team’s attention that all it would really take to scupper the video calling devices’ prospects would be a data scandal. The social network isn’t short on critics these days, some of whom wield regulatory powers, and one misstep could completely pull the rug out from under Portal. Even with those safeguards and promises, Portal and Portal+ likely face an uphill challenge. The reality the team has observed, marketing lead Dave Kaufman told me, is that families given access to the devices quickly come to rely on them. The number of video calls made increases noticeably, and such chats become less planned and more casual and impromptu. All the same, Facebook will need to convince people that a standalone device is worth spending $200 or more on. That’ll include competing with rivals like Echo Show and other smart displays. The smaller Portal undercuts Amazon’s 2nd Gen model, not to mention the Lenovo Smart Display, but there’s no denying that Portal+ really is the star. It comes with a leading man price tag, however. Facebook is quietly confident it has aced the equation, though, and there’s not long to wait to see if the social network is right. Portal and Portal+ are going up for preorder today in the US, both from Facebook direct and via Amazon and Best Buy. They’ll begin shipping in November. As well as Portal for $199 and Portal+ for $349, there’ll be bundle deals of any two units with a $100 saving on the pair. Facebook has revealed its long-rumored video calling devices, Facebook Portal and Portal+, the social network’s first homegrown hardware not to mention its first entrant in the smart display space. Promising a more natural way to hold video calls between Messenger friends and family, the two new devices also feature Amazon Alexa support, taking on products like the 2nd Gen Echo Show in the process. The biggest difference between the two is the size. Facebook Portal has a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display in landscape orientation, much like the new Echo Show or Lenovo’s Smart Display. It’s Facebook’s entry-level model, priced at $199.Facebook Portal+, however, is altogether more interesting. It gets a 15-inch, 1920 x 1080 display which can pivot between landscape and portrait orientation, and is priced at $349. The mechanism itself is pleasing in its tactility, with just the right amount of counterbalancing to swing smoothly between the two positions. read more

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Apple October 30 event confirmed iPad Pro likely the focus

Apple’s next big event is on October 30, with the company confirming today that it will show us its latest wares in Brooklyn, New York. The event is expected to feature new iPad Pro models, though all Apple is saying for now is the tagline for the day is “There’s more in the making.” Story Timeline2018 iPad Pro still coming with these features in tow2018 iPad Pro rumored to be crazy thiniPad Pro 2018 (or 2019) leak looks like HP TouchPad Still, iPad Pro is top of the list of our expectations. There, Apple is likely to borrow heavily from the design language of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, slimming the bezels of the tablets considerably. Face ID has also been predicted to come to the tablets, using the TrueDepth camera array that will feature across Apple’s 2018 iPhone line-up. Other changes are likely to include a faster processor and potentially more memory, as Apple further positions the iPad Pro as a legitimate laptop alternative. Meanwhile, new Apple Pencil functionality – and possibly new accessories – seems possible.All the same, the iPad Pro isn’t believed to be the sole star of the show at the end of the month. Updates to the Mac range have also been the subject of widespread whispers over the past few months. Most conspicuous is probably the replacement for the MacBook Air. That’s been the topic of discussion for a considerable length of time, with various strategies suggested. What seems most likely is that Apple will make a 13-inch version of the 12-inch MacBook, slimming the Air’s bezels and – finally – adding a Retina display panel. On the desktop side, the Mac mini is long overdue an update. Indeed, checking out the ports on the back of the compact bring-your-own-display computer suggests Apple could well revamp the whole thing with a totally new design. At the very least, USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 are likely to make an appearance. Then there are the other ranges. Apple’s second-generation AirPods are believed to be in the pipeline, including a wirelessly charged case. On that subject, Apple AirPower has also failed to materialize so far in 2018 as Apple promised it would. The wireless charging pad could slip in just before the holiday season. We’ll know for sure in the morning of October 30, with the event taking place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City at 10am. read more

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Razer Phone 2 doesnt work with Verizon fix promised

