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Lord last won the day on March 16

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  1. After proving powered, controlled flight is possible on the Red Planet, NASA's Mars Ingenuity helicopter has new orders: scout ahead of the Perseverance rover to assist in its search for past signs of microbial life. The next phase extends the rotocraft's mission beyond the original month-long technology demonstration. Now, the goal is to assess how well flyers can help future exploration of Mars and other worlds. "We're going to gather information on the operational support capability of the helicopter while Perseverance focuses on its science mission," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, told reporters Friday. The type of reconnaissance that Ingenuity performs could one day also prove useful to human missions, by scoping out the best paths for explorers to traverse, and reaching locations that aren't otherwise possible. The four pound (1.8 kilogram) mini chopper successfully performed the fourth of its five originally planned flights on Friday, "going farther & faster than ever before," NASA tweeted. The fifth is planned in the coming days, then its mission will be extended, initially by one Martian month. Whether it continues beyond that will depend on if it's still in good shape and if it's helping, rather than hindering, the rover's goals of collecting soil and rock samples for future lab analysis on Earth. Chief engineer Bob Balaram predicted a limiting factor will be its ability to withstand the frigid Mars nights, where temperatures plunge to -130 degrees Fahrenheit (-90 degrees Celsius). Ingenuity keeps warm with a solar-powered heater, but it was only designed to last for a month and engineers aren't sure "how many freeze and thaw cycles (it) can go through before something breaks," he said. NASA initially thought Perseverance would be driving away from the site where it landed at the Jezero Crater on February 18, just north of the planet's equator. That would have meant the rover leaving Ingenuity behind and moving beyond communications range. Now though, the agency wants to keep Perseverance in the area for some time after finding a rocky outcrop that they believe contains some of the oldest material on the crater floor. They hope to collect their first sample in July. Ingenuity's exploits have captured the public's imagination since it made its first flight on April 19, but NASA said this wasn't a factor in its decision to allow the two robots to keep exploring Mars together. "We really wish to spend a considerable amount of time where we are and so it's sort of a fortuitous alignment," said Perseverance project scientist Ken Farley. Sursa
  2. Twitter will struggle to replicate a bumper 2020 dominated by the US political battles, civil unrest, and the COVID-19 crisis as people venture out following vaccine rollouts, Wall Street analysts said on Friday. The lifting of restrictions as people get vaccinated has largely seen benefiting other digital ad firms such as Facebook and Alphabet's Google whose stocks soared after reporting blockbuster results this week. Not so with Twitter. Shares sank more than 12 percent on Friday after the social media company reported first-quarter revenue and user numbers mostly in line with analyst estimates and warned the current quarter could be its worse as it eyed a weaker 2021. "The company's weak future guidance suggests that repeating this performance will be extremely difficult," said Haris Anwar, senior analyst at Investing.com, adding that more people will look to engage in offline activities as the vaccine rollouts pick up. Although other tech companies have warned of a drop in users this year, they are still upbeat on ad spending as marketers try to target consumers eager to spend and travel after being locked indoors for over a year. "Twitter doesn't seem well positioned to actually capture the most dynamic part of the digital advertising economy as they lack both sufficient scale of users and the first party data signals that attract performance based marketers," said Michael Nathanson, senior research analyst at MoffetNathanson. A vow to focus on new products and features by Twitter did little to allay investor concerns on Friday. However, some analysts found the company's current-quarter revenue forecast conservative as they expect newer app features and return of live events to boost user engagement and monetisation in coming months. At least eight brokerages cut their price targets on Twitter after the company forecast tepid revenue growth for the second quarter. Of the 40 analysts covering the stock, 29 have a "hold" or lower rating and the rest have a "buy" or higher rating. The current median price target on the stock is $70, as per Refinitiv data. Sursa
