Airtel, Aircel to Appear Before Parliament Panel on Call Drops

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has called telecom operators Airtel and Aircel to appear before it to brief on the issue of call drops on January 5.

Airtel, Aircel to Appear Before Parliament Panel on Call DropsA notice of the panel said meeting will be held on January 5, 2017 to “to hear the views of the representatives of Bharti Airtel Limited and Aircel Limited on the subject ‘issues related to quality of services and reported call drops”.

The panel, chaired by BJP MP and BCCI President Anurag Thakur, had earlier met officials industry lobby Cellular Operators Association of India and Reliance Jio to discuss call drop issue.

COAI urged the committee to also hear out incumbent operators, including Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, and Vodafone, for a fairer assessment of the situation.

The members of the panel in November meeting, among various issues, sought to know about service quality challenges arising out of free calls being offered by the newcomer RJio, and how these issues are being sorted, as per sources.

As per telecom regulator TRAI report for April-June quarter, maximum call drop was reported on Aircel network across most telecom circles in the country. Call drops were also noticed on the networks of RCom, Telenor, BSNL and Vodafone in April-June period.

Nokia Shares Fall on Patent Dispute With Apple

Nokia shares fell by nearly 5 percent on Thursday in Helsinki as analysts warned a legal battle with Apple could delay for years royalty payments that are vital to shoring up the Finnish company’s profits.

Nokia Shares Fall on Patent Dispute With AppleNokia’s patent licence contract with Apple expires at the end of the year. This week, both sides have taken legal action – with Nokia accusing Apple of violating some technology patents and Apple complaining of being overcharged – suggesting a new deal will be hard to agree.

Nokia filed further complaints against Apple on Thursday, saying it had now filed 40 patents suits in 11 countries covering technologies such as displays, software and chipsets.

“Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products. After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights”, ” Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Nokia patent business said in a statement.

Patent royalties represent a sliver of Nokia’s overall revenue, more than 90 percent of which comes from sales of telecom network equipment. But the licensing payments are highly profitable at a time when the network business is suffering an industry-wide slump.
“Nokia will likely be granted a better licence deal from Apple. But because of the dispute, it could take years to reach a new contract, and royalties will likely come (as) retrospective one-time payments,” said Inderes analyst Mikael Rautanen, who has an “accumulate” rating on Nokia shares.

Once the world’s dominant cellphone maker, Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft in 2014 and focused on its network business as well as a bulging portfolio of mobile device patents.

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um, who follows both companies, said the lawsuits were negative for Apple and Nokia due to litigation costs and uncertainty over the outcome.
“The fact that this did not go to arbitration suggests, to us, that the two sides must be far apart in what each party wants,” he wrote in a note to clients.

“It appears (Apple) is not arguing the validity of the patents but, rather, the rate it deems fair,” he said, adding Nokia could also “choose to file a suit with the International Trade Commission (ITC) to bar Apple from importing handsets into the US.” Um rates both companies’ shares as “market perform”.

Nokia’s patents cover technology that reduces the need for hardware components in a phone, conserves battery life, increases radio reception, helps in recovering lost phones and enables voice recognition, among other features.

The Finnish firm has forecast the run-rate of its patent and brand licensing sales will be about EUR 950 million ($994 million or roughly Rs. 6,449 crores) by the end of 2016, but that it will fall to about 800 million after the Apple deal expires, in the absence of a new one.

Nokia’s total sales in 2016 are expected to top EUR 24 billion (roughly Rs. 162,890 crores).

Its shares in Helsinki closed at EUR 4.5, and are down some 30 percent since the start of 2016. In New York Nokia shares traded down 0.6 percent at 4.73 dollars.

Xiaomi Launches Redmi Note 4 Blue and Black Colour Variants

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 smartphone was launched back in August earlier this year. Initially, the Redmi 4 smartphone was made available in Gold, Silver, and Grey colour variants but Xioami has now announced two new colour variants – Blue and Black.

