Archive for December, 2018

Amazon Prime Video has added Tamil and Telugu user interfaces to deliver a more localised entertainment experience in India. In addition to having menu items in Tamil and Telugu, Amazon is offering subtitles and audio in both new languages for more content than ever before. The new update sits alongside the recent addition of the Hindi user interface. It is touted to be a significant step towards bringing the next 100 million customers from the country to the Prime Video. The latest move gives a competitive edge to Amazon Prime Video against Netflix, which is yet to add support for any Indian languages.

The Tamil and Telugu user interfaces are available on the Amazon Prime Video app as well as on Amazon says that the new languages are available as part of the navigation, browsing, and customer support. Subscribers can also view show-titles, show description, and audio as well as subtitles in Tamil and Telugu. The audio and subtitles support in the two new languages will also be available on Amazon Global Originals. Moreover, subscribers can navigate, manage their account information, payments, and use features such as add to their watch-list in the new languages.

Tamil blockbusters such as Kaala, Ghajinikanth, and Kadaikutty Singham, and Telugu titles including Goodachari, U Turn, NOTA are now also available with titles and descriptions in Telugu and Tamil, respectively, Amazon said.

Prime members can pick the Tamil or Telugu experience by selecting their preferred language option by going to Settings > Language on the Prime Video app on Android and iOS. Similarly, the new experience is available through the website or support devices such as Smart TVs, Apple TV, and game consoles such as Xbox One, PS3, and PS4. Once chosen, the preferred language option will be saved for their future usage.

Last month, Amazon Prime Video added a Hindi user interface. The US giant is essentially aiming to bring the next 100 million to its Prime service from India by adding local language support. Notably, Prime Video offers large content libraries in six Indian languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, and Kannada.

“We are delighted to make Prime Video available in Tamil and Telugu User Interfaces, in addition to Hindi UI which we launched recently,” says Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Head, Business, Amazon Prime Video India, in a press statement. “A large base of our customers can now have an even more engaging experience by accessing and using Prime Video in the language of their choice. We will continue to build on our localization initiatives, adding more content with Tamil and Telugu subtitles or dubbing, and evolving the service experience for Prime members in India, enabling them to watch their favourite movies and TV shows in the language of their choice.”

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Indian advertisers wanting to run political ads on Facebook will have to confirm their identity and location to help prevent abuse of the system in the build-up to national elections, the company said on Thursday.

Facebook – under increasing scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica scandal – said it would start verifying ads from Thursday and, from next year, show a disclaimer on all political ads giving more information on who placed them.

India, the world’s largest parliamentary democracy, is due to hold national elections before May next year. Parties are increasingly turning to social media to get their messages out to the country’s millions of voters.

“By authorising advertisers and bringing more transparency to ads, we can better defend against foreign interference in India’s elections,” Facebook said on its website.

Last month, the company announced a similar process for advertisers seeking to run political ads in the United Kingdom.

Facebook is being investigated by lawmakers in Britain after consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign, obtained personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher.

Concerns over the social media giant’s practices, the role of political adverts and possible foreign interference in the 2016 Brexit vote and US elections are among the topics being investigated by British and European regulators.

India’s information technology minister warned in March against any abuse of social media in elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party are prolific users of social media websites, including Facebook. In recent years, the country’s main opposition Congress party has also expanded its visibility on digital platforms.

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Gaming giant Nintendo and entertainment behemoth Marvel on Thursday announced a partnership to unveil an exclusive title for the Nintendo Switch portable gaming console. Called Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, this game is being developed by Team Ninja and will be published by Nintendo. The game is said to bring superheroes and supervillains from the Marvel universe together to battle it out for the Infinity Gauntlet. Notably, the announcement was made through a trailer shown at The Game Awards held in Los Angeles.

The announcement reveals that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order will feature an original story and a cast that includes several Marvel superheroes such as the Avengers, X-Men, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are numerous ways to play the game — online through the multiplayer mode, offline via local wireless, or by passing on one of the Joy-Con controllers to a friend. The title will allow players to choose a dynamic, zoomed-in heroic mode for a more immersive gameplay.

