Google Expeditions App Featuring Virtual Tours Now Open to All

Google Expeditions App Featuring Virtual Tours Now Open to All

Google on Thursday rolled out its Expeditions app with a new solo mode for all users.

“Using this mode, they can explore over 600 different tours on their own. All that users need to do is download the Expeditions app (available on both Android and iOS), drop their phone into Google Cardboard and get ready for an adventure!” the company said in a statement.

For the past two years, the app was available only for teachers as a tool to extend learning inside the classroom, helping students to gain exposure to new career paths and learn about various social impact initiatives happening around the globe.

With the new update, users can either take these tours as an explorer or a guide.

As an ‘Explorer’, users can experience the tour on their own, where they can view more detailed information on various points of interest within the experience.

The ‘Guide Mode’ lets teachers preview a tour before embarking with their students on a virtual journey.

Expeditions also works on Daydream View VR headset-ready phones for more immersive and engaging experience.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Medical college admissions: Maharashtra students, parents move SC against change in domicile norms

Maharashtra Students and parents have challenged the decision by the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court to relax domicile rules for admission to medical and dental colleges.

One in every two students applying for medical and dental seats in Maharashtra is not from the state. Angry with the state’s decision to relax norms and allow non-domicile students to apply for medical seats, medical aspirants and their parents from Maharashtra filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) figures show that the number of registrations of students who have cleared both class 10 and 12 from the state is 49,768, whereas those who have only cleared Class 12 is 48,977.

Explaining why the Class 12 numbers were high, a parent said “Many students come to Mumbai to prepare for medical entrance exams and appear for Class 12 exams in Maharashtra after sitting Class 10 exams in their respective states.” He was of the opinion that they should not be given the advantage meant for children with state domicile.

On July 7, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court relaxed domicile norms for medical and dental aspirants in the state. Originally, those who had cleared class 10 and 12 from the state or had a domicile certificate – a document showing that the student had lived in the state for the required number of years – were eligible for state quota seats. Now the rule making Class 10 compulsory has been dropped. “Those who have cleared Class 12I from Maharashtra, even without Class 10 from the state, will be eligible for state quota seats from now,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director of DMER.

Commenting on the move another parent said “Earlier this year SC was very clear that no more cases on medical and dental admissions should be entertained by High Courts till admissions are over. How can the Aurangabad bench allow such changes to the admission process while the registrations are on?”

DMER’s decision to announce a revised provisional state merit list before the first seat allocation list for state quota seats has brought some relief to the parents and students. “We hope the SC will support our stand before the first seat allotment list is released,” one of them said.

While the petition is up for hearing in SC this week, the first seat allotment list for admissions to state quota seats in government-run and private medical and dental institutes in the state will be released on July 25.

 

 

[“source-hindustantimes”]

Samsung Pay comes to Gear S3, use your Samsung smartwatch to make payments

Samsung Pay comes to Gear S3, use your Samsung smartwatch to make payments

Samsung has today made it possible to use the Gear S3 smartwatch with Samsung Pay, the company’s alternative contactless payment method to Android Pay and Apple Pay, in the UK.

  • What is Samsung Pay, how does it work and what banks are supported?

With Samsung Pay enabled on a Gear S3, it can be used to make payments on all contactless payment terminals, including Oyster terminals across the London travel network.

To enable Samsung Pay on the Gear S3, follow these simple steps:

  • Make sure your mobile device is compatible. The Gear S3 can be used with select Samsung phones, and all other Android smartphones running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher
  • Ensure you have the latest version of the Samsung Pay app installed on your mobile device
  • Register your credit or debit card and authenticate your ID
  • Set-up a security pin

To use the Gear S3 to make a payment, hold the watch with the face facing the payment terminal.

  • Samsung Pay now available in UK for Galaxy smartphone users
  • If you use Samsung Pay, you can check-out with Paypal now

Samsung Pay is already available to use with select Galaxysmartphones, but this marks the first time it can be used with one of Samsung’s smartwatches. Samsung hasn’t said if and when it will make it possible to use Samsung Pay with the Gear S2 or Gear S2Classic watches.

