Foodpanda Begins Operating in 13 More Cities

Foodpanda Begins Operating in 13 More Cities


  • Cities include Jaipur, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, etc.
  • Foodpanda wants to get an additional 60,000 delivery partners on board
  • Foodpanda now operates in 20 cities

As part of its aggressive expansion across the country, food delivery platform Foodpanda on Thursday announced its entry into 20 cities. In addition to the 7 cities where Foodpanda had an active delivery partner network in place, 13 cities have gone live starting today with Foodpanda’s delivery partner network on ground. The app has started operations in Jaipur, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Nashik, Nagpur, Mysore, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore.

With Foodpanda’s robust delivery partner network on ground, consumers and restaurant partners will benefit from a seamless experience, it said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to expand Foodpanda’s delivery network to 20 cities across the country. We are in the midst of a fast-paced nationwide expansion with an ambition to serve a billion Indians. We are confident that our cutting edge technology and unique local insights will make Foodpanda, India’s largest and most preferred food experience platform,” said CEO at Foodpanda India, Pranay Jivrajka.

“Being a part of the Ola platform, Foodpanda will explore opportunities to synergise its services and efforts of delivering superior food experiences to cater to a wider pool of customers across these cities,” added Jivrajka.

Foodpanda had also announced its intent to on board an additional 60,000 delivery partners on to its network by the end of October. Tens of thousands of delivery partners have already been on boarded over the past month with Foodpanda expecting to achieve this target well ahead of time.



Syria war: Evacuation begins in besieged towns

A rebel fighter stands near buses carrying people evacuated from the two villages of Kefraya and Foah

Dozens of buses are being used in the evacuation

The Syrian government and rebel groups have begun an operation to move people away from four besieged towns, activists say.

People from Foah and Kefraya, two government-held towns in the north-west, have arrived in Rashideen, west of Aleppo, AFP news agency reports.

Similar operations have begun in rebel-held Madaya, near Damascus. It is not clear if nearby Zabadani, included in the deal, is also being evacuated.

More than 30,000 people will be moved.

Last month, the UN described the situation in the four towns as “catastrophic”, with more than 64,000 civilians “trapped in a cycle of daily violence and deprivation”.

Many people are reported to have died as a result of shortages of food or medicine.

  • ‘Starving to death’ in Madaya
  • Madaya, where children resort to suicide
  • Why is there a war in Syria?
People evacuated from the two villages of Kefraya and FoahImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionPeople evacuated from Foah and Kefraya have been taken to Rashideen

Foah and Kefraya, most of whose residents are Shia Muslims, have been encircled by rebels and al-Qaeda-linked Sunni jihadists since March 2015.

Madaya and Zabadani, which are predominantly Sunni, have meanwhile been besieged since June 2015 by the Syrian army and fighters from Lebanon’s Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement.

The evacuation deal has been brokered by Iran and Qatar. But critics say it amounts to forced demographic change.

Some 4.7 million people live in hard-to-reach and besieged areas in Syria, including 644,000 in UN-declared besieged locations.

Map showing control of Iraq and Syria (13 March 2017)

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran are due to meet in Moscow in the first meeting of the three allies since the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase near Homs.

The US says its strike was in response to a Syrian government chemical attackin the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, in which more than 80 people were killed.

Media captionMr Assad, in an interview approved by the Syrian presidency: “A 100%… fabrication.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied carrying out a chemical attack, calling the reports “fabricated”.

The ministers meeting in Moscow are expected to consider their next move, including what sort of investigation they might back, the BBC’s Ben James in Beirut reports.


With Sony PlayStation VR Now Out, the Search for Virtual Reality’s Killer App Begins

With Sony PlayStation VR Now Out, the Search for Virtual Reality's Killer App Begins

With Sony PlayStation VR Now Out, the Search for Virtual Reality’s Killer App Begins
Sony Corp.’s release of the PlayStation VR on Thursday brings virtual reality to the cusp of mainstream adoption. To make it a must-have home entertainment device, the gadget will need a breakaway hit like Angry Birds or Pokemon Go.

A list of the challenges faced by virtual-reality developers offers hints of what a killer VR app or game might look like. While it could borrow techniques from traditional games, virtual reality’s potential starts to become clearer at the point where conventional approaches start to fall short.

