Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications Virtual Merger Is Complete: Anil Ambani

Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications Virtual Merger Is Complete: Anil AmbaniReliance Jio, Reliance Communications Virtual Merger Is Complete: Anil Ambani
Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani on Tuesday said the company had all the spectrum that is needed to offer good-quality telecom services across 2G, 3G and 4G space, and that a virtual merger with Reliance Jio had now been effected.

“The other telcom companies will have to spend heavily on spectrum to survive. We are confident about the future of Reliance Communications and its market position,” Ambani told the shareholders of the company here.


“We have all the spectrum we need for 2G, 3G and 4G services plus spectrum trading and sharing agreements with Reliance Jio,” he said, adding: “We have accomplished a virtual merger between Reliance Communications and Reliance Jio.”
The company chairman said that after the merger with Aircel, the combined entity will be among the top operators in 12 circles in India. He said that within 90 days of launch, the subscriber base of the company’s 4G services had already crossed the 1 million customer-mark using over 1GB data.


He also expressed confidence that the company’s debt will be cut by 75 percent within a year.

Sony Reveals Android 7.0 Nougat Rollout Timeline for Its Smartphones

Sony Reveals Android 7.0 Nougat Rollout Timeline for Its Smartphones
Android 7.0 Nougat coming first to Xperia XZ and Xperia X Performance
Company reveals rollout plan at Slovakia press conference
Android 7.0 Nougat rollout will continue till early 2017
As soon as Google started rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat, Sony wasted no time in releasing the list of its smartphones that will be getting the firmware update. However, the company didn’t reveal the timeline for these updates at the time. The company has now reportedly revealed the timeline for the rollout at its Slovakia press conference.

The software update will be first making its way to company’s flagship smartphones Xperia XZ and Xperia X Performance around October and will then roll out to other smartphones, as per a report by Slovakian website MojAndroid.

Smartphones Xperia X and Xperia X Compact will be receiving the update around November while the Xperia Z5 series, Xperia Z3+, and Xperia Z4 Tablet will be getting the update around December, as per a company slide. The last batch of smartphones to receive the update will be Xperia XA and Xperia XA Ultra, which are slated to get Android 7.0 Nougat in early 2017.
The list of devices mentioned at the press conference includes all devices that were listed by the company earlier. It should be noted that only these devices from Sony will be getting the Android 7.0 Nougat update.

Interestingly, Sony Xperia E5, which was launched in May this year, will not be getting the update. Further, the Sony Xperia Z4 and Xperia Z4v, released in the second quarter of 2015, have been left out of Nougat treatment by the company as well.

YouTube Offensiveness Offensive Offends Users. YouTube Disables Comments

YouTube Offensiveness Offensive Offends Users. YouTube Disables Comments
‘YouTube Heroes’ video had garnered 1,015,700 views by Friday morning
The video garnered an overwhelming “thumbs down” (342,033 of them)
Some suggested it was a “snitch” rewards program
The Internet, as everyone knows, is riddled with racist, sexist, sadist ranters, not to mention trolls, stalkers, savage bullies and inciters of mayhem, from sextortion to child pornography to terrorism. A whole industry now exists of “moderators,” thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of them, paid to patrol sites like Facebook and Twitter, along with news sites like The Washington Post and New York Times, weeding out offensive posts and comments.

YouTube, among others, has tried a variety of tactics, including real-name requirements using Google (Plus), designed to subdue the beast, “flagging” by users to alert its moderators to content for possible removal and an elite corps of “Trusted Flaggers,” which the Google-owned company says “gives users access to more advanced flagging tools as well as periodic feedback, making flagging more effective and efficient.”

All this to modest avail, despite the fact that, as YouTube reports, “over 90 million people have flagged videos on YouTube since 2006 – that’s more than the population of Egypt – and over a third of these people have flagged more than one video.”

So on Thursday it proposed something new, “YouTube Heroes,” essentially a gaming effort to entice users into, among other things, “mass flagging” of offensive content, which would then be reviewed by professionals and if warranted, removed. Here’s how it’s supposed to work, according to YouTube blog post:

“YouTube Heroes will have access to a dedicated YouTube Heroes community site that is separate from the main YouTube site, where participants can learn from one another. Through the program, participants will be able to earn points and unlock rewards to help them reach the next level. For example, Level 2 Heroes get access to training through exclusive workshops and Hero hangouts, while Level 3 Heroes who have demonstrated their proficiency will be able to flag multiple videos at a time (something Trusted Flaggers can already do) and help moderate content strictly within the YouTube Heroes Community site.”

YouTube explained the Heroes program with a little video, below.