Xiaomi Launches Redmi Note 4 Blue and Black Colour VariantsThe new Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 colour variants have been only made available for the models with 3GB of RAM/32GB of inbuilt storage and 3GB of RAM/64GB of inbuilt storage, as per a report by GizmoChina. However, the company has maintained the price tag on both Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 variants at CNY 999 and CNY 1,199, respectively.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) 2.5D curved glass display with a pixel density of 401ppi. The Redmi Note 4 is powered by a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 SoC coupled with Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. This Xiaomi smartphone comes with support for expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB).

In terms of optics, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF (phase detection autofocus) and f/2.0 aperture. At front, the Redmi 4 features a 5-megapixel camera, which company claims can click 85-degree wide angle shots.

Further, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 supports a hybrid dual-SIM slot, which means users can choose to go with a combination of either dual-SIM cards or one Micro-SIM and one microSD card. The fingerprint scanner is located on the back panel right below Xiaomi Redmi 4’s rear camera.

In terms of connectivity options, Xiaomi Redm 4 offers 4G with VoLTE, Bluetooth, GPS, Micro-USB, and Glonass. The Redmi Note 4 houses a large 4100mAh battery.

Xiaomi Mi Car Air Purifier Launched Alongside New Anti-Pollution Air Mask

Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi long ago jumped into the business of non-mobile products under its crowdfunding platform Mijia and its Mi Ecosystem sub-brand with manufacturer partners. From electric scooters to rice cookers and jackets, Xiaomi has launched a range of products including air purifiers. Now, the company has launched a new compact air purifier – Mi Car Air Purifier – in China that can be used inside a car. It’s priced at CNY 449 (roughly Rs. 4,400) and will hit the Chinese market starting Tuesday, December 27. Alongside, Xiaomi has also introduced a new anti-fog and haze air mask priced at CNY 69 (roughly Rs. 675).

Xiaomi Mi Car Air Purifier Launched Alongside New Anti-Pollution Air MaskAs per a report by Gizchina, the motivation to launch the new compact air purifier according to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun was the reception of the Mi Air Purifier Pro and Mi Air Purifier 2, which were so portable that Chinese people were carrying them around even in transit. With winters around and a rise pollution in China, people are readily inclining towards using more air cleaning devices. Thus, the Xiaomi CEO directed the company’s engineers to come up with something that can be more portable, which led to the idea of Mi Car Air Purifier. Talking about its design, the Mi Car Air Purifier looks somewhat identical to Xiaomi’s previous air purifiers, but in a more compact shell.

The Xiaomi Mi Car Air Purifier has a filter for PM2.5 particulate matter, and a CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 60 cubic metres per hour, which is capable of cleaning the average car’s air in about 3-7 minutes. It consists of two-wheel mirror fan circulation system that expels clean air in all directions, and comes with a silent mode so that you don’t hear noise while on a call inside your car. It also includes a headrest strap that will let you fasten it to the car’s headrest. As with its other air purifiers, the new Mi Car Air Purifier can be controlled with the Mi Home app.

In addition to that, Xiaomi has started selling its new anti-pollution air masks that the company claims can remove 99.8 percent of particles. The new anti-fog and haze masks will cost CNY 69 (roughly Rs. 675).

Amazon Prime Video Enters India With 17 Original Series Planned

Amazon on Wednesday launched its Prime Video service in India and over 200 other countries and territories. The video service is part of the Prime subscription at Rs. 499 per year. To kick off its India launch, Amazon has planned 17 Indian original shows that vary from drama, comedy, psychological thriller, biopic, mythological, sports drama and political satire. Some of the new shows and creators associated with them include:

  • Bodhidharma: Master of Shaolin – Ram Madhavi, Prasoon Joshi and Sunil Doshi
  • Breathe – Vikram Malhotra, starring R Madhvan and Amit Sadh
  • The Ministry – AIB and OML
  • Powerful – Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar starring Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chadda
  • Mirzapur – Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar
  • Stardust – Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl
  • The Family Man – DK Krishna and Raj Nidimoru
  • Vishpuri – Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl
  • Made in Heaven – Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti

