TRAI Defends Data Privacy Paper, Says Consumer Interest Vital

Defending the move of issuing a discussion paper on data privacy and ownership, TRAI chief R S Sharma has said the regulator raised the “right questions” to protect the legitimate interest of telecom consumers, and is mandated to do so.

Brushing off the criticism, the TRAI chief sought to allay industry’s fears on overregulation and jurisdiction, saying people should not presume the outcome or “cry foul” at this stage when the consultation has just about started.

He hoped the consultation paper would create much-needed awareness among telecom consumers about the concept of data protection and ownership, and admitted that value of data is “hugely underestimated” at present.

In an interview to PTI, Sharma said: “I am not raising any undue or illegitimate question. We are raising the right questions about protection of consumer interest and no one should have any problem with that…it is a part of mandate given by law to TRAI, to protect the interest of consumers.”

When asked about industry’s concerns on overregulation by TRAI, Sharma pointed out that only a consultation paper has been released at this point.

“But to cry foul at this stage that we are overreaching, is not correct,” he said.

Sharma said norms will have to be strengthened as data takes centrestage.

Asked if he anticipated such an opposition to the discussion paper during the course of consultation, Sharma said, “one cannot assume what we are going to do will be against one section (or another)…we are going to protect the legitimate interest of our consumers. That is our main mandate”.

On the question of jurisdiction and timing of the paper when the apex court is examining whether right to privacy is a fundamental right and IT Ministry has constituted a panel to work on a data protection framework, Sharma said TRAI’s consultation is limited to telecom networks.

TRAI Defends Data Privacy Paper, Says Consumer Interest Vital“This is a very limited consultation, with an intention to create a robust framework for protection, privacy and ownership of data in the telecom sector. Privacy as a larger concept is not being touched…We are only talking of data generated in telecom (network),” he said.

In any case, TRAI’s recommendations can also be used as inputs by the government or appropriate authorities, he added.

Earlier this week, the regulator floated a discussion paper on developing a framework that can give people more control over their personal data and prevent chances of misuse by various sources amid lingering privacy concerns.

The paper is titled ‘Privacy, Security and Ownership of Data in the Telecom Sector’ and stakeholders have been asked to submit their comments by September 8 and counter comments by September 22, 2017.

However, cellular body COAI claimed that questions posed by TRAI paper are very broad and that “the risk is of over regulating an industry where technological changes and innovation can rapidly make any regulation outdated”.

“There are also questions of jurisdiction that need to be answered…TRAI is better off holding workshops and conferences on the subject and then decide the question of the desirability of a discussion paper and its boundaries,” Rajan Mathews, Director General of COAI said.

Reliance Jio’s MyJio App Crosses 100 Million Downloads on Google Play Store

Reliance Jio’s MyJio app has reached a new milestone on Google Play. The Android app for all Reliance Jio users has reached 100 million downloads on Google Play pointing to the growing base of the relatively new telecom player. Notably, the MyJio app is currently listed as ninth ‘Top Free in Android Apps’ list on Google Play. To recall, Reliance Jio’s MyJio app broke into top free app list on Google Play in September last year. Reliance Jio’s MyJio app is said to have reached the milestone in less than a year.

For those unaware, MyJio is the official app for Reliance Jio subscribers, where they can perform recharges and also check their balance from the app itself. Other Jio apps listed on the Google Play are the Jio4GVoice and JioTV which have raked in 50 million downloads. Other apps like JioMusic; JioCinema; JioMoney Wallet, which is still in Beta, and JioChat which have managed 10 million downloads on the Google Play.

Reliance Jio's MyJio App Crosses 100 Million Downloads on Google Play Store“MyJio has crossed 100 million downloads on Google Play. It is the second Indian mobile application to cross 100 million download mark and first self-care mobile application from an operator,” a source at Reliance Jio who did not wish to be named told PTI.

Other telecom players like Airtel, Vodafone, and others are yet to reach this milestone. To compare, MyVodafone Android app has raked in 10 million downloads while My Airtel app has also the same number of downloads.

Netflix Says in Discussions With Disney Over Marvel, Star Wars Films

Netflix is in “active discussions” with Walt Disney Company about keeping Marvel and Star Wars films after 2019 when new Disney and Pixar movies will stop appearing on the streaming service, a senior Netflix executive said on Thursday.