[“Source-pocket-lint”]

Beyond open data: Insights through analytics

city analysis (Who is Danny/Shutterstock.com)

The federal government is taking big steps to share information and make data more free and open. Thanks to legislation like the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, agencies are now required to post standardized spending data on the USASpending.gov site. Other initiatives, like the Government Publishing Office’s GovInfo.gov, let citizens use full-text searching and metadata to sift through decades of digitized content. It seems as if we are entering a new chapter of open data. But what, exactly can governments do with this data on hand? How do citizens and public officials make the most of this unprecedented level of access to information?

Analytics are what allows government to use “data as a flashlight, not as a hammer,” according to “A Practical Guide to Analytics for Governments,” recently produced by the team at the SAS Institute and published by Wiley.

The book celebrates information sharing and the wide range of data available on the municipal level in particular — from smart streetlights that also collect info on pedestrian foot traffic to rail equipment outfitted with sensors so that repairs can be made as needed, rather than on a maintenance schedule. (An innovation that Washingtonians inconvenienced by D.C. Metro’s months of “SafeTrack” repairs might envy). Overlaying of municipal code enforcement and police activity data reveals unexpected correlations between property neglect and crime, and having studied algebra in high school is connected to markedly higher income achievement later in life.

“Armed with insights” from shared data, officials in Arizona’s Pinal County used the strength of analytics to more effectively understand already-existing health data in a way that would better protect the public from heat stroke. Investigators were surprised to discover that analytics revealed the highest threat of heat-related illness was not found among the elderly — as had been expected — but instead, among the young people of this Arizona community.

Small agencies can benefit from analytics as much as larger ones.  The book’s authors make the case that smaller cities may be best positioned to take advantage of technology advances because there is “less infrastructure to retrofit.” Since only 300 U.S. cities have populations that exceed 100,000, they add, the opportunities for data-driven innovation are substantial.

State-level open-data success stories are also hailed, most especially the example of  North Carolina, which “opened its 2017 budget for citizen scrutiny” with a new visual analytics tool.

But more important than making data itself available, the authors argue, is recognizing the challenge of melding data into analytics. After all, they assert, “typical government IT projects are built in a siloed approach,” which means that while agencies have torrents of data, often not a drop is shared. Teachers are not given the opportunity to proactively provide remedial attention to students. Police don’t have background information to help them approach a suspect with either greater caution or more compassion.  The book also looks at applications in transportation, public health, child welfare, prescription drug abuse, fraud prevention, and it methodically lays out both the depth of missed opportunities and the possibility of a brighter future.

As government at every level updates its IT assets, the book warns CIOs that “[a]cquiring technology for technology’s sake … rarely achieves the expected outcome.” Instead, the book makes the case that the emphasis should be on “building an analytics-driven government” and leveraging data to “build stronger analytics capabilities.”

“A Practical Guide to Analytics for Government” lives up to its title and concludes with a specific suggested solution. Establishing an official center of analytics, the authors write, can help agencies create a keen awareness of the importance of “building common competency … [that] enhances government analytic success through shared experience.”

Some cities have begun to work in that direction, and the City of Boston’s Citywide Analytics Team and the New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics are hailed for seeking “innovative ways to leverage data.”

Such efforts could even unite an otherwise polarized political community, the authors suggest, since “both Republicans and Democrats value opening the public’s business to citizens.” Indeed, they contend that during a time when the citizens increasingly distrust political leadership, “open data can . . . promote legitimacy.”

More importantly, though, the authors stress that governments at all levels should be “breaking down barriers to sharing and accessing information … to ensure frontline workers, management, and policymakers have the knowledge they need.”   After all, as Shawn P. McCarthy, research director of IDC Government Insights, is quoted as saying about this book, “in many ways, modern government is information.”

[“Source-gcn”]