Amazon Prime Video Enters India With 17 Original Series PlannedAdditionally, Amazon has also announced collaborations with authors, producers, writers and directors to develop several new series currently untitled. The list includes Sujoy Ghosh and Hyunwoo Tomas Kim (Kross Pictures India); Ali Abbas Zafar, Himanshu Kishan Mehra, Sanjeev Gupta (Offside Entertainment); Rajat Arora (Funk Ur Blues); Karnesh Sharma and Anushka Sharma (Clean Slate Productions) and Navdeep Singh, Sudip Sharma, Tarun Tejpal, Raj Kumar Gupta (Raapchik Films); Pritish, Rangita and Ishita Nandy (Pritish Nandy Productions); Amit Kumar and Asif Kapadia (Fission Features); Aaradhana Bhola, Vidyuth Bhandary Tony and Diya Singh (Freemantle Media); and Amritpal Singh Bindra and Anand Tiwari (Still & Still Moving Pictures).

Unlike the Amazon shows outside that need to get green-lit based on the pilot episode, the Indian originals are pre-approved for a complete season.

Prime members will also have access to the global Amazon Original Series from the US, including Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle and The Man in the High Castle, to name a few.

Amazon has tied up with a number of Indian and international studios including Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, T-Series, Warner, Paramount, CBS and many more to release popular movies and TV shows exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Prime members will also get to access original content from other countries just as the Indian content will be available to members around the world. Amazon has not listed the countries that are available for Indian members, but US is one of them. This means that Indian Prime members can access the full US catalogue of Amazon Prime Video at no extra cost.

Based on the current catalogue, one will have to wait and see if Amazon Prime Video will be able to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hotstar which have already established a strong base in India.

Panasonic P88 With Triple-LED Flash, 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 9,290

Panasonic on Wednesday launched the P88 smartphone in India, with a best buy price of Rs. 9,290. The company says the smartphone is available across retail outlets in the country.

Panasonic P88 With Triple-LED Flash, 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 9,290The highlight of the Panasonic P88 smartphone is the presence of a triple-LED flash module alongside the 13-megapixel rear camera, and an LED flash module accompanying the 5-megapixel front camera. The dual-SIM Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based smartphone comes with Android For Work security, and sports a 5.3-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with a 2.5D curved glass.

The Panasonic P88 is powered by a 1.25GHz quad-core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, FM radio, 3G and 4G. The smartphone is powered by a 2600mAh battery.
Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a proximity sensor. It is 8.35mm thick, and weighs in at 156 grams. Commenting on the launch, Pankaj Rana, Business Head – Mobility Division, Panasonic India, said, “With the year drawing to a close, the P88 is an affordable 4G smartphone offering for the Indian market. In a first for Panasonic smartphones, the phone comes with a front LED flash for the selfie lovers The phone also comes with an anti-dust receiver to help maintain the phone for longer periods of time. We continue our endeavour to offer differentiated product offerings to our customers.”

Yahoo Says Over 1 Billion User Accounts Hacked

Yahoo said Wednesday that more than 1 billion user accounts – meaning most of the Internet giant’s customers worldwide – were hacked in 2013, leading to the release of user names, telephone numbers, dates of birth and other personal information.

Yahoo Says Over 1 Billion User Accounts HackedNews of the hack, coming after the announcement in September of a separate hack affecting 500 million accounts, means that Yahoo has been the victim of the two largest data breaches ever reported. Both have been announced since Yahoo agreed to sell its core businesses to telecommunications giant Verizon in July for $4.8 billion (roughly Rs. 32,495 crores).

The incident raised new questions among analysts regarding the viability of that deal and whether the valuation will need to be changed, especially if the hacks trigger litigation against the company.

“This is another major blow,” said Jeff Kagan, a Georgia-based telecommunications industry analyst. “It throws into question what’s really going on at Yahoo. And if you don’t really know what’s going on at Yahoo, does Verizon have the guts to buy a potential bomb? This company could explode with major problems and major losses.”