Disney announced on Tuesday that it was pulling new Disney and Pixar films from Netflix starting with its new releases in 2019 and will put the movies on a new Disney-branded online service.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger told analysts the company had not yet decided where it would distribute superhero films from Marvel Studios and movies from Star Wars producer Lucasfilm, which Disney owns, at that time.

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Reuters “we are still in active discussions” with Disney about the possibility of securing a deal to retain the rights to stream Marvel and Lucasfilm releases on Netflix after 2019.

Netflix Says in Discussions With Disney Over Marvel, Star Wars FilmsA Disney spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Iger said on Tuesday the Marvel and Lucasfilm movies could go to Netflix or another streaming service after 2019, or Disney might retain the rights for itself.

Sarandos said he expected Disney’s service would be “complementary” to Netflix, which carries other family-friendly programming such as animated movies from Despicable Me creator Illumination Entertainment and Shrek producer Dreamworks Animation.

Disney’s plan to stream its content directly to consumers is “a natural evolution” for traditional media companies that Netflix expected, Sarandos said in an interview at an event to celebrate Emmy nominations for Netflix drama The Crown.

“That’s why we got into the originals business five years ago, anticipating it may be not as easy a conversation with studios and networks” to license their content, he added.

Gmail for iOS Gets Anti-Phishing Security Checks Like Android

Earlier this year, Google introduced anti-phishing security checks for Android version of its app that will warn users against opening suspicious links. This move from the company, incidentally, came right after a phishing scam spread widely on the platform and tricked people with what appeared to be Google Docs links inside Gmail. Now, months later, the search giant has introduced the same checks on iOS version of its app as well.

From now on, when you click on a suspicious link in a Gmail message on either iPhone or iPad, the app will show the warning that would tell you to exercise caution before opening the link. “We recommend that you use caution before proceeding, because the link is likely unsafe. Only proceed if you’re confident there’s no risk,” the company said in its post.

Gmail for iOS Gets Anti-Phishing Security Checks Like AndroidIf the user still chooses to open the link that the app knows is dangerous, it will take them to a different page that will warn against visiting the original URL. As you might have understood by now, these warnings are just in place to safeguard users against the phishing attacks and protect their account from mails with suspicious links.

This feature from the company is similar to the Safe Browsing feature that was added to Gmail for Google Chrome users on the desktop last year. The Safe Browsing feature presents users with a warning when they receive an email with a link to website known to be associated with phishing, malware, or unwanted software.

Itel PowerPro P41 With 5000mAh Battery Launched in India: Price, Specifications

After the Wish A41+, mobile company Itel has launched a new budget smartphone in India. The Itel PowerPro P41 smartphone is priced at Rs. 5,999, and its big highlight is its mammoth 5000mAh battery, and 4G VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and ViLTE 4G (Video over LTE) capabilities. The smartphone has been made available in Graphite, Silver Grey, and Champagne colour options.

Design wise, the Itel PowerPro P41 sports a metal frame, capacitive navigation buttons, and power and volume keys on the right edge of the smartphone. At the back resides the speaker and the single camera setup.

As for specifications, the Itel PowerPro P41 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a 5-inch WVGA (480×854 pixels) IPS display. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is at 8GB that is further expandable via a microSD (up to 32GB).

Itel PowerPro P41 With 5000mAh Battery Launched in India: Price, SpecificationsIn the camera department, the Itel PowerPro P41 has a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with dual-LED flash support. At the front, there is a 2-megapixel sensor for selfies and video chatting. The big highlight is the 5000mAh battery that is rated to offer up to 95 hours of music playback time, standby time of up to 35 days, up to 18.2 hours of uninterrupted video playback, and talk time of up to 51 hours. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, OTG, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and GPS support.

Speaking on the launch, Sudhir Kumar, CEO – itel Mobile India, said in a statement, “With a steadfast emphasis on innovation, itel Mobile as a brand strives to add value to the lives of its users and satisfy their mobility requirements through its performance-driven range of smartphones. Following our successful foray into the 4G smartphone category with Wish series and selfie series, the launch of PowerPro P41 highlights our commitment to provide best-in-class products to our customers. The PowerPro series is renowned for its exceptional battery life and powerful performance. Equipped with state-of-the-art features, such as the latest Android 7.0 Nougat and an unmatched long-lasting battery, the PowerPro P41 is the perfect combination of high-grade performance and stylish design aimed at delighting Indian customers.”