By early Friday morning, it had garnered 1,015,700 views.

It had also garnered an overwhelming “thumbs down” (342,033 of them) versus “thumbs up” (5,500).

At some point, the comments must have grown so hostile that they were disabled. An email to YouTube’s press office yielded no immediate response.
But the reaction among YouTube users on Twitter, along with a bunch of parodies posted on YouTube and elsewhere provides a (moderated) glimpse of the reaction. Some suggested it was a “snitch” rewards program. Others said it would encourage YouTube vigilantism.

And still others saw YouTube Heroes as a way of having users do the work the company ought to be paying for.

“As someone who’s had vids falsely reported because angry mobs were angry at them, #YouTubeHeroes seems like an idea that can go bad quick,” tweeted Jim Sterling.

“So if I have this right,” tweeted someone going under the name of ToddInTheShadows, “YouTube Heroes is more accurately YouTube Vigilante Mobs?”

Twitter and YouTube itself were swamped with new videos ridiculing the idea.

Apart from the merits of the idea, some suggested that YouTube’s way of introducing it left too much to the fertile imagination of some users and perhaps the pecuniary aspirations of others. Some YouTubers make good money from sponsorships of their videos.

“This is a huge undertaking that you tried to explain in a minute-thirty with a nice little video,” Dan Speerin, a YouTube creator and vice-president of the Independent Web Series Creators of Canada (IWCC), told the CBC. “We need more info.”

And in fairness, there’s kind of an iron law under which no regular user ever likes anything new introduced by the likes of Google, Facebook or Twitter.

“We don’t know if an online community of unpaid volunteers will help rid YouTube of some of its nastier trolls, but other sites also encourage users to self-police,” wrote Gordon Gottsegen at CNET, noting that Reddit employs a similar method, “allowing some members to moderate forums and even ban other users if need be. At the very least, YouTube is acknowledging it has a problem with negative comments and inappropriate videos. Let’s hope the program starts making a difference quick.”

HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3700 ‘World’s Smallest All-in-One Printer’ Launched at Rs. 7,176

HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3700 'World's Smallest All-in-One Printer' Launched at Rs. 7,176
Company says printer is half the size of other printers in this range
Printer is optimised to be used with social media platforms
Available in colours Electric Blue, Sea Grass Green, and Cardinal Red
HP on Monday launched its DeskJet Ink Advantage 3700 all-in-one inkjet printer in India, which company claims is the smallest of its kind. The printer can be controlled by using a mobile application and has been priced at Rs. 7,176.

The company claims that the DeskJet Ink Advantage 3700 is half the size of other inkjet all-in-one printers in its class. Apart from its compact factor, the printer is also said to be optimised for use with social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, with the company’s HP Social Media Snapshots application.

Users can print and share pictures from Facebook, Flickr, or even their smartphone’s camera roll with the mobile application. The DeskJet Ink Advantage 3700 printer is available in Electric Blue, Sea Grass Green, and Cardinal Red colours.

The HP All-in-One Printer Remote mobile application for the printer is available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. It allows users features like scanning, printing, and copying wirelessly from their smartphones or tablets.
“The needs of today’s consumers are fast evolving, they crave for tiny, wireless devices that fit into their lifestyle and enable them to stay connected, social and productive wherever they may be. HP’s new DeskJet Ink Advantage printers are designed inside out to turn the traditional consumer printing experience on its head with its innovative, fun design and intuitive mobile connectivity from virtually any device or social network,” company’s Printing Systems Director Parikshet Singh Tomar was quoted as saying in the release.

The company seems to be targeting a wide range of age groups with the printers as it says that the compactness and aesthetics of the printers have been designed to match the needs of the millennials, students, and parents.

Nintendo NX Production Trials Underway

Nintendo NX Production Trials Underway: Sources

  • Foxconn is undertaking trial productions of Nintendo’s next console
  • Annual production is estimated to be around 9.5 to 10 million
  • Nintendo has yet to officially announce the NX

Although Nintendo hasn’t officially announced its new console, codenamed NX, that hasn’t stopped its partners and developers from providing a steady stream of information on what to expect. Earlier in the week The Pokemon Company’s CEO confirmed it would be a home console and handheld hybrid while prior to this, reports have indicated it would use cartridges. Now it appears that production trials for it are underway.


According to industry sources speaking to Digitimes, Foxconn has undertaken trial production of the new console. This is necessary prior to full scale commercial production in order to unearth any defects in the production process. Foxconn is the largest OEM for Nintendo NX, followed by Japan-based Misumi Electronics and Hosiden, the sources noted. Annual production of Nintendo NX is estimated at 9.5 to 10 million units, the sources said. It seems like a rather ambitious number considering how poorly the Wii U sold. Nonetheless, Nintendo appears to have the software in the works to drive demand.