In the 2013 incident, Yahoo said that credit card and bank account numbers, which are stored separately, were not affected, but the breach did include some unencrypted “security questions” that the company uses to authenticate users.
Yahoo also reported a separate incident Wednesday in which hackers used what the company called “forged cookies” to gain access to some accounts, though it did not give the number. That incident, the company said, appeared to have links to the one announced in September involving “state-sponsored” attackers. Law enforcement officials said that breach, which happened in 2014, was probably the work of Russian hackers, though no final conclusion has been reached.

To minimize the damage, Yahoo is alerting affected customers and requiring them to change their passwords. But the scale of the hack and the time that has passed since it happened suggests that few of the company’s customers were unaffected. Given the size of the two hacks, many Yahoo users are likely to have had their information stolen more than once.

Yahoo has said it has more than 1 billion users worldwide, though the company’s fortunes have been sagging for years as other tech companies have snatched away pieces of its search, email and other Web-based businesses.

Yahoo encourages users to review all of their online accounts for suspicious activity and to change their passwords and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which they use the same or similar information used for their Yahoo account,” the company said in a statement. “The company further recommends that users avoid clicking links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails and that they be cautious of unsolicited communications that ask for personal information.”
Regarding the deal with Verizon, Yahoo said in a statement, “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”

Verizon spokesman Bob Varettoni said: “As we’ve said all along, we will evaluate the situation as Yahoo continues its investigation. We will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions.”

Security experts have long complained that Yahoo lagged behind the industry in adopting measures to protect its customers. The breach that Yahoo announced Wednesday was discovered after law enforcement officials shared with the company a data set that “a third party” claimed was from Yahoo user accounts.

The company, in conjunction with outside experts, verified that it was data stolen in August 2013, the company said in a statement.

The news caused a late dip in Yahoo’s stock price, sending it down as much as 2.7 percent in after-hours trading.

“The fact that we now have two breaches implies that Yahoo security measures were inadequate. So it is more likely there will be future breaches uncovered,” said Laura Martin, senior analyst at Needham & Co. “It sounds to me like they never knew about any of these breaches, which means they never fixed the problem. That implies that the assets are actually less valuable than we thought.”

Uber Launches Self-Driving Car Fleet in San Francisco Despite Warning From Regulator

Uber Technologies Inc rolled out its self-driving car fleet in its hometown of San Francisco on Wednesday, but faced a backlash from state regulators who say the company needs a permit to keep the vehicles on the road.

Uber Launches Self-Driving Car Fleet in San Francisco Despite Warning From RegulatorThe California Department of Motor Vehicles sent a letter to Uber on Wednesday ordering the company to “cease the operations” of its autonomous cars until it applies for and receives the testing permit required by the state.

Uber responded that it did not need the permit, because its cars require a person to constantly monitor and take control of the wheel, which does not meet the definition of autonomous.

“For us, it’s still early days and our cars are not yet ready to drive without a person monitoring them,” Uber said in a company blog post.

It was the latest in a long line of spats between Uber and regulators, and followed a fairly seamless rollout three months ago in Pittsburgh, where Uber unveiled its secretive work on autonomous cars for the first time to the public. The company started with just four self-driving cars available to Pittsburgh passengers, although it had a fleet of more than a dozen for testing.

The San Francisco program will mimic the Pittsburgh pilot. Riders who request an UberX, one of the company’s budget ride options, may be matched with a self-driving Uber.
While 20 other companies exploring self-driving cars, including Alphabet’s Google, Tesla Motors and Ford Motor Co, have obtained a DMV permit, Uber has not. Uber’s self-driving cars have been seen around San Francisco since at least September.

In its letter to Uber, the DMV’s chief counsel said it “will initial legal action” if “Uber does not confirm immediately that it will stop its launch and seek a testing permit.”
California defines autonomous vehicles as cars that have the “capability” to drive “without the active physical control or monitoring of a natural person.” Uber argues that definition does not apply to its cars, which are equipped with a driver and an engineer in the front seats to take over in situations such as a construction zone, pedestrian crossing or taking a left turn across a lane of traffic.

