WhatsApp Launches Media Blitz to Dispel India’s Fake News Woes

WhatsApp Launches Media Blitz to Dispel India's Fake News Woes

A newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp

Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging platform on Tuesday published advertisements in key Indian newspapers to tackle the spread of misinformation, its first such effort to combat a flurry of fake messages that prompted mob lynchings.

Beatings and deaths triggered by false incendiary messages in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users, caused a public relations nightmare, sparking calls from authorities for immediate action.

“Together we can fight false information,” read full-page advertisements in some top English language-newspapers, part of a series that will also feature in regional-language dailies.

It urged users to check information before sharing it and cautioned them about the spread of fake news.

“We are starting an education campaign in India on how to spot fake news and rumours,” a WhatsApp spokesman said in a statement.

“Our first step is placing newspaper advertisements in English and Hindi and several other languages. We will build on these efforts.”

During the week, it aims to publish similar advertisements in regional dailies across India, from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in the west to the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh in the north, it added.

WhatsApp has previously said it is tweaking features and giving users controls in its effort to rein in false messages.

It is also testing the labelling of messages to show users when a message received is just a forward, rather than one created by the sender.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

ISRO Successfully Launches GSAT-6A Communication Satellite

ISRO Successfully Launches GSAT-6A Communication Satellite

The GSLV-F08 rocket carrying GSAT-6A satellite.

India on Thursday successfully launched the GSAT-6A satellite that would provide mobile communication facilities, using its heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08), in a copybook style.

The GSLV-MkII rocket slung the satellite in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) from where it would be taken up to its final geostationary orbit by three orbit raising manoeuvres.

ISRO’s scientists at the mission control centre were visibly happy, slapping each others’ backs and hugging each other once the rocket ejected the satellite into the intended orbit.

Precisely at 4.56pm, the GSLV rocket ascended into the sky from the second launch pad here at Satish Dhawan Space Centre and the 49.1-metre tall rocket, weighing 415.6 tonnes, slung the two-tonne satellite into the intended orbit 17.46 minutes into its flight.

The purpose of the satellite is to provide mobile communication applications in S-band in five spot beams and C-band in one beam during its 10-year lifespan.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the GSAT-6A was similar to the GSAT-6 put into orbit in 2015.

The GSLV is a three stage/engine rocket. The core of first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second stage is the liquid fuel-propelled and the third is the cryogenic engine.

According to ISRO, two improvements – induction of high-thrust Vikas engine and electromechanical actuation system – have been made in the rocket’s second stage this time around.

One of the crucial rocket engines is the cryogenic engine, designed and developed by ISRO, and more efficient than the other two variants as it provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant burnt.

With this successful launch, India established the performance of its GSLV-MkII rocket which in future may fetch orders from third parties for launching their satellites.

India puts into orbit foreign satellites for a fee using its lighter rocket – the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) as their weight is not much.

Revenue for launching satellites depends on the weight of the satellite – higher the weight, higher will be the revenue.

According to the latest Economic Survey, foreign exchange earnings of India from export of satellite launch services increased noticeably in 2015-16 and 2016-17 to Rs. 394 crores and Rs. 275 crores from Rs 149 crores in 2014-15.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Vodafone Launches Itel A20 Smartphone at an ‘Effective Price’ of Rs. 1,590

Vodafone Launches Itel A20 Smartphone at an 'Effective Price' of Rs. 1,590

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Itel A20 will come with a cashback offer worth Rs. 2,100
  • Customers need to stick to the handset for 36 months
  • The cashback will be available through M-Pesa

Vodafone India on Tuesday announced its partnership with China’s Transsion Group-owned Itel Mobile to launch the Itel A20 in the country with an effective price of as low as Rs. 1,590 – actually priced at Rs. 3,690. The subscriber opting the new launch will need to adhere to Vodafone network and the same handset for a period of three years. Previously, Vodafone India tied up with Micromax to offer a cashback worth Rs. 2,200 on its select Bharat and Canvas series 4G smartphones.

Similar to the terms for a customer opting for a 4G Micromax smartphone under the previous cashback offer, buyers picking up the Itel A20 will need to recharge their Vodafone accounts with at least Rs. 150 per month for 36 months. The recharge can be done either cumulatively or as a one-time recharge. At the end of the 18-month span, the customers will receive a cashback of Rs. 900. After another 18 months, Vodafone will offer the rest Rs. 1,200 in the form of a cashback. The cashbacks will be generated through the M-Pesa wallet and can be used to recharge, pay bills, transfer money, or withdraw cash. Eventually, Vodafone will get a chance to retain its subscriber base as well as push its subscribers to continue to use M-Pesa wallet for the next 36 months after purchasing the Itel A20.

The bundled offer for the Itel A20 will be available for Vodafone India subscribers until March 31, 2018.

The Android 7.0 Nougat-based Itel A20 runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 1GB RAM. It sports a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display. The 4G VoLTE-enabled smartphone supports dual-SIM cards (Normal+Micro), packs a 1700mAh battery, and has 8GB of onboard storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). It bears a 2-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) front camera. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. It will be available in Champagne Gold, Dark Blue, and Silver colour variants.

“We are delighted to partner with Itel to hand hold customers as they transition from feature phone to smartphone and provide a rich experience with Vodafone SuperNet 4G. We firmly believe, that affordable handsets along with pocket-friendly data prices will accelerate data adoption. The exciting cashback offers will make this digital journey a more affordable and enriching one for our customers,” said Avneesh Khosla, Associate Director – Consumer Business, Vodafone India, in a press statement.

Vodafone isn’t alone in the race of bringing smartphone bundling offers in India. Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel partnered with Intex to launch the Intex Aqua Lions N1 for an effective price of Rs. 1,649 under its Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative. BSNL also brought the Micromax Bharat 1 as a rival against Rs. 999 Jio Phone back in October. Further, Vodafone even partnered with Micromax last month to offer Rs. 2,200 cashback on the Micromax Bharat 2 Plus, Micromax Bharat 3, Micromax Bharat 4, and the Micromax Canvas 1.

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Itel A20

Itel A20

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

4.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

480×800 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery Capacity

1700mAh

Also See
  • Itel it5231(Blue) – OFFER
    Rs.1,420
  • Itel IT5231 (Champagne Gold) – OFFER
    Rs.1,490
  • Itel iT5233 (Grey) – OFFER
    Rs.1,785

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Dalai Lama Launches iOS App That Provides Updates on His Travels and Teachings

Dalai Lama Launches iOS App That Provides Updates on His Travels and Teachings

He already has millions of Twitter followers and has spoken of the wonders of new technology. Now the Dalai Lama has launched a new iPhone app so devotees can keep track of his travels and teachings.

The 82-year-old Buddhist monk announced the new app, which will allow users to watch live video of his teachings, to his 16.6 million Twitter followers on Thursday.

It promises official news, videos and photos from the office of the Tibetan spiritual leader.

However, it does not appear on Apple’s China app store, meaning most Tibetans will not be able to access it.

The technology giant has previously blocked iPhone applications related to the Dalai Lama and other exiles from its China store.

The Buddhist leader has embraced modern technologies in the past, although it is not known whether he himself uses a smartphone.

In 2014 he said new technologies had made a lot of things easier, but warned against allowing phones and computers to dictate how we live.

“Without technology, humanity has no future, but we have to be careful that we don’t become so mechanised that we lose our human feelings,” he said.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]