“Developer Game Freak will bring Pokemon to the platform, while Nintendo’s first party titles include the previously announced Zelda game – Breath of the Wild – and a new Mario game,” posted UK games business site MCV citing those close to Nintendo. What’s telling is that these three games are “scheduled to appear within the first six months of the machine’s life.”


MCV’s sources also corroborated Eurogamer’s report that claimed the NX will be a portable console, stating it is “100 percent accurate.”

In terms of tech don’t expect it to be on par with current generation consoles. The NX’s visuals will be “somewhere between a PS3 and PS4”. No surprise considering that it’s rumoured to run a Nvidia Tegra mobile chip.


Nintendo NX to Have ‘Different Experience from What Exists Today

Nintendo NX to Have 'Different Experience from What Exists Today': Ubisoft CEO

  • Ubisoft’s CEO believes the NX will bring unique experiences to gamers
  • The NX could be more inclusive after the commercial failure of the Wii U
  • Nintendo has yet to announce the NX officially

With the Nintendo NX rumoured to be in production trials, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot talked up the potential of the Kyoto-based company’s next console at a Ubisoft event.

“I think, once again, the interface is very attractive,” he said. “It’s a machine that will be easy to use for all gamers. They have built in something that will give us chance to really have a different experience from what exists today,” he said in conversation with IGN. “That’s what I like – that they come with something new that is adapted to what we actually want now.”

During a separate presentation, he called it “a fantastic machine”, stating that “I think it’s a really new approach, it’s really Nintendo, coming with something new again. We love it.”

Although the Wii U has been regarded as a sales failure, Guillemot believes that Nintendo has learned the error of its ways.


 “What we see is that Nintendo has learned from the Wii U. All publishers learn from what they do, and then come with something new and more attractive, which I think is the case here.”

This comes on the back of The Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara confirming that it would be a handheld and home console.

“The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara in conversation with The Wall Street Journal. “We will make games for the NX.”

Although the NX is due in March next year, we’ve yet to see Nintendo make an official announcement just yet. It seems to be content with the heads of other companies doing the talking right now. Hopefully this will change in the weeks to come.


BlackBerry to Resell App From Firm That Found Stagefright Android Bug

BlackBerry to Resell App From Firm That Found Stagefright Android Bug

BlackBerry has agreed to offer anti-hacking software from a startup that last year discovered a major Android bug, it said on Wednesday, as the once-dominant smartphone company seeks to leverage ties to corporate and government clients to boost its software revenue.

BlackBerry’s enterprise sales force will resell Zimperium’s zIPS mobile threat protection application to customers of its mobile device management services, the two companies said in a statement.

Zimperium said the product costs $10 a month per device, with bulk discounts available, and thatBlackBerry will take an undisclosed cut of sales.

Zimperium, founded in 2010 by a former security researcher for the Israeli military, uses complex algorithms to churn through reams of data to defend against hacking of devices running on Apple’s iOS and Alphabet’s Android operating systems.

The service will not be available to users of BlackBerry’s own operating system. BlackBerry’s two newest handsets run on Android, and more such devices are expected from the company.

Alphabet’s Google and Samsung started issuing monthly security fixes for Android phones soon after a Zimperium employee last year discovered the Stagefright vulnerability which allows attackers to access sensitive content.


WhatsApp Beta for Android Update Brings New iOS 10-Like Emojis

WhatsApp Beta for Android Update Brings New iOS 10-Like Emojis

  • New emojis have female counterparts of male emojis
  • Update brings famous water gun emoji to the app
  • New emojis have been introduced to the beta for Android

It has been a long time since emojis came into mainstream usage and now, people actually look forward to the various changes that different companies try with the new emojis. In order to catch up with the design changes in emojis of iOS 10, WhatsApp has now introduced new emojis to the beta version of its Android app, specifically, v2.16.274.

The new emojis are very similar to those present in iOS 10, and have a redesigned look that provides them with a distinguished 3D appearance. Several of these new emojis will find their way to Unicode’s Emoji 4.0 update in November, and many are already present in Android 7.0 Nougat, apart from iOS 10. To get the latest beta version, you can either sideload the apk, or, sign up on Google Play to become a beta tester for Android.


It seems like companies have started acknowledging the presence of diversity in the society as after introduction of various skin tones earlier, new emojis include various gender options as well. The new emojis include a policewoman, a girl who is running, and parents of same gender as well.

The new emojis include a female weightlifter, and women professionals in different sports like basketball, swimming, running, skateboarding, weightlifting, and cycling.