“All of our vehicles are compliant with applicable federal and state laws,” a spokeswoman said.

In a company blog post, Uber called on California to take a more “pro-technology” approach to regulating autonomous cars.

“Several cities and states have recognised that complex rules and requirements could have the unintended consequence of slowing innovation,” Uber said. “Our hope is that California, our home state and a leader in much of the world’s dynamism, will take a similar view.”

On Wednesday, local media aired a video of a self-driving Uber running a red light, which was captured by a bystander. Uber said the incident was because of human error – suggesting that the car was not in autonomous mode – and was not carrying passengers, and the driver had been suspended.

Which Steps Should I Take To Make My Company More Successful?

Many business owners are interested in keeping their organizations in a state of perpetual growth. If this is one of your primary professional objectives, know that you can realize your vision. Below you will find just a few of many techniques you can deploy to optimize your organization’s level of success:
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1. Update Your Office Equipment.

Replacing old, outdated office equipment with new items is a wonderful way to keep your organization growing. In addition to optimizing the aesthetic of the commercial setting, regularly updating your company’s machines and devices can decrease the incidence of work-related accidents. It can also help accelerate and optimize the completion of your daily operations. If you’re in the need of new broadband power dividers to ensure that you maintain an optimal Internet connection, companies like Werlatone can assist you.

2. Invest In Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software.

In addition to regularly updating your office equipment, make sure that you invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software. Doing so will empower you to connect with and convert more prospective clients. It will also help you manage your existing clientele more effectively. Some of the features you should look for in CRM software include:

• Simplicity
• Remote access
• Ease of integration
• Stronger multichannel support
• Mobile access
• Campaign management
• Integrated analytics
• Flexibility
• Master data management
• Lead generation
• Customization
• Follow-up tracking

3. Make Employee Optimization A Must.

One final technique that will enable you to grow your business is making employee optimization a must. Implementing this strategy will empower you to ensure that you have a diligent, amicable staff working on your behalf at all times. There are several ways that you can facilitate the personal and professional growth of your staff members. One is by hosting an Employee of the Month competition. Another is by hiring a team of business consultants who can disseminate surveys and complete analytic work to help you interface with your staff in a more productive, positive manner. If you decide to work with a business consultant firm, make sure that you select industry experts with at least ten years of experience.

Don’t Delay: Start Maximizing Success Today!

If company success is your objective, now is the time to start focusing on it. Three techniques you may find helpful as you implement strategies for growth include updating office equipment, investing in CRM software, and making employee optimization a must.

Sprucing Up For The Teen In The Home

If you have a teen girl in the house, then you know that it can sometimes be hard to keep up with the changing colors and designs that she wants in her bedroom. You’ll discover that there are a few modern ideas that can give the room a taste of style while still keeping your little girl around for a while longer. Get an estimate today of how much it would cost to paint the walls, install a different type of floor or to do some of the larger jobs in the room before tackling some of the smaller details.

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While she’s laying in her bed, your teen daughter can look up at the ceiling to see an elegant look. It’s achieved by adding gold polka dots on a white ceiling along with a gold chandelier. This is a fun detail that can transform a boring white room into one that has a contemporary design. If she doesn’t like gold, then consider using brighter colors, like teal or purple. Add decorations in the room that match the dots on the ceiling so that there is a smooth flow to the room.

Pastel colors with a white background often make for a cozy bedroom. An idea is to start with a white bed and white blankets. Teal is a wonderful color for this type of design, so get a large teal rug for the floor, paint the walls teal, and add decorations on the walls of the same color. Accent the teal with black or silver to bring out the color even more in the room. For the teen who likes bold colors and designs, you could use a dark purple on the wall with fabrics and decor in various shades of purple to match. If the teen likes looking at pictures and remembering special events, then make a wall of memories. This can be achieved by making a net of interlocking ribbons on one wall with pictures that are displayed in the background. She can also add posters and other items from special events so that they are cherished for years to come.