Massive Disk-Shaped Dead Galaxy Discovered

Astronomers have detected a first-of-its kind compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the Big Bang.

Finding such a galaxy early in the history of the universe challenges the current understanding of how massive galaxies form and evolve, the researchers said.

The finding, published in the the journal Nature, was possible with the capability of NASA’s Hubble space telescope.

When Hubble photographed the galaxy, astronomers expected to see a chaotic ball of stars formed through galaxies merging together.

Instead, they saw evidence that the stars were born in a pancake-shaped disk.

This was the first direct observational evidence that at least some of the earliest so-called “dead” galaxies – where star formation stopped – somehow evolve from a Milky Way-shaped disk into the giant elliptical galaxies we see today.

“This new insight may force us to rethink the whole cosmological context of how galaxies burn out early on and evolve into local elliptical-shaped galaxies,” said study leader Sune Toft from University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Massive Disk-Shaped Dead Galaxy Discovered“Perhaps we have been blind to the fact that early ‘dead’ galaxies could in fact be disks, simply because we haven’t been able to resolve them,” Toft said.

The remote galaxy was three times as massive as the Milky Way but only half the size.

Rotational velocity measurements made with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) showed that the disk galaxy was spinning more than twice as fast as the Milky Way.

Using archival data from the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH), Toft and his team were able to determine the stellar mass, star-formation rate, and the ages of the stars.

Why this galaxy stopped forming stars was still unknown. It might be the result of an active galactic nucleus, where energy was gushing from a supermassive black hole.

This energy inhibits star formation by heating the gas or expelling it from the galaxy. Or it might be the result of the cold gas streaming onto the galaxy being rapidly compressed and heated up, preventing it from cooling down into star-forming clouds in the galaxy’s centre.

But how do these young, massive, compact disks evolve into the elliptical galaxies we see in the present-day universe?

“Probably through mergers,” Toft said.

Reliance Jio Offering 4G SIM Home Delivery in Over 600 Towns; 90-Minute JioFi Delivery in Select Cities

Reliance Jio has been giving tough competition to its rivals ever since it commenced full operations last year. First with free Internet and unlimited voice calls, and now with competitive rates, Jio holds an edge in the market that the rest are stumbling to catch up to. To make things worse for them, Jio is now offering free home delivery of its Jio SIM in more than 600+ towns and is also promising to brings JioFi 4G hotspot to your home in as less as 90 minutes.

Beginning with the Jio SIM offer, Reliance Jio has now made home delivery of its SIM card available in more than 600 towns across India. Home delivery of Jio SIM can be initiated on the Jio website. If SIM home delivery service is available for your pincode, you will receive an invitation email on the email ID provided for the purchase.

Reliance Jio Offering 4G SIM Home Delivery in Over 600 Towns; 90-Minute JioFi Delivery in Select CitiesReliance Jio is not charging any money to home deliver the Jio SIM. Firstly, download the MyJio app, generate a coupon in the app, and book an appointment online to get the SIM delivered. Keep your Aadhaar number ready for eKYC purposes and generating the coupon on the app.

Separately, Reliance Jio is also offering to deliver the JioFi 4G hotspot to your home address in less than 90 minutes in select cities only. Furthermore, there is also a 100 percent cashback offer on exchange of old dongle for the new JioFi. Users get benefits worth Rs. 2,010 (Rs. 201 data booster x 10 vouchers) leading to effective 100 percent cashback for the JioFi on exchange of old eligible dongles.

Without the dongle exchange, customers gets benefit worth Rs. 1,005 (Rs. 201 data booster x 5 vouchers) leading to effective price of Rs 994/- for the JioFi. If the express delivery is not applicable, then the standard delivery is said to take three to five business days. Purchasing the Jio-Fi 4G hotspot also gets you a flat 60 percent instant discount (up to Rs. 1,800 off) on domestic hotel bookings on GoIbibo. Buyers can get up to Rs. 1,000 off on domestic flight booking on Yatra, and Ajio offers Rs. 200 off on all products on site.

Microsoft Edge Browser With Windows Defender Application Guard Previewed

Microsoft is finally testing a feature that will make the Microsoft Edge browser more secure and safe. The Windows Defender Application Guard was first announced last year, but Microsoft is finally testing it in its latest Windows 10 Insider Preview for Enterprises build (16188). The new tool essentially does not let the entire PC get affected, in the event that it gets hit by a malware attack. As you may have derived, the feature for now is only mean for Windows 10 Enterprise Edition users.