Interestingly, the new emojis also include the famous ‘water gun’ emoji introduced by Apple with iOS 10 to depict gun as a toy rather than a pistol. The move was followed by the decision taken by the Unicode Consortium, the tech industry group that approves emoji, to not include glyphs of a rifle and a man shooting a pistol in its next release.

Regarding the gender neutral emojis in iOS 10, Apple said, “This exciting update brings more gender options to existing characters, including new female athletes and professionals, adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag and more family options.”


Google Pixel, Pixel XL Phones Tipped to Launch With Android 7.1 Nougat

Google Pixel, Pixel XL Phones Tipped to Launch With Android 7.1 Nougat

  • Leaks suggest Pixel phones will come out with Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Leaked renders show the front panel of the upcoming smartphones
  • GCF Certification further confirms HTC has made the upcoming phones

There is no shortage of leaks for the upcoming Google-branded Pixel phones, and the latest ones in line suggest that the smartphones will come with yet-to-be-released Android 7.1 Nougat. Further, the leaked renders of the smartphones Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL show the front panel designs in their full glory.

As per the tests on Geekbench, Google Pixel phones will come with the upcoming version of Google’s mobile platform and will pack 4GB of RAM. The smartphones are expected to be powered by a Snapdragon 820 SoC (with new revision).

As per a report by Android Headlines, the TPU cases for the smartphones are already available for purchase at AliExpress. The images of the cases suggest that the Pixel XL will carry a fingerprint scanner at the same position as Nexus 5X or a Nexus 6P.

According to another leak from the website, the smartphones have also been spotted passing through Global Certification Forum. The GCF certification has further confirmed that the smartphones will indeed be manufactured by HTC.

In a separate leak, reported by Phone Arena, renders of the front panel of the Pixel smartphones can be seen. The renders suggest that the smartphones will carry a screen size of 4.99-inches and 5.46-inches, in line with earlier leaks.

Last month, Google was reported to be dropping its Nexus-branding, and launch the upcoming smartphones under its own brand. Gadgets 360 also learnt that Google may release the smartphones “in a handful of countries including India” in September.

However, another report recently claimed that the smartphones will be shown at the company’s event on October 4.


Google May Face Over $400 Million Indonesia Tax Bill for 2015

Google May Face Over $400 Million Indonesia Tax Bill for 2015

Indonesia plans to pursue Alphabet Inc’s Google for five years of back taxes, and the search giant could face a bill of more than $400 million (roughly Rs. 2,680 crores) for 2015 alone if it is found to have avoided payments, a senior tax official said.

Muhammad Hanif, head of the tax office’s special cases branch, told Reuters its investigators went to Google’s local office in Indonesia on Monday.

The tax office alleges PT Google Indonesia paid less than 0.1 percent of the total income and value-added taxes it owed last year.

Asked to respond to Hanif’s comments, Google Indonesia reiterated a statement made last week in which it said it continues to cooperate with local authorities and has paid all applicable taxes.

If found guilty, Google could have to pay fines of up to four times the amount it owed, bringing the maximum tax bill to IDR 5.5 trillion ($418 million) for 2015, Hanif said. He declined to provide an estimate for the five-year period.

Most of the revenue generated in the country is booked at Google’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Google Asia Pacific declined to be audited in June, prompting the tax office to escalate the case into a criminal one, Hanif said.

“Google’s argument is that they just did tax planning,” Hanif said. “Tax planning is legal, but aggressive tax planning – to the extent that the country where the revenue is made does not get anything – is not legal.”

The tax office will summon directors from Google Indonesia who also hold positions at Google Asia Pacific, Hanif said, adding that it is working with the Indonesian police.

Globally, it is rare for a state investigation of corporate tax structures to be escalated into a criminal case.

It normally takes at least three years for an Indonesian court to make a decision on a tax criminal case, said Yustinus Prastowo, executive director of the Center for Indonesia Taxation Analysis.

The tax office is planning to chase back taxes from other companies that deliver content through the internet (over-the-top service providers) in Indonesia, Hanif said.

The Indonesian communication and information ministry is working on a new regulation for OTT providers, and the tax office has proposed that a company with a “network presence” in Indonesia should also be subject to taxation.

Total advertising revenue for the industry is estimated at $830 million (roughly Rs. 5,560 crores) a year, with Google and Facebook Inc accounting for around 70 percent of that, according to Hanif.

A joint study by Google and Singapore state investor Temasek released earlier this year, however, estimated the size of Indonesia’s digital advertising market at $300 million (roughly Rs. 2,010 crores) for 2015.