Government Will Act on Facebook Posts, WhatsApp Pics of Accidents: Gadkari

Government Will Act on Facebook Posts, WhatsApp Pics of Accidents: GadkariTransport Minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday floated an idea that a simple click of the mouse or a snap onWhatsApp about an accident or the site itself can help the government machinery swing into action and thus, save lives.

He exhorted people to leverage the Internet to make India accident-free.

“I do not want anyone else to suffer as I did after a road accident. It deeply pains and hurts me to see India top on global list with 5 lakh accidents every year,” the Road Transport and Highways Minister said while attending a road safety forum here.

“Come join the government in drive to make the nation accident-free like Sweden.”

Launching a Facebook page to generate awareness, Gadkari made a strong case for using the Internet technology to alert authorities about accidents, regardless of such mishap spots.

A Road Safety Authority, he said, is also on the anvil and the Prime Minister has given his nod for it.

“We are committed to minimising deaths due to road accidents by 50 percent in 5 years and government has identified 726 black spots where at least 50,000 people have lost their lives,” he said.

Gadkari disclosed that the government has already got on to the frontfoot to address critical issues, be it faulty designing or lack of over- or under-passes on roads, and Rs. 11,000 crore will be spent to fix the same.

India sits on the top of the heap as it accounts for the highest number of 5 lakh road accidents in a year, in which 1.5 lakh lose their lives and another 3 lakh are maimed for life.

“It pains me to see the huge number of accidents as such magnitude of casualties neither happens in a war or extremist killings,” the minister pointed out.

He went on to add that not just 30 percent of driving licences in India are “bogus”, but a large number of government drivers suffered from cataract problems. He put the shortage of drivers in India at 22 percent.

He was clear that government is committed to addressing all these issues and will set up 3,000 driving, vehicle fitness and pollution certification centres across the country where driving licences will be issued only after computerised tests.

Also, he asked NGOs to impress upon people the need to adhere to traffic norms, safe driving and the like. Those doing exemplary work on road safety issues will be chosen for annual awards, the minister added.

“We have constituted annual awards system for NGOs doing exemplary work in road safety with Rs. 10 lakh for the winner and Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh for second and third slots, respectively,” he said.

Also, talks are on with state governments for mandatory lessons to school kids on road safety, besides an all-India exhibition through a train, for which consultations are going on with the Railways Ministry.


Windows 10 Mobile Update Starts Rolling Out for Microsoft Lumia 640

Windows 10 Mobile Update Starts Rolling Out for Microsoft Lumia 640

Microsoft confirmed last month that it had delayed the release of Windows 10 Mobile, the latest version of its mobile operating system. And it seems the delay is finally over. The company has apparently started to seed the Windows 10 Mobile software upgrade in at least one region.

T-Mobile has confirmed (via WMPU) that it has begun to release Windows 10 Mobile for Lumia 640handset users in Poland. The build version that the company has released is 02177.00000.15184.36002. We realise that most of you don’t live in Poland, and/ or sport a Lumia 640, but the big news is that the software you’re anxiously waiting for has started to trickle out fromMicrosoft.

Microsoft had previously committed to releasing Windows 10 Mobile to all eligible handsets in December. However, the company confirmed last month the time-frame had been extended to “early 2016.” As you may remember, all Windows 8.1-powered smartphone that have more than 4GB of internal storage are eligible to receive the free software update.

Many smartphones that have launched in the past few months are already running Windows 10 Mobile. Some of these include the Lumia 950, the Lumia 950 XL, and the Lumia 550. To recall, Windows 10 Mobile offers a range of features including Continuum and Universal Windows Apps, and some enhancements to Message and Photos apps.

According to media reports, Microsoft is working on an app that will allow Windows Phone handset owners to know whether their smartphone is eligible to receive the software upgrade. The app dubbed “Upgrade Advisor,” will also let users clear up storage space on the device to accommodate the new software upgrade.


Uber Subsidiary Fined $7.6 Million in California

Uber Subsidiary Fined $7.6 Million in California

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday hit an Uber subsidiary with a $7.6 million (roughly Rs. 51 crores) fine for failing to comply with reporting requirements fully and in a timely manner.

The commission also said that the subsidiary, Raiser-CA, was in contempt and had 30 days to pay the penalty or face suspension of its license to operate in the state.

Information sought by the commission included whether requests for rides got similar responses regardless of neighborhood and whether people with disabilities are able to access Uber vehicles, a press release said.

The commission said it was trying to determine whether services were being provided safely and “in a nondiscriminatory manner enabling equal access to all.”

In a statement later Thursday, Uber said it was disappointed with the ruling and vowed to appeal.

Uber maintained that it provided what information it could without risking the privacy of riders and drivers.

Uber lets people use smartphone applications to summon and pay for rides provided by drivers using their own cars.

The San Francisco-based company last month made its billionth trip in a milestone for the global ridesharing service.

Uber has expanded to hundreds of cities around the world in at least 68 countries, offering new options for both riders and drivers but also running into complaints from the taxi industry and regulators.

The company has reached a valuation of more than $50 billion based on private investment disclosed to date.

Uber still faces competition from US-based Lyft and other global startups.


Netflix Says Will Block Proxy Access to Content Not Available Locally

Netflix Says Will Block Proxy Access to Content Not Available Locally

Netflix doesn’t mind its users sharing their account with friends and family but the popular on-demand streaming service disapproves of the usage of unblockers and proxies. The company has announced that it will be blocking such tools in the coming weeks. As a result, you are unlikely to be able to stream shows and movies that are not available in your region.

The video streaming giant has long expressed its concerns over the usage of tools that allow users to fake their location to access content that isn’t available in their home country. But so far, Netflix has maintained a relaxed approach towards it, turning a blind eye to the fact that many of its users are indulging in such practices. That has changed.

[…] in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are,” David Fullagar, Netflix’s vice president of content delivery architecture, wrote in a blog post. “We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”

Netflix ‘s catalogue houses more than 34,000 movies, documentaries, and TV shows titles. However, not all content is available in every region. For instance, Kevin Spacey-starrer House of Cards is not available in India. This sort of unavailability of content, as you can imagine, has led many users to use apps and services such as Smartflix that circumvent the geo-location barriers and provide users access to a wider catalogue.

To understand Netflix’s move, you have to realise that the company has a partnership with content owners, and it has to respect the licensing deals in every region. Moving forward, however, Netflix intends to sort out its licensing deals so that all of its content is available everywhere. But that is likely going to take years. To recall, Netflix launched its service in India and 129 other countries earlier this month.

“If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or ‘unblockers’ to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in. We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere,” Fullagar added.