Browsers often act as a gateway to send malware to PCs and infect them. Application Guard essentially uses a hardware container to isolate Edge browser from the rest of the PC, and prevent malware from seeping in. To use Application Guard right away, you first need to become an Insider Preview for Enterprise member on the Fast Ring. After that, visit Windows Features in settings, and then go to Turn Windows features on or off, and then mark the checkbox for Windows Defender Application Guard. Click OK and then restart your computer. Now when you open Microsoft Edge and click on the Edge menu, you’ll see the option for a New Application Guard window. Click it, and a new special isolated browser window will appear. Apart from Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, test PCs will also need Microsoft Hyper-V enabled.

Microsoft Edge Browser With Windows Defender Application Guard PreviewedEven after it comes to the stable channels, it will only be active on devices running on Windows 10 and above due to the new Virtualization Based Security (VBS) system. This new Application Guard enabled browser will not store any cache and cookies, will be separate from storage, and other apps as well. This essentially prevents all malware from seeping through, and affecting PCs, as all data is lost once the browser is shut.

The Application Guard windows will make Edge run a bit slowly as the browser’s sessions are isolated. The Windows 10 Insider build 16188 also includes integrated Cortana settings, better viewing and navigation, and an improved PDF Reader for Edge.

Toshiba Tells Western Digital Not to Interfere With Chip Unit Sale

Toshiba has told Western Digital not to interfere with the sale of its prized chip unit, disputing claims by the US firm that it had breached a joint venture contract.

Western Digital, which is a partner in Toshiba’s main semiconductor plant as well as one of the bidders for the chip business, has argued that the Japanese firm is violating their contract by transferring their joint venture’s rights to the newly formed unit.

In a May 3 letter sent by Toshiba’s lawyers, the Japanese conglomerate disputed Western Digital’s argument and said it would pursue all available remedies if it saw continued interference in the sale process.

Toshiba Tells Western Digital Not to Interfere With Chip Unit SaleWestern Digital’s “campaign constitutes intentional interference with Toshiba’s prospective economic advantage and current contracts. It is improper, and it must stop,” the letter, which was seen by Reuters, said.

In a separate letter, also dated May 3, the general manager of Toshiba’s legal affairs accused Western Digital of failing to sign some joint venture agreements.

If Western Digital refuses to sign by May 15, the chip unit would protect its intellectual property rights by suspending Western Digital employees’ access to all of the unit’s facilities, networks and databases, the letter said.

A Western Digital spokeswoman in Japan declined to make immediate comment.

Microsoft Build 2017 Conference: How to Watch Live and What to Expect

Microsoft is set to hold its Build annual conference from May 10 to May 12 in Seattle, Washington. The keynote by Microsoft executives will kick off the three day event, and it is set to begin at 8.30pm IST on Wednesday.

The Microsoft Build keynote will be live streamed for the world to see, and you can watch it here. Build is one of the biggest events for Microsoft, and as the tradition goes, it is expected to announce what’s next for Windows 10, Azure, Office, and its other products from its vast portfolio.

The conference will include two days of keynotes, including announcements from CEO Satya Nadella; Scott Guthrie, EVP of Cloud and Enterprise Group; Harry Shum, EVP of Artificial Intelligence and Research Group; and Terry Myerson, EVP of Windows and Devices Group.

Microsoft Build 2017 Conference: How to Watch Live and What to ExpectWith regards to Windows 10, Microsoft will presumably highlight all the big changes coming with the next update of Windows 10, reportedly also codenamed as ‘Redstone 3’. This update is set to arrive later this year. It could include more information on Project Neon which suggests bringing major changes to the UI of operating system. Previously leaked screenshots indicate it is focused heavily on transitions, animations, simplicity, consistency, and essentially go back to UI elements from earlier versions of Windows. Project Neon also comes with changes for company’s AR headset HoloLens that introduce modifications to the UI at the points of user interaction. Other tipped additions include Adaptive Cards and a new Home Hub app.

Microsoft will also make announcements around mixed reality, as the company has been pushing it quite fiercely in recent times. Hopefully, there’ll also be some update on the Surface Phone, as it’s rumoured for quite a while now, but we recommend you to not hold your breath on that one. The company is also expected to bring bots to Bing, and an announcement on that front could be made as well.

Windows 10 Timeline Will Let You Easily Revisit Recent Activity

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will bring a new Timeline feature that will offer a historical view of everything that you do on your devices.

Microsoft says “Timeline allows users to jump back in time with a visual timeline that displays what a user was doing previously and easily hop back into files, apps, and websites as if it was real time.”

Built-in Windows 10 apps will leverage the Microsoft Graph to automatically log your activities, and third-party developers will also be able to use the Activity APIs to create engagement records as users interact with their applications. Developers will be able to customise how these activities are visualised Windows 10 Timeline Will Let You Easily Revisit Recent Activityin the Timeline by attaching an adaptive card to the activity. Android and iOS developers will be able to use the Project Rome SDK to achieve the same effect with their apps, which means your Timeline will also include activities you do on mobile devices.