Of course, the problem is that Razer made all those claims and even put Verizon compatibility on its product page before it actually checked that it was indeed the case. It’s definitely unknown how long the certification process would be but that should have taken place before the phone even started shipping. Unfortunately, Verizon subscribers with new Razer Phone 2 phones are stuck with a practically unusable phone until that is resolved, marring what would have been an otherwise flawless launch. It’s not that Razer is singling out Big Red. Or actually it is somewhat. Razer was pretty darn proud that it supported Verizon’s network. Not because it was exceptional (depends on who you ask). It’s because, along with Sprint, it uses CDMA networks which is different and incompatible with the more common GSM networks. That’s sometimes a pain point for Verizon subscribers who have to always double check that their smartphone of choice supports the network explicitly. That difficulty surfaced in a painful way for some new Razer Phone 2 owners who discovered, much to their dismay, that the gaming smartphone would not work on Verizon’s network as advertised. Naturally, there was no small uproar over this “lie”, though Razer tries to assure its new customers that it wasn’t a lie. For all accounts and purposes, the Razer Phone 2 is as normal as it gets. Aside from its 120 Hz screen and Chroma RGB lights, the smartphone would pass as a “regular” smartphone, albeit with a dated blocky design. And if not for this unexpected problem, it’s launch would have been uneventful in a positive way. But now the Razer Phone 2 is earning some harsh words because of how it apparently doesn’t support Verizon, despite company’s claim at launch. We’re aware that Verizon is not enabled on the #RazerPhone 2 right now and are working to enable it ASAP—hang in there! Razer Phone 2 is compatible with a variety of GSM, HSPA+ and LTE carriers. Find out more about the frequency bands supported: https://t.co/O5xIeVaxjB pic.twitter.com/brObzrwKgb— R Λ Z Ξ R (@Razer) October 23, 2018 read more

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Toyota uBox SUV concept targets genZ with bold customizable design

first_imgStory TimelineToyota’s automatic braking should be nearly standard 4 years ahead of feds2016 Toyota Tacoma ReviewEXCLUSIVE: Ferrari Fiorza Spied, “Volume Model” Signals Toyota CooperationToyota Connected promises smarter cars with Azure cloudToyota ‘Guardian Angel’ system takes the wheel to prevent wrecks SOURCE: Toyota uBox was designed by the university’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), and is part of a couple year collaboration with the auto maker’s North American engineers and designers called Deep Orange. Under the collaboration, students are given immersive experience in developing a car, including everything from researching the target market to designing the concept and manufacturing the final product. Associate professor with the program Johnell Brooks said:Deep Orange gives students’ hands-on experience with the entire vehicle development process, from identifying the market opportunity through the vehicle build. It’s like automotive boot camp for the real world, and it wouldn’t happen without industry partners like Toyota.uBox has several notable design elements, not the least of which is the interior’s ample space and customizability. The exterior is designed to be bold and “distinctive,” and the finer details, namely the dashboard elements and door trim, can be made even more personal using customized 3D-printed parts. Finally, the concept is also designed to work as a large, emissions-free power station for running gadgets like phones, as well as larger items like power tools and electronics that require a 110-volt socket. Toyota has a new concept SUV, and it was created by Clemson University graduate students. The SUV differs from other SUVs on the road, boasting a distinct geometric design philosophy and the decidedly untraditional name “uBox.” The vehicle concept was designed to appeal to generation Z, with the graduate students envisioning the needs of such drivers in the year 2020. The group recently showed off uBox on video.last_img read more

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Snapdragon 8cx gives Windows its most extreme Arm chip yet