  3. China is preparing a substantial fine for Tencent Holdings as part of its sweeping antitrust clampdown on the country's internet giants, but it is likely to be less than the record $2.75 billion (roughly Rs. 20,370 crores) penalty imposed on Alibaba earlier this month, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said. Tencent should expect a penalty of at least CNY 10 billion (roughly Rs. 11,450 crores), significant enough for the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) to make an example of it, both people said. Tencent faces penalties for not properly reporting past acquisitions and investments for antitrust reviews, an offence with a fine capped at CNY 500,000 (roughly Rs. 57 lakhs) per case, and for anticompetitive practices in some of its businesses, with music streaming in particular focus, said the sources. Neither SAMR nor Tencent immediately responded to Reuters' requests for comment. "The attitude from the regulator is that unlike Alibaba you are not the biggest target here, but it would be impossible not to penalise Tencent now that the campaign is in action," said one of the people. China has in recent months sought to curb the economic and social power of its once loosely regulated internet giants, in a clampdown backed by President Xi Jinping. Tencent and Alibaba are China's two biggest tech conglomerates, with market values of $776 billion (roughly Rs. 57,48,250 crores) and $642 billion (roughly Rs. 47,55,900 crores), respectively. Earlier this month, SAMR imposed its record fine on Alibaba after an investigation found the e-commerce firm had abused its dominant market position for several years. Tencent's vast businesses include video games, content streaming, social media, advertising, and cloud services. SAMR's investigation partly focuses on Tencent Music Entertainment Group, which was spun off and listed in the United States in late 2018, two of the people and an additional two sources lock, to the business said. Tencent Music Entertainment did not immediately respond to request for comment. The regulator has informed Tencent that it should expect a fine, give up exclusive music rights, and may even be forced to sell the acquired Kuwo and Kugou music apps, said the people. However, Tencent's core businesses, video games, and WeChat, are likely to remain intact, said one of the people. Streaming stranglehold Tencent Music, China's answer to Spotify, acquired competitor apps Kugou and Kuwo in 2016, and pursued exclusive streaming rights with record labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group and Warner Music Group. It then sublicensed some of the rights to competitors including NetEase Cloud Music, which complained that the arrangement was unfair and prices too high. SAMR launched a probe into Tencent Music in 2018 but dropped it in 2019 after the company agreed to stop renewing some of the exclusive rights, which normally expire after three years, two sources told Reuters previously. However, it kept exclusive rights to Jay Chou, the most influential pop star in the Chinese-speaking world, using it as a competitive edge against smaller rivals NetEase Cloud Music and Alibaba-backed Xiami Music. SAMR has told Tencent Music that it should expect to give up some of the remaining exclusive rights, two of the people said. It may also be required to sell Kugou and Kuwo to competitors or other investors, one of the options being proposed to senior government officials in Beijing, three sources said. A forced sale of those units would set a precedent and might be hard to execute, two of them cautioned. Final confirmation of Tencent's punishment will need a nod from China's central leadership, the people said. Tencent is lobbying for a more lenient penalty, they added. "Tencent doesn't mind paying a hefty fine and is willing to pay more if it needs to, as long as its core businesses remain intact," said one of the people, referring to its video games and WeChat app units. Last month, Reuters reported that Tencent will need to meet certain conditions in its plan to merge Huya and Douyu, two leading video game streaming platforms, including giving up exclusivity to broadcast Tencent games to competing streaming sites. SAMR said this week it is investigating Tencent-backed Meituan over claims the food delivery giant forced vendors to use their platform exclusively, the same offence Alibaba was penalised for.'' Sursa
  4. Happy Bday Boii
  5. Happy Birthday Madii
  6. Spotify is soon going to launch its podcast subscription service. The platform would be competing with Apple's newly announced podcast subscription service but it will not charge a fee or take a membership cut like its rival. As per Variety, the company will be letting content creators keep 100 percent of the subscription fees. As per sources, Spotify will not take a cut of podcast subscription revenue. By contrast, Apple will keep up to 30 percent of podcast subscription fees under its program, which is launching next month. Most creator platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Patreon, also take a cut of subscription fees and/or fan payments. Currently, Spotify doesn't allow customers to pay for subscriptions through Apple in-app purchases -- and Spotify has been a very vocal critic of Apple's App Store policies, which has included lodging a formal complaint with the European Union alleging anticompetitive behavior. Similarly, you won't be able to purchase Spotify podcast subscriptions through Apple. Spotify has said it was going to test paid subscriptions for podcasters to allow them to offer exclusive content to subscribers, officially announcing that during its February ''Stream On'' event. But it has not yet provided details on how that will work. It is worth noting that Spotify has been expanding its podcast platform by signing major deals with personalities like the Obamas, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle, and most recently, Bruce Springsteen. It has also signed podcast deals with Warner Bros, Hollywood producer Chernin, and Archie Comics. Meanwhile, in conjunction with Spotify's podcast subscription rollout, Facebook plans to launch an integrated version of Spotify's audio player, a service called ''Project Boombox''. The service will start next week and will provide access to songs and podcasts directly within the Facebook app. That's part of a broader embrace of social audio and audio-messaging features that Facebook announced on Monday. Sursa