(Also see: Sony PlayStation VR Goes on Sale, Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses)

Consider mobile gaming, which required developers and gamers to think in new ways. The use of touch screens and sensors, short play time and free-to-try business models helped to make smartphone games unique and fueled success in the genre. In the same way, creators are now developing the building blocks for VR.

“These are things that have never been invented before-you can’t look them up,” said Andy Moore, chief executive officer of Radial Games, one of the developers of Fantastic Contraption, a game that lets users build virtual gizmos.

Whatever the first VR mega hit may be, it will most likely use a motion controller. One of the first things people do in virtual reality is look at their hands. Playing with a regular gamepad would shatter the illusion, and that’s why PlayStation VR, Facebook Inc.’s Oculus and HTC Vive all come with controllers that track 3-D hand movements.

Motion controllers are tracked by an outside camera or a sensor to directly translate your movements into VR. See something you want? Reach out and grab it, there’s no need to memorize complex button combinations. This ease of use brings virtual reality to a much a broader audience.

“Manipulating objects with your hands in VR brings out a childlike wonder,” said Alex Schwartz, CEO of Owlchemy Labs, which developed Job Simulator.

(Also see: PlayStation VR First Impressions)

The Exit Burrito
PC-based user elements, such as digital buttons, dials and rectangular menus, also don’t translate well into virtual reality.

“If you want a volume slider, then put an actual speaker in the world with a physical slider that you can grab with your hand,” Moore said. “Don’t do menus. Menus suck.”
For example, in Fantastic Contraption, where users create virtual machines by connecting engine parts and structures together, the toolbar is a cat. The feline is always nearby, ready to help. Menus also lead to clutter. That’s why in the game, magic hats are used to quickly change avatars. To quit a level in Job Simulator, take a bite out of an virtual exit burrito. And another bite to confirm.

(Also see: PlayStation VR India Launch to Be ‘Confirmed in Due Time’; Public Demos Set for IGX 2016)

To teleport or not
One of the thorniest problems is preventing nausea in virtual environments. Base jumping off a skyscraper or tumbling around in zero-G environment usually don’t work well. That’s because much of the sense of presence, the feeling of being somewhere else, comes not from what people see, but the their innate sense of balance. There’s a technical term for when those senses don’t line up: vestibular mismatch.

The challenge has already led to a new technique that’s quickly gaining in popularity-teleportation. While it feels as natural as blinking and doesn’t cause motion sickness, zooming around enemies and obstacles at will can also undermine the illusion of being in a realistic physical space. Budget Cuts, a stealth game that has you sneaking around an office building, has an elegant solution: you can only teleport as far as you can throw.

“Navigation is just a way to get from point A to B, it’s not a game mechanic itself, so why not shortcut it?” said Nicolas Doucet, producer of Playroom VR for Sony’s headset. “Do we really need it?”

What’s most exciting about VR is that many of these tools and techniques are being invented right now. By solving these problems, developers may be doing more than just laying the groundwork for a Clash of Clans in virtual reality. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, for one, believes virtual reality will usher a new era in computing.

(Also see: Facebook Unveils VR Rooms for Socialising; Testing Standalone VR Headset)

“This is the most rewarding work I’ve ever done,” said Moore. “Everything I touch is brand new.”

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Sony, PlayStation VR, PS VR, Virtual Reality, VR, PlayStation 4, Wearables, Gaming


Freedom 251 Delivery Begins, Pokemon Go Is a Rage, Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) Launch, and More News This Week

Freedom 251 Delivery Begins, Pokemon Go Is a Rage, Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) Launch, and More News This Week


  • The Freedom 251 smartphone is supposedly finally ‘out for delivery’
  • Pokemon Go is so successful it boosted Nintendo shares
  • Reliance offers 4G phone with 3 months unlimited service at Rs. 2,999

Another week gone by, and if you missed some of the big tech news stories, we’re here too recap the highlights of the week. These include some enormous launches, more televisions than you’ll likely see in a whole year, and some very exciting scientific developments. Let’s dive right in.

The most anticipated launch of the week was the television event by Ringing Bells where the much delayed Freedom 251 phone finally – supposedly – started deliveries. Apparently, only 5,000 units are going to be delivered, with a total of 200,000 supposed to follow. No firm dates on when the latter will happen.