first_imgThe Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform won’t replace the 850 – or, indeed, be called the Snapdragon 1000 or Snapdragon 8180 as the rumors suggested – but instead sit above it in the Windows on Arm ecosystem. Described as “a new tier of premium computing” by Qualcomm’s Miguel Nunes, senior director of product management, ahead of the Snapdragon Summit 2018 at which SlashGear is Qualcomm’s guest, it was also developed from the ground up with computing in mind. Its predecessors were, of course, mobile chipsets coopted into laptop use. It means it’s a different chip, physically, from the Snapdragon 855 that Qualcomm revealed earlier this week for smartphones and tablets. Fanless, of course, as well as bigger, with a faster CPU and GPU along with more transistors, the Snapdragon 8cx is also the first 7nm PC platform, the chip-maker points out. On the CPU side, the Snapdragon 8cx gets the new Kryo 495, the fastest Snapdragon processor ever. That has four performance cores and four low-power cores, along with a larger system cache and L3 cache. Indeed, with 10MB cache in total, Snapdragon 8cx has more than double what the Snapdragon 850 can boast. It’s paired with the Adreno 680 Extreme GPU. Again, there’s a sizable upgrade over the Snapdragon 850’s graphics abilities, with the new GPU promising to be twice as fast and 60-percent more efficient. Compared to the graphics on the Snapdragon 835, meanwhile, the Adreno 680 Extreme is three times faster. There’s twice the number of GPU transistors, and twice the memory bandwidth. Snapdragon 8cx also supports the DirectX 12 API, and has a high-efficiency video encoder that can drive two 4K HDR external displays. Of course, power is only half of the story when it comes to Windows on Arm: battery life is also vital, especially when you consider the always-on connectivity promise. There, Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 8cx not only has a 7W TDP, but that it can maintain a 50-percent higher level of performance compared to competitor 15W platforms, such as Intel’s Core i5 U Series processors. In total you’re looking at machines with more than 25 hours of battery life, Qualcomm suggests, and which recharge significantly faster courtesy of Quick Charge 4+ support, something previous Snapdragon PC chipsets lacked. As for connectivity, like the Snapdragon 855 the new Snapdragon 8cx will use Qualcomm’s X24 modem. That promises up to 2 Gbps Gigabit LTE – carrier depending, naturally – along with features like 7xCA, 4×4 MIMO, LAA, and support for up to 20 streams. Right now there’s no sign of Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem, though the chip-maker is relentlessly bullish on 5G and so we wouldn’t be surprised to see – Snapdragon 855-style – a companion 5G modem for the Snapdragon 8cx platform, too. Qualcomm Aqstiq audio is onboard, along with aptX HD for higher quality Bluetooth audio. The Hexagon 685 Artificial Engine is included, too, and Qualcomm has some ambitious expectations there too. Noise cancellation with two microphones is billed as perfect for virtual assistants, like Cortana and Alexa. Part of Qualcomm’s focus this time around has been to address criticisms that Windows on Arm falls short when it comes to replacing workhorse x86 ultraportables. Snapdragon 8cx, therefore, can handle up to 16GB of LPDDR4x 2133MHz memory, along with pro-level NVMS SSD or UFS3.0 storage. There’s second-generation USB 3.1 support too, together with four PCI-E Gen 3 lanes. The goal, Qualcomm’s Nunes says, is to deliver notebooks, tablets, and 2-in-1s that focus more on real-world usability than just benchmarks. “It’s not about peak,” he insists, “it’s about what people see in real-life performance.” And, while right now it’s being pitched as ideal for Windows 10 machines, “in the future there’s no reason why we couldn’t [support other OSes] with 8cx,” Nunes teases.For the moment, though, Windows is the focus. Not just a pared-back version for consumers, either. The Snapdragon 8cx also introduces Windows 10 Enterprise support, while Qualcomm is working with software developers of apps like Firefox and Chromium to not only run them on the new platform, but maximize that experience. That includes things like loading new Firefox browser tabs on a new core when possible, to more intelligently use the capabilities of the CPU. “Microsoft released a native Arm toolkit to build apps a while back,” analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy says of the software strategy. “In most cases, this is a relatively easy recompile. Developers don’t even have to recompile the entire app, they can do this to certain libraries, as Microsoft did with Outlook. Native is, of course, faster than emulated.”Qualcomm has already started sampling the new chipset to manufacturers, though the first products aren’t expected to reach the market until Q3 of 2019. That’s a while to wait, certainly, but given Intel’s recent challenges with delivering 7nm manufacturing it still sees Windows on Arm ratcheting up the pressure on the more traditional chip-maker in the notebook space. It comes twelve months after Qualcomm announced its first Windows on Arm products. At last year’s Snapdragon Summit, partners ASUS and HP revealed a Windows 10 notebook and 2-in-1, respectively, each running Microsoft’s software on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835. The first benchmarks proved relatively uninspiring, but Qualcomm quickly followed up with the Snapdragon 850. Promising even more performance without sacrificing on battery life or always-on 4G LTE connectivity, it nudged the platform further toward the sort of usability Windows 10 users have come to expect from Intel and AMD-powered machines. Now, the Snapdragon 850 is getting a more potent sibling. Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform, a new flagship “Extreme” chipset for Windows on Arm notebooks, tablets, and 2-in-1s that promises more connectivity, more power, and battery life in excess of 25 hours. The new platform also debuts Qualcomm’s new nomenclature for that ecosystem of devices, borrowing technologies from Snapdragon for smartphones but shaping them for ultraportable computing.last_img read more

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Crazy wheels and tires let car move in completely new ways

first_imgThe tires themselves move on the wheel rims and allow the car to slide sideways, spin, and move around as if it’s being carried atop a million ants. The builder says that these omni capable wheels are bolt on and can be fitted to any vehicle. The tires themselves are said to use the same rubber and grooved design as normal tires making them safe for roads.It’s worth noting that the video appears to be sped up significantly in some parts indicating that the tires actually move the vehicle very slowly. The designer of these tires claims that the setup has 24,000 pounds of torque directed to the tires. He doesn’t say how such massive torque is generated.The speed that the tires operate at can be adjusted for the target application and by changing gear ratios with a speed controller. A patent has been applied for in several countries according to the inventor, but he is calling for people to share the video with companies that might want to partner with him. This sort of wheel and tire setup seems like a very niche product, but it’s very cool. There may indeed be some markets that could benefit from a wheel and tire setup such as this that allows for movement in any direction.AdChoices广告 In some instances, parking your car can be a difficult thing to do. If you have ever parallel parked and then had someone pull so close to you in the front or back that you couldn’t get out you know the frustration this brings. An inventor called William Liddiard has shown off a new set of wheels and tires that he came up with that allows a vehicle to move in incredible ways.last_img read more

