Now, a creative bot for artists

The Dara chatbot helps you connect with potential collaborators.

Discover like-minded artists and designers from around India and the UK with Dara, India’s first chatbot for creative professionals. Created by the British Council, the bot helps you connect with potential collaborators and a wider audience for ongoing projects. Believed to be one-of-a-kind, Dara came into existence as a result of the British Council’s Open Call for Digital Arts (2018), and has been conceptualized and developed by Bengaluru-based tech artist Archana Prasad and Sean Blagsvedt, head of international growth of Marco Polo, a video communication app. The project has been funded by the British Council for its objective of democratization of the arts.

Prasad is the founder of Jaaga, a Bengaluru-based firm which provides programmes and spaces for creative people, initiatives and enterprises. She believes that the project is in sync with her own practice. “My work is about creating spaces where the creative community and the technology community can meet each other. While a lot of our work is Bengaluru-centric and based on the ground, with Dara we wanted to create something scalable and online,” she says.

The chatbot has been envisioned as a digital friend with deep networks in the creative sector. The makers hope that with time Dara will be able to connect people across the network through email as well as offline interactions. “Dara could host multiple gatherings across cities, inviting people from her network to meet one another. Another way could be aiding people based in, say, Bengaluru and London initiate conversation online and help them embark on a collaboration,” says Prasad.

Initial research involved inviting around 25 respondents from the two countries, drawing from Prasad’s personal network. They were consulted at every stage of the design process. Two months ago, the British Council organized a dinner for 75 creative professionals. These invitees had a history of cultural and creative collaboration. “They were requested to nominate one-two persons. These nominees were then called in for a second event in May this year and became the registered users for Dara,” says Prasad.

The chatbot works on a progressive web application that leverages any browser, be it Chrome or Safari. Dara is also present on Facebook. The team is considering a downloadable app, but that will have to wait for now. “We have 294 users at this point, with a spike in the last two weeks,” says Prasad.

[“source=livemint”]

Now Paytm Money users can track all their mutual fund investments on its app; claims over 1 million customers

Mutual Fund, Mutual Fund Performance In 2018, Equity Mutual Fund, Large Cap, Mid Cap, Small Cap, ELSS, Top Gainers Fund, Top Losers Fund

Paytm Money claimed of registering over 1 million users within six months of launch.

Popular online payment platform Paytm has said that its users would now be able to track the performance of their mutual fund investments on its subsidiary portal Paytm Money for free.

Investors would have to upload their Consolidated Account Statement (CAS) generated via Karvy Fintech on Paytm Money to track their all investments in their portfolio on the Paytm Money app, the company said in a statement.

Paytm Money claimed of registering over 1 million users within six months of launch.

Mutual fund investors putting their money via multiple channels including asset management companies, banks, advisors and distributors don’t get to look at the performance of their investments cohesively under a single platform.

Investors who haven’t invested via Paytm Money app can also track their daily portfolio performance irrespective of their channel or the mode of investment.

“We received many requests & feedback from Paytm Money users to be able to import their external investments to our platform. This assists an investor in keeping track of all investments in one place, further helping in their investment decisions,” said Paytm Money whole-time director Pravin Jadhav.

Paytm Money claimed to have partnered with 34 asset management companies covering over 94% AUM of the mutual fund industry.

Paytm’s mutual fund arm operates from Bengaluru and has a team of over 250 members Paytm Money, which aims to become a full-stack investment and wealth management services company, offer users mutual fund investments starting with Rs 100 via systematic investment plan or lump sum mode.

Recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Paytm’s chief financial officer said that the company is looking at expanding to 1-2 more developed markets this year. He told Reuters that the company has already found its footing in Canada and Japan while many of its commerce and financial services businesses have started to generate revenue and profits.

The company is also reportedly planning to expand into lending and credit cards services.

[“source=financialexpress”]

Free college is now a reality in nearly 20 states

Students who graduate from this tiny tuition-free college make more than Harvard grads

Students who graduate from this tiny tuition-free college make more than Harvard grads   8:30 AM ET Sat, 14 July 2018 | 03:38

“There was no way I could have gone to a university after high school,” said Emily Buckner, 20.

“My parents were laid off during the recession and it set us back a lot,” she said. “When I finished high school, there was nothing.”

Instead, Buckner took advantage of the Tennessee Promise — an offer of two years tuition-free at a community or technical college in the state.

In May, she completed her associate degree and is now enrolled as a junior at Tennessee Technological University, or Tennessee Tech, studying human resources.

Emily Buckner at her Volunteer State Community College graduation

Source: Emily Buckner
Emily Buckner at her Volunteer State Community College graduation

In addition to the state funding, Buckner has relied solely on academic scholarships to pay for school as well as a job at Waffle House, which covers additional expenses such as books and food. She has no student loan debt.

“I know a lot of people go to college and a lot of people don’t,” she said, “I just felt like it was for me.”

She credits the Tennessee Promise for opening the door.

Of the students who started in the program’s first year in 2015, more than 50 percent have been successful, according to Mike Krause, the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and founding director of Tennessee Promise.

More than 20 percent have graduated, another 20 percent are still enrolled and 10 percent successfully transferred to a four-year institution.

Now in its fourth year, the number of applicants is still rising, according to Krause.

“There are students that may have counted themselves out and when they hear that you can go for free that provides a sense of momentum,” Krause said. (Students can use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges or other eligible associate degree programs or vocational schools.)

Other states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon and Rhode Island, have also rolled out statewide free community-college programs and more are expected to follow.

[“source=cnbc”]

Download these gorgeous Asus ROG Phone wallpapers now

The Asus ROG Phone currently isn’t available on all markets and even the US has to wait until October 18 for its release but that doesn’t mean we can’t bask in the glory of the wallpapers, live wallpapers and themes that the gaming handset has to offer. And interestingly enough, not all wallpapers are tacky, which is rather surprising for images that ship with a gaming phone.

Here’s the first batch that the guys over at xda-Developers were able to scrape off. You can download them here and preview them below.

Wallpapers Wallpapers Wallpapers Wallpapers Wallpapers
Wallpapers

Wallpapers Wallpapers Wallpapers Wallpapers Wallpapers
Wallpapers

Some bonus wallpapers obtained by stripping them off from the stock launcher APK. There are a few from the Free Fire battle royale game. Grab them from here.

Wallpapers from the stock theme Wallpapers from the stock theme Wallpapers from the stock theme Wallpapers from the stock theme
Wallpapers from the stock theme

More wallpapers from the stock theme More wallpapers from the stock theme More wallpapers from the stock theme More wallpapers from the stock theme
More wallpapers from the stock theme

What high-end phone doesn’t have a set of live wallpapers today? They are pretty cool as well so make sure to check them out.

As the Asus ROG Phone has an AMOLED display, most of the wallpapers feature a black background, so owners of OLED screens will find them very pleasing.

[“source=pcworld”]