If you are working on your smartphone on a document that’s stored on your OneDrive – which is getting some new capabilities as well – this activity will show up on your Timeline as well.

The Timeline view will also be available on Android and iOS devices via the Cortana app, which now also offers the ability to pick up where you left off on other devices. Microsoft is also making it easy to copy text on one device and pasting on another.

Windows Mixed Reality Development Kits Now Available for Pre-Orders; Microsoft Unveils Motion Controllers

In March this year, Microsoft announced that the company will start shipping development kits for Windows Mixed Reality (earlier called Windows Holographic) later in the month itself. However, the company seemed to have changed its mind later as it didn’t happen. Now the Redmond-based company has finally started taking pre-orders for the mixed reality development kits from HP and Acer. Microsoft also announced its own motion controllers for Windows 10 VR at its Build conference.

Notably, Microsoft has still not announced the release dates for these development kits but interested users can now pre-order the development kits from the company’s website. While the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition has been priced at $299 (roughly Rs. 19,200), the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition is available for pre-orders at $329 (roughly Rs. 21,200). The option for pre-orders is currently available for users in the US and Canada.

Both HP and Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets come with some common features including two high-resolution liquid crystal displays with a 1440×1440 pixels resolution, front hinged displays, 95-degree horizontal field-of-view, display refresh rate up to 90Hz (native), built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack, single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity, and inside-out tracking. Additionally, the HP headset comes with double-padded headband and easy adjustment knob, as per Microsoft.

Microsoft has further provided the list of recommended system specifications for developers on its blog. Needless to say, you will need a powerful configuration to support the mixed reality development kit from the company.

microsoft vr controller story Microsoft VR Motion Controllers

Moving to the motion controllers for Windows 10 VR, Microsoft says “a customer who pairs a Windows Mixed Reality headset with motion controllers will have a rich and immersive experience across creativity tools, productivity, games, and entertainment.”

Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers don’t require any external sensors and offer “precise and responsive” movement tracking, as per company’s claims. The company says that it plans to market and sell these controllers on retail shelves this holiday. The company has confirmed that these controllers will not work with HoloLens headset, as per a report by CNET.

Microsoft announced that Acer will sell its Windows Mixed Reality headset and motion controller bundle priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,700) this holiday season.

Microsoft Build 2017: The Biggest Announcements for Developers

Microsoft made a host of announcements at Build 2017 in Seattle this week – Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is coming later this year with a brand new video editing app and other features like Cloud-enabled clipboard, OneDrive Files On-Demand, Timeline to revisit all your activity, and a whole lot more. But at the end of the day, Build is a developers conference and there was a whole lot more in store for those who design apps and services on Microsoft platforms.

Let’s take a look at the biggest developer-focussed announcements from Build 2017:

1. Visual Studio 2017 for Mac
Unveiled last year, Visual Studio 2017 for Mac is now out of preview and available to everyone. Developers can use the IDE to build Web-based applications using ASP.NET Core and front-end languages like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript; leverage .NET APIs covering 100 percent “of the APIs for Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS development”; build games using Unity; and more.

visual studio 2017 mac visual studio

2. Azure Cosmos DB
Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s distributed data service that aims to combine high availability and consistency with low latency across multiple geographical regions. The service is designed for globally distributed, highly distributed apps, and Microsoft is backing it “by the most comprehensive SLAs” aka uptime guarantees.

3. Azure IoT Edge
Potentially the most exciting announcement at Build 2017, Microsoft defines IoT edge devices as IoT devices that are able to leverage the cloud infrastructure to extended their capabilities. With Azure IoT Edge, Microsoft wants to “make it easy to securely distribute cloud intelligence locally” by offering seamless deployment of multiple cloud services.

4. MySQL- and PostgreSQL-managed services
Continuing the trend of offering users and developers what they want without worry about platform lock-in (or lack thereof), Microsoft has announced Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL managed services that will offer developers alternatives to its own SQL database offering.

5. Cortana Skills Kit
Developers can now extend the capabilities of Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-based assistant, by writing their own ‘skills’ using the Cortana Skills Kit. Developers can leverage the Microsoft Bot Framework to create the bot’s conversational logic and use the Cortana Channel in the Bot Framework to add speech capabilities.

6. Azure Database Migration Service limited preview
Microsoft also used Build 2017 to announce an early preview of the Azure Database Migration Service that will offer to migrate on-premises SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL databases to Azure.

7. Xamarin Live Player
The latest alpha releases of Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin for Windows, and Visual Studio for Mac feature preview support for Microsoft’s Xamarin Live Player apps that allow developers to write, execute, and debug code continuously on an iOS or Android device straight from the IDE.

xamarin live player pairing xamarin

8. New Microsoft Cognitive Services
Microsoft has added new services to its Cognitive Services portfolio with the addition of Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service, and Video Indexer. Read more about each of these new services.