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Russian antidrone patent details defense UAV with builtin shotgun

first_imgThe drone is designed to take down other drones by literally shooting them out of the sky using its own built-in shotgun, a Vepr-12. The firearm is stabilized to increase accuracy; the shot is made by the drone’s operator, though it’s unclear whether there’s a camera and first-person-view involved in this system.A number of technologies have been tested as potential anti-drone solutions. As drones become increasingly popular and inexpensive, a growing number of the aerial devices have appeared overheard, some in places they shouldn’t be. Drones have been used for spying purposes, as well as vehicles for smuggling products into prisons and disrupting airports.AdChoices广告No government has identified a perfect solution to their drone problems, though we’ve seen many systems tested. Past concepts and demonstrations have included shooting lasers and nets at drones, jamming their signals so they lose contact with their operator, and launching trained eagles at the devices. While some countries experiment with eagles, drones that launch nets, and signal disruptors, Russia is taking a different approach to dealing with unwanted drones: shotguns. A state-owned Russian weapons company called Almaz-Antey was recently issued a patent for an unmanned aerial vehicle that features a stabilized shotgun for shooting down drones. The drone exists as a physical product that was demonstrated successfully on video last year. Based on existing articles on Russian websites, it seems the defense technology spent a few years in development, initially starting out as a student project before ultimately surfacing recently in a patent for a major defense contractor.center_img Story TimelineKratos stealth combat drone’s first test flight was a successIcelandic lava tube explored using LiDAR packing droneUPS launches drone delivery service for transporting medical sampleslast_img read more

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2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan serves up postScion perkiness

first_imgToyota has revealed its smallest sedan, but please don’t call it a Scion. The 2019 Yaris Sedan completes the distancing of the car from its Scion iA predecessor, with Toyota absorbing what was once part of the Millennially-obsessed sub brand. That includes finally dropping the “iA” part of the name. While it may not be as powerful as other cars, Toyota is promising fun on the road nonetheless. That’s partly down to the light overall weight, but Mazda’s short-throw manual gearbox should be fairly enjoyable too. The Yaris Sedan’s “Sport Mode” claims to offer an improvement on “torque feel” when activated, though you probably shouldn’t expect anything too dramatic. Ventilated disc brakes are used on the front, with drum brakes on the back. There’s more safety tech inside as well, with a low-speed pre-collision protection system that scans the road ahead and can automatically step on the brakes if the driver doesn’t. On LE and XLE trims they’re hidden behind 16-inch dark gunmetal finish alloy wheels.Inside, there’s a 7-inch touchscreen media system as standard, with Bluetooth and voice control. A reversing camera is standard-fit, while SiriusXM is optional. The L trim has remote keyless angry, while LE and XLE cars get Smart Key. Power windows, a 60/40 split rear seat, and cruise control are all standard. The XLE trim throws in leatherette trimmed front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, auto LED headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers. Toyota says the new 2019 Yaris Sedan will hit dealerships from fall 2018. No word on pricing at this stage. AdChoices广告 Still, the styling – and the fact that this is, in fact, a barely-disguised Mazda2, a car which the Japanese automaker doesn’t sell in the US – remain. There’s a new grill for the 2019 model year with a honeycomb mesh insert, new chrome trim and piano black accents, and – on LE and XLE trims – fog lamps and a rear lip spoiler. The Yaris Sedan L trim has power side mirrors; its LE and XLE siblings bake in heating and LED turn-signals too. The standard engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC gas engine, with 106 HP and 103 lb-ft of torque. As standard, it comes with a six-speed manual transmission, and is good for 35 mpg combined, 32 mpg in the city, and 40 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic gearbox is an option, and nudges down the economy to 34 mpg combined, 30 mpg in the city, and 39 mpg on the highway. last_img read more

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Congress Weighing Changes To Medicare Reimbursements For Doctors

first_imgCongress Weighing Changes To Medicare Reimbursements For Doctors In other Medicare news, USA Today looks at the debate over whether the government should pay for Alzheimer’s PET scans.Medpage Today: Will These Changes Pay For SGR Repeal?Congress left town last week with at least one series of proposals on the table that could make up for the nearly $140 billion shortfall that would occur if and when Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula is repealed. The House Ways and Means Committee has recently proposed a number of changes to Medicare’s beneficiary cost-sharing structure and post-acute care system as part of its broader mission of entitlement reform. The proposals are designed is to make Medicare more solvent, but questions remain over how or if they will connect to ongoing efforts to repeal the SGR (Pittman, 8/8).USA Today: Experts Debate Coverage Of Scans For Alzheimer’sThe federal government will decide in early fall whether to pay for brain scans in people with suspected Alzheimer’s disease. The PET scans, which cost about $3,000-$5,000 apiece, have proved useful for research, and neurologists are eager to have access to them, but a recent government review raised questions about their effectiveness at detecting dementia (Weintraub, 8/8). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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