  7. To celebrate the 31st anniversary of the launching of Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers from NASA aimed the observatory at one of the brightest stars seen in our galaxy on Friday. Called AG Carinae, it is located approximately 20,000 light-years away. It's not just a luminous dot in the sky, but a glowing gas-and-dust nebula waging a battle within itself to avoid self-destruction. The star started forming around 10,000 years ago through an eruptive process and is likely to survive only a few years, a minuscule lifespan compared to the roughly 10-billion-year lifetime of our Sun. The Hubble Space Telescope launched 31 years ago on April 24 and is still working, capturing spectacular cosmic images. Stars like the AG Carinae are among the biggest and brightest. The image tweeted by NASA was taken in ultraviolet light, which offers a slightly clearer view of the dust structures around the star. Hubble is ideally suited for ultraviolet-light observations. Soon after being posted, the image received a lot of appreciation, with some users even thanking NASA. “What a beautiful star, living on with its own nebula. I love the little complexities that let these hot stars do these things,” a Twitter user with the handle @Ferric_Foxide said. Another user @KramerDuc thanked NASA for “enriching humanity”. Called the luminous blue variables, NASA explains that these stars exhibit a dual personality. For a long time, they remain dormant and then suddenly erupt in an impatient outburst. Because of their size and incredibly hot temperatures, these stars constantly remain in a battle to maintain stability between the radiation pressure bound outward and gravity outside pressing in. The radiation often wins, exploding the star into a volcanic eruption. After the outburst, these stars again gain some stability and remain quiet for a while. AG Carinae, too, has undergone this period of two forces pulling it in opposite direction but its outbursts have been less violent when compared to its peers, says NASA. The luminous blue variables are important for astronomers as they have far-reaching effects on their environment, but they are rare to find: fewer than 50 are known. These stars spend thousands of years in this phase and many of them end their lives in titanic supernova blasts, enriching the universe with heavier elements beyond iron. Sursa
  8. WhatsApp was reportedly spotted testing a voice messages playback speed feature on the public beta channel. It was enabled for a few users on WhatsApp for Android beta 2.21.9.4, but disabled again with the release of a new WhatsApp for Android beta 2.21.9.5 update the very next day. This feature has been under development and was spotted to be in the works sometime last month. WhatsApp is working on bringing three audio playback speed levels — 1x, 1.5x, and 2x. WhatsApp updates tracker WABetaInfo reports that the feature to increase playback speed of voice messages was very briefly enabled in WhatsApp for Android beta 2.21.9.4. The playback speed symbol was showing up right next to voice messages, so that users could increase the speed – but not decrease -- of the playback if they preferred. WABetaInfo later reported that a new WhatsApp for Android beta 2.21.9.5 released a day later disabled the voice messages playback speed feature for all those who had it enabled in the previous beta. WhatsApp usually tests features for several months before rolling it out to public beta testers. This feature being enabled for public beta may have been a mistake from the company's end, but one that WhatsApp quickly rectified with a new update. However, this is also an indication that WhatsApp maybe close, to rolling out the feature soon. WABetaInfo also spotted WhatsApp testing the ability to delete or make changes to a chat only from an active device, and not any other linked ones. The changes or deleting of any chat through one handset will not be deleted from other linked devices. There is no clarity on why WhatsApp thinks this is important, but we expect the app to also get an option to delete chats from all linked devices in one go. This feature is under development and will likely come with the multi-device feature that has been a work-in-progress for a while now. Multi-device support will enable users to access their WhatsApp account on up to four devices. Sursa
  9. Ehtereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin posted a proof of transfer of 100 ETH and 100 MKR, worth approximately $606,110 (roughly Rs. 4.5 crores), for use in COVID-19 relief in India. Ethereum, the open-source blockchain software founded in 2014, is used to build contracts on the blockchain, and has recently been in the news a lot because of its use in the making and transferring of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — digital collectibles that can be uniquely identified and held by individuals. Ethereum has a currency called Ether that is the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world after Bitcoin. Given the scale and scope of the tragedy that coronavirus is causing in India, many relief efforts have sprung into action, ranging from individuals giving their time and helping people coordinate and find resources, to companies donating money for oxygen and other emergency supplies. People around the world are also coming to support