The Itel PowerPro P41 comes with a multi-account feature that allows users to simultaneously operate two accounts on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The device also has the Xender app pre-installed.

InstantCAD Tool Promises to Make 3D Design Easier and Faster

To make computer-aided design (CAD) programmes process easier and faster, researchers have developed a new tool called “InstantCAD” that lets designers interactively edit, improve and optimise CAD models using a more streamlined workflow.

Developed by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Columbia University, “InstantCAD” integrates with existing CAD programmes as a plug-in.

“From more ergonomic desks to higher-performance cars, this is really about creating better products in less time,” says Adriana Schulz, lead author of the study.

“We think this could be a real game changer for automakers and other companies that want to be able to test and improve complex designs in a matter of seconds to minutes, instead of hours to days,” Schulz said in a paper that will be presented at SIGGRAPH computer-graphics conference in Los Angeles this month.

With “InstantCAD”, the process of improving and optimising the design can be done in real-time, saving engineers days or weeks, the research said.

InstantCAD Tool Promises to Make 3D Design Easier and FasterAfter an object is designed in a commercial CAD programme, it is sent to a cloud platform where multiple geometric evaluations and simulations are run at the same time.

Users can instantly improve and optimise the design in two ways with this precomputed data.

With “interactive exploration”, a user interface provides real-time feedback on how design changes will affect performance, like how the shape of a plane wing impacts air pressure distribution.

With “automatic optimisation”, users can simply tell the system to give a design with specific characteristics, like a drone that’s as light in weight as possible while still able to carry the maximum amount of weight.

“‘InstantCAD’ could be particularly helpful for more intricate designs for objects like cars, planes, and robots, particularly for industries like car manufacturing that care a lot about squeezing every little bit of performance out of a product,” said Wojciech Matusik, Associate Professor at MIT.

After Musk Remark, Zuckerberg Shares One Reason Why He’s So Optimistic About AI

Hours after billionaire Elon Musk made a public aspersion about Mark Zuckerberg’s knowledge, by saying Facebook chief executive’s understanding of artificial intelligence is “limited,” Zuckerberg has reaffirmed why he is so optimistic about the nascent technology. To recall, Musk was responding to Zuckberberg’s comments made during a Facebook Live broadcast, where the Facebook CEO called out naysayers.

In a public post, Zuckerberg congratulated his company’s AI research division for winning the best paper award at the “top” computer vision conference for research in “densely connected convolutional networks” subject.

In the same post, Zuckerberg shared “one reason” why he is so optimistic about AI. These efforts, he said, could bring “improvements in basic research across so many different fields — from diagnosing diseases to keep us healthy, to improving self-driving cars to keep us safe, and from showing you better content in News Feed to delivering you more relevant search results.”

After Musk Remark, Zuckerberg Shares One Reason Why He's So Optimistic About AI“Every time we improve our AI methods, all of these systems get better. I’m excited about all the progress here and it’s potential to make the world better,” Zuckerberg said, whose company already uses a range of AI-powered tools to, among other things, serve relevant posts to around two billion people on the planet.

Zuckerberg’s remarks comes merely hours after Tesla and Space X founder and CEO Elon Muskcriticised Zuckerberg’s inability to foresee the evil side of artificial intelligence. Musk believes that all these AI efforts need to be regulated by the government, as otherwise there is a chance one day these AI-powered robots would kill humans, in what he describes as the “doomsday” scenario.

Over the weekend, in a Facebook Live session, Zuckerberg without calling out Musk, said “naysayer’s” predictions about “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.” When a user asked about Musk’s views on Zuckeberg’s remarks, Musk tweeted Tuesday that he has spoken to Mark Zuckerberg and reached the conclusion that his understanding of AI is limited.

HBO Hackers Threaten to Leak More Data on Sunday: Report

The hackers behind the recent HBO breach earlier this week, who claim to have leaked unaired episodes of the network’s shows, including the highly popular fantasy drama Game Of Thrones, have now threatened to release additional content from the hack on the coming Sunday.