(Also see: Freedom 251 First Impressions)

At the time the phone first launched, Ringing Bells had circulated an Adcom phone instead, as a “prototype” of its upcoming phone. At the event, Gadgets 360 finally tried out the real Freedom 251, and you can check out our first impressions.

Pokemon Go is predictably a big success to the point where it hugely boosted Nintendo’s shares. The game is not officially out in India yet though it is pretty easy to download, install, and play Pokemon Goif you have an Android phone. The game works just fine – here’s a guide if you want to know more about playing Pokemon Go in India. That guide will surely come in India now that the game’sinternational release has been delayed.

pokemon_go_pikachu_blastoise_charizard.jpgThe other piece of gaming news that has a lot of people excited is that No Man’s Sky is finally ready for release. The game promises to be the ultimate science fiction fantasy of just getting into your space ship and exploring the galaxy, and there is no way that it’s going to please everyone, but we are having a hard time waiting right now.

Samsung launched two new mobile devices this week – the Samsung Galaxy J Max is a VoLTE-enabled 7-inch tablet, while the Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) is a sub-Rs. 10,000 4G phone with new Smart Glow LED notification system. Also this week, Intex launched the Aqua Power 4G with VoLTE support. There was also the launch of the Blu Energy XL with a 6-inch display. Globally, the Sharp Aquos 507SH launched this week as Japan’s first Android One Phone.

The biggest launch in India this week was probably at Samsung’s televisions related event. Samsung launched a whopping 44 different models in a single day, with prices ranging from Rs. 27,990 to Rs. 23,99,900. The company is trying to offer something for everyone across three different product lines, and says that along with Ultra HD, curved panels are going to be the next big sellers.

Some interesting developments in the telecom space include Reliance now offering a 4G phone with unlimited data for three months, at just Rs. 2,999. For now, people are reporting fast and reliable connections too. Of course, as more users get on to the network, that will most likely change. AndBSNL’s operating profit for this year is going to be over Rs. 2,000 crores – hopefully some of the money can be used to actually improve services.

For Samsung though, the week had some bad news too – a new report claims the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is not actually waterproof. The problem is apparently limited to the US variant Galaxy S7 Active, according to well known non-profit organisation Consumer Reports. Samsung has acknowledged the problem, and said that it is investigating.

Meanwhile, if you’re one of the dozen people who owns a smartwatch – don’t go to the ATM. Your smartwatch could reveal your ATM pin warn researchers who were able to track PINs with over 80 percent accuracy. And over 13 lakh Android smartphones in India are impacted by a new kind of malware, which is an astounding figure. There are a lot of things you need to stay aware of, and one of those is the dangers of free public Wi-Fi. Follow our guide to stay safe, and also listen to our discussion on the subject in our weekly podcast.

Twitter meanwhile joins the video streaming wars – while the company owns Periscope, it also hosted a live feed of Wimbledon – the content streaming on Twitter will be a mix of video from Wimbledon, and from ESPN, which holds the rights to the content. Facebook on the other hand was the subject of a study that states it is a haven for narcissists. It might be a good time to switch to Snapchat, which just launched Memories, to save photos and videos, although it is being sued over ‘sexy Discover stories’.

Speaking of things you might want to forget, do you know how much Google knows about you? It’s probably a lot more than you think, and thanks to the My Activity tool, you can check. Google knows everything about you, but you can make it forget the worst parts, for now. Do also check out our guides on pausing location history, and getting Google to stop tracking you on the Web.

The biggest bit of science news this week was from Nasa – the Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s atmosphere in an event planned down almost to the second decades in advance. It’s a stunning scientific feat that could teach us much more about the history of the solar system.We could also be moving towards swarms of autonomous drones – researchers say we’re close todrones that visually coordinate on their own. This could mean fast and efficient aerial e-commerce deliveries, or it could be an essential part of Skynet’s arsenal. Hopefully the former.

Oh, and in case you were wondering – selfie elbow is real, say doctors. Turns out that holding your hand like that time and again to take selfies can cause injuries. As if we needed more proof that selfies are bad for you.

Tags: BSNL, Facebook, Freedom 251, Intex, Juno, Jupiter, Nasa, No Mans Sky, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Reliance,Ringing Bells, Samsung, Selfies, Televisions, Twitter, VoLTE