Microsoft also announced XAML Standard 1.0 and .NET Standard 2.0; a new framework called adaptive cards that lets you define how your content will be presented across a variety of platform; Azure Batch AI Training; Windows Mixed Reality Development Kits; and new bot capabilities including analytics and payments, among other things. Also see Microsoft’s other announcements at Build for Azure and Office developers.

Disclosure: Microsoft sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel in Seattle for Build 2017.

Xiaomi Mi Router 3C With 4 ‘High Performance’ Antennae Launched in India at Rs. 1,199

Alongside the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi 4 in India, Xiaomi launched the Mi Router 3C. The Wi-Fi router has been priced at Rs. 1,199, and will be available from May 20 via the Mi Home store in Bengaluru, and via on May 23. It will be made available via Amazon India and Flipkart from June 8.

The Xiaomi Mi Router 3C is the company’s first router launched in India. The company is touting its ease of use, its speed, and range. It can be setup and managed via the Mi Wi-Fi app that’s compatible both with Android and iOS devices.

The Mi Router 3C features four “high-performance” antennae that the company says each feature a dedicated PCB circuit. It is said to have a 2-transmit, 2-receive antenna design, which the company claims improves both the Wi-Fi range (up to 80 metres) and signal stability.

Xiaomi Mi Router 3C With 4 'High Performance' Antennae Launched in India at Rs. 1,199The new router from Xiaomi has 64MB of RAM, which is said to be eight times what most routers offer, and offers a wireless speed of 300Mbps. It can connect up to 64 devices including 20 computing devices and 44 IoT devices. It supports the 802.11n Wi-Fi protocol at 2.4GHz. It has two LAN ports and 1 WAN port, apart from a three-colour LED indicator. It measures 195x107x25.3mm, with the antennae extending up to 178.90mm. It weighs 241 grams.

As for the Mi Wi-Fi app, Xiaomi says users will be able to perform real-time monitoring of bandwidth usage, and also utilise QoS to prioritise bandwidth. Users also have access to pre-configured guest sharing of the Wi-Fi password and parental controls.

Japan Urges Toshiba, Western Digital to Get Along as Chip Spat Flares

Japan’s government said on Tuesday it wanted Toshiba and partner Western Digital to cooperate, expressing concern about an escalating dispute between the two that threatens to upend the sale of Toshiba’s chip unit.

Western Digital sought international arbitration this week to stop Toshiba from selling the unit without its consent, arguing that the Japanese conglomerate has violated contracts relating to their joint venture that operates Toshiba’s main semiconductor plant.

The California-based firm is one of the bidders for the world’s second biggest NAND chip producer, but is not among the frontrunners after submitting a much lower offer than other suitors, a source with knowledge of the matter has said.

“It’s very important for Toshiba and Western Digital to cooperate, Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters at a regular briefing on Tuesday, although he added that the ministry did not intend to intervene in the dispute.

His comments come after media reports that one of the proposed deals under discussion among government circles is to have chip unit – which is valued by Toshiba at at least $18 billion – brought under control of the state-backed Innovation Corporation of Japan (INCJ) fund.

INCJ and U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co LP are widely expected to be the main players in a consortium which will take part in a second round of bidding.

However, some INCJ officials are cautious about making a large-scale deal, sources familiar with the matter said, declining to be identified as they were not authorised to speak publicly about the matter. The fund has just 1 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) in its war chest for acquisitions and investment.

The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that some senior members in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration have privately discussed offering up to $8 billion in government loan guarantees to support a INCJ-KKR bid.

Japan Urges Toshiba, Western Digital to Get Along as Chip Spat FlaresJapan government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, however, that there was no truth to the report. A spokeswoman for INCJ declined to comment.

Shares in Toshiba, which is depending on the sale of the chip unit to cover billions in dollars in cost overruns at its now bankrupt US nuclear unit Westinghouse, slid to end down 12 percent. The cost of insuring against default for Toshiba’s five-year yen debt also spiked 10 basis points higher.

“While we believe that the successful sale of its chip business is indispensable for Toshiba to remain a going concern, hurdles to realising such a goal are increasing,” said Masako Kuwahara, a senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

Toshiba said it had not yet decided whether to proceed with a threat to block Western Digital employees from the plant as well as databases if the US company did not sign a broad collaboration agreement that the two had negotiated. CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa said on Monday that he would make a decision on the matter on Tuesday.

Other suitors for the chip unit include Taiwan’s Foxconn and US chipmaker Broadcom but are also seen as less attractive options. Foxconn may face opposition due to its deep ties to China as the government has said it will block any deal that risks key technology leaving Japan, while Western Digital has said it is vehemently opposed to Broadcom.