In an automated email reply sent to Variety, the hackers wrote that they will “release the leak gradually every week,” adding that the next release may come on “Sunday”.

The group also repeated its claim that it had obtained a total of 1.5 terabytes of data when it broke into HBO’s computer networks.

The news first broke out on Tuesday when the hackers released a handful of unaired episodes of HBOshows, as well as other internal data, online.

HBO Hackers Threaten to Leak More Data on Sunday: ReportThe network has acknowledged the hack, but has not given out any details about the types of files hackers were able to obtain.

On Tuesday, a company called IP-Echelon filed a report with Google on behalf of HBO, noting that the named website “shares thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents.” IP-Echelon. regularly files such copyright-infringement notices on behalf of large media entertainment companies, including HBO.

Federal law requires Internet companies like Google to remove links to sites that infringe copyright once they receive such notifications. Google routinely forward such notices to the longstanding public-interest repository Lumen, formerly known as Chilling Effects, once it has complied.

Google Stamp Said to Be in Testing With Publishers, a Snapchat Discover-Style Tool

Alphabet Inc’s Google is developing technology that media companies could use to create stories similar to those found on Snapchat’s “Discover” platform, a person familiar with the plans said on Friday.

Google’s project, dubbed “Stamp,” is in the early stages of testing with publishers, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Tech firms including Google, Snapchat’s owner Snap Inc and Facebook are racing to develop publishing tools for media companies, hoping to fill their own apps with news, entertainment, sports and other content.

The challenge for such tools is making them faster and easier to use than a Web browser, while creating an interesting experience for users.

Google Stamp Said to Be in Testing With Publishers, a Snapchat Discover-Style ToolSnapchat’s “Discover” tab is distinct in the way it integrates video clips with text and photos, allowing users to skip to a new story or advertisement with the touch of a finger.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the development of Google Stamp earlier on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Google has been in discussions with several publishers, including Vox Media, Time Warner’s CNN, Mic, the Washington Post and Time Inc to participate in the project, the newspaper said.

Google said in a statement: “We don’t have anything to announce at the moment but look forward to sharing more soon.”

The name Stamp echoes an existing Google product, Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, that allows for faster loading of online news stories. Facebook has a competing product, Instant Articles.

MobiKwik Looks to Raise $100 Million in Funding This Year to Fuel Expansion

Mobile wallet company MobiKwik is looking at raising over $100 million (roughly Rs. 637 crores) from investors this year to fuel its expansion.

MobiKwik recently inked an agreement with Bajaj Finance under which the latter invested Rs. 225 crores (about $35 million) in the digital payments company for a 10.83 percent stake.

“We had said that we plan to raise about $150 million and this investment (from Bajaj Finance) is the first tranche. We are in talks with private equity and venture capitalists to raise over $100 million,” MobiKwik Co-Founder Upasana Taku told PTI.

She added that more funding is expected to come in during the latter half of the year.

The deal with Bajaj Finance values the company at over $300 million (roughly Rs. 1,911 crores).

MobiKwik has so far raised over $85 million in funding from investors like South Africa’s payments major Net1, Sequoia Capital, American Express, Tree Line Asia and Cisco Investments.

It claims to have a network of more than 15 lakh direct merchants and over 55 million users.

Talking about the Bajaj Finance partnership, Taku said the two companies will collaborate to launch many “sector-first and industry-first services” on its app.

MobiKwik Looks to Raise $100 Million in Funding This Year to Fuel ExpansionUnder the agreement, Bajaj Finance will acquire 10 equity shares and 271,050 compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) of MobiKwik.

Post conversion of the CCPS, Bajaj Finance would hold about 10.83 percent of equity in MobiKwik. The conclusion of the transaction is subject to fulfilment of certain conditions in due course.

Interestingly, last month, MobiKwik’s rival and Snapdeal-owned FreeCharge was sold to Axis Bank in a Rs. 385 crore deal.

Digital payments have gained significant traction after the government’s decision to ban high-denomination notes in November last year.

Mobile wallet companies like Paytm and MobiKwik have witnessed significant growth in number of users as well as volume of transactions on their platforms.

These companies are also rolling out new features and offers to drive usage and bring new consumers on board.