India, and Buterin's donation should help encourage the global cryptocurrency community to make a difference here. On his Twitter account, the technology founder posted a pair of links to EtherScan, an independent platform for sharing blockchain data built for Ethereum, which showed a transaction of 100 MKR (Maker) and 100 ETH (Ether), that hold a combined market value of over $600,000, or over Rs. 4.5 crores. In the tweet, Buterin thanked Indian tech founder Sandeep Nailwal for organising the COVID-19 relief fund, and also thanked Indian-origin technology investor and entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan for signal boosting the campaign. According to Nailwal's tweets, he plans to use the funds to get oxygen, food, and possibly even cover the cost of vaccines for poor people, and he has promised that all the spending will be published publicly for complete transparency. Although you can't use cryptocurrencies like this to directly fund relief efforts as they're not widely accepted as currency, despite the name, there is a high market value placed around these tokens; Bitcoin is the largest and most famous, but many others including Ether, Litecoin, and of late, Dogecoin, have become very much in demand. At the time of writing, Bitcoin price is at Rs. 37,12,394, while Ethereum is currently selling for Rs. 1,63,519, and Litecoin will cost you Rs. 16,829 to buy one unit. This means that the fund can be used to generate a lot of money that can in turn be spent on this crisis. Although Buterin seems to have made this donation in his personal capacity, the Ethereum Foundation has also made significant donations in the past. Last year, the foundation reportedly donated 1,125 ETH to UNICEF, that was at the time worth $262,000 (roughly Rs. 1.9 crores at the time). Before that, in 2019, the foundation donated approximately $150,000 (roughly Rs. 1 crore at the time) in Bitcoin and Ether to UNICEF's experimental crypto fund. The fund has been used to make investments around the world and the 2020 donation was used to make investments to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, the UNICEF spokesperson said in a press statement. According to the report, UNICEF in startups in countries including India, Argentina, China, and Turkey. One such recipient is the Indian startup StaTwig, which is currently working on a project described on its website as a Vaccine Ledger, that can be used for unit level traceability of vaccines, detection of expired products, cold chain monitoring, and more. Sursa
  10. An update to the software powering some billion iPhone units around the world kicks in Monday with an enhanced privacy feature critics fear will roil the internet advertising world. Apple will begin requiring app makers to tell users what tracking information they want to gather and get permission to do so, displaying what have been referred to as "privacy nutrition labels." The move by Apple, which has been in the works for months, has sparked a major rift with Facebook and other tech rivals and could have major implications for data privacy and the mobile ecosystem. Digital ads are the lifeblood of internet giants such as Google and Facebook and are credited with paying for the cornucopia of free online content and services. An update to the iOS software that powers iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices brings with it an "App Tracking Transparency framework" that stops apps from tracking users or accessing device identifying information without permission. "Unless you receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device's advertising identifier value will be all zeros and you may not track them," Apple said this week in an online message to developers. The requirement, which some developers adopted early, will apply to all iOS apps as of Monday, according to Apple. 'Change agent' Mobile Dev Memo analyst and strategist Eric Seufert said Apple's new framework could "upend" the app economy along with digital advertising more broadly, calling the new policy "a change agent." Seufert said in a blog post, "It's impossible to dismiss the fact that digital advertising on mobile is conducted through what Apple defines as 'tracking': explicitly purging this activity from the ecosystem will require the mobile operating model to change." With more than a billion iOS powered devices in active use around the world, a change to the mobile operating system that potentially hampers the effectiveness of digital ads could be significant. Platforms such as Facebook or Google that rely on advertising typically get paid only when someone takes an action such as clicking on a marketing message. Ads made irrelevant because less is known about users could mean fewer clicks and, by extension, less revenue. Mobile apps and the internet in general have flourished by providing information, games, driving directions, and more free-of-charge, with ads bringing in money to keep data centers running and profits flowing. While some people using iPhone handsets might grant permission for tracking, marketers fear many will opt for privacy. During an earnings call early this year, Facebook warned that Apple's change to its mobile operating system will likely make it tougher to target ads. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in the call that Apple was becoming one of his company's biggest competitors, with its rival smartphone messaging service and tight grip on the App Store, the sole gateway onto iPhone units. "Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own," Zuckerberg said. "Apple may say that they're doing this to help people but the moves clearly track their competitive interests." The social networking giant has argued that the iPhone maker's new measures on data collection and targeted ads would hurt small businesses. Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the move, saying in a recent interview: "The principle is that the individual should be in control over whether they're tracked or not, who has their data." Apps will still be able to target "contextual ads" based on what users are doing during sessions, keeping the insights to themselves. Advances in artificial intelligence and data analytics should help platforms, and by extension advertisers, effectively target using less data about users, reasoned Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi. "Advertisers have to still be relevant to people without stalking them, which is something that is good for the consumer and good for the brands," Milanesi said. "I think Apple is right; transparency is always something we should aspire to." Sursa
  11. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 6 is out later today, Friday, on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar, and Marvel has released a 15-second trailer ahead of its premiere that gives us a very tiny peek at the final episode — for this season, and possibly for the Marvel Cinematic Universe series altogether. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 6 trailer is low on actual footage from the final episode. Rather, it's mostly made up of shots from all previous episodes attached to a few brief cutaways of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), and Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman). “Maybe I made a mistake,” Sam says at the start of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 6 trailer, as we're shown the Captain America shield being put in Washington DC's Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum from episode 1. “We can't lose this fight.” Switch to chaos outside what looks like the headquarters for the Global Repatriation Council (GRC), as we get glimpses of Bucky and Flag Smashers leader Karli. Bucky says to Sam in a different shot from episode 2: “Steve gave you that shield for a reason.” Sursa
  12. TSMC board has approved $2.89 billion (roughly Rs. 21,690 crores) in spending to increase capacity, the company said, responding to a global chip shortage that has affected carmakers in particular. In a brief statement, the world's largest contract chipmaker said its board had approved the spending "for the purpose of installing mature technology capacity". It did not elaborate The company this month said that it plans to invest $100 billion (roughly Rs. 7,50,300 crores) over the next three years to increase capacity at its plants, days after Intel announced a $20 billion (roughly Rs. 1,50,000 crores) plan to expand its capacity. Sursa
  13. Apple is readying a major revamp of its mobile software that will include an upgrade to how users handle notifications, a redesigned iPad Home Screen, an updated Lock Screen, and additional privacy protections for its flagship devices, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The in-development changes are planned to be included in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, forthcoming major software updates for the iPhone and iPad. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant will announce the software updates, codenamed Sky, at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference beginning June 7, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. Apple rolls out major software updates for all of its key devices annually as a way to keep people glued to its ecosystem, sell more devices and encourage developers to create new apps. Apple typically releases the upgrades around September, near the launch of new iPhone models. Given that WWDC is several weeks away, the company could still choose to alter features or delay them to a later update. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. Sursa
  14. Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant for its Echo devices, has now got the ability to search for nearby vaccination sites and help connect users with these websites to check for availability or schedule an appointment. Alexa users can speak the voice command, “Alexa, where can I get a COVID vaccine?” and a list of all the nearby vaccination sites will be listed out. This will be particularly useful for the elderly, who may find it difficult to schedule an appointment via online portals and sites. The company took to its official site to announce that Alexa can help customers access information about COVID-19 vaccines and connect them to vaccination sites. Apart from hearing a list of nearby vaccination centres, users can also ask Alexa to make a call to one of the sites on the list and check for availability. For instance, just say, “Alexa, call the first one,” to connect to a specific location directly and learn more about vaccine or appointment availability. This feature is currently available in the US only. This is similar to how you can find a nearby COVID-19 testing location using Alexa. You can trigger a request by saying, “Alexa, where can I get tested for COVID-19?” to hear a list of nearby testing centres and get more information about test locations by saying, “Alexa, call the first one,” to call the phone number provided for the location. Sursa
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