“The Marvel Ultimate Alliance games have been beloved by fans for more than a decade, and this new installment on Nintendo Switch will deliver even more of the thrills and heroics that the franchise is known for,” said Doug Bowser, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Nintendo of America. “Thanks to our partnership with Marvel, the fate of the Marvel Universe will literally be in the hands of Nintendo Switch players, whether they’re at home or on the go.”

All other details around Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order will be revealed sometime in the future.

To recall, the game’s prequel Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 was initially released back in September 2009. At first, it was released on Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Playstation 2, Nintendo Wii, and PSP. Later on, the game was released for Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One in July of 2016 by gaming studio Zoë Mode.

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Alongside bringing Snapdragon 8cx as its new chip for “always-on, always-connected” Windows 10 PC category, Qualcomm has announced its partnership with Mozilla to bring a native Firefox version for Snapdragon-powered Windows computers. The native ARM64 version of Firefox is touted to leverage the performance of the Snapdragon platform to deliver the “most performant out-of-the-box experience possible”. The San Diego-based chip maker at the Qualcomm Tech Summit 2018 in Hawaii announced the Snapdragon 8cx as the world’s first 7nm SoC for PCs. The chip has Qualcomm Kryo 495 CPU and Adreno 680 GPU.

While Microsoft is natively supporting ARM architecture, it considers various emulation techniques to run Windows 10 applications on ARM-powered devices. This brings performance issues especially in case of a Web browser like Firefox that consumes processing power and memory for each tab and puts a lot of pressure on the system while watching a video on a streaming site like YouTube. However, by bringing native ARM64 support, the browser will be able to use the available resources appropriately.

“Mozilla is excited to be collaborating with Qualcomm and optimising Firefox for the Snapdragon compute platform with a native ARM64 version of Firefox that takes full advantage of the capabilities of the Snapdragon compute platform and gives users the most performant out of the box experience possible,” says Marissa Morris, Senior Director of Firefox, Mozilla, in a blog post.

Neither Mozilla nor Qualcomm has announced any particular schedule for bringing the ARM64 version of the Firefox browser. Meanwhile, Google is also apparently working with Microsoft to bring a Chrome version specifically for Windows 10 machines based on ARM. Commits by Microsoft engineers had been spotted by 9to5Google that suggested at the development of a new ARM-supported Chrome version. It would be interesting to see whether it will be the Chrome or Firefox that will debut natively on ARM-based Windows 10 machines.

That being said, Qualcomm at its annual summit in Hawaii announced the Snapdragon 8cx as its latest SoC for Windows PCs. The new chip is claimed to be the world’s first 7nm PC platform.

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Sweden’s Ericsson apologised and said it was working hard to fix a software glitch that was responsible for millions of smartphone users in Britain, Japan and other countries losing internet access on Thursday.

O2, Britain’s second biggest network, and Japan’s Softbank, both Ericsson customers, reported outages on their 4G networks earlier on Thursday.

The mobile network equipment maker confirmed that a problem with its software was to blame for the disruption which hit the two operators as well as others in multiple markets.

Ericsson’s President and Chief Executive Borje Ekholm said: “The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned and we apologise not only to our customers but also to their customers.

“We work hard to ensure that our customers can limit the impact and restore their services as soon as possible.”

SoftBank said earlier the outages stemmed from problems at exchanges for its high-speed wireless LTE network – known as 4G.

The Japanese company, which plans to list its domestic unit in a $21 billion IPO later this month, said the problem was resolved after four and a half hours by reverting to an older version of Ericsson’s software.

It said it had been told by Ericsson that operators in 11 countries were affected by the glitch.

Ericsson said an initial analysis indicated that expired certificates in the software versions installed with the affected customers were to blame.

It said most of the affected customers’ network services have been successfully restored during the course of the day, and it was working closely with the remaining customers still experiencing issues.

O2, which is owned by Spain’s Telefonica, said customers of Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and GiffGaff, which all use its network, were affected by the outage.

O2 chief executive Mark Evans said his teams were working hard with Ericsson to find a swift solution.

Users of O2 services, who were unable to access the internet or apps that require an internet connection, found their way on to social media to complain about the outage, which also knocked out London bus live information displays.

Ericsson was once the world’s biggest supplier of mobile communications gear but has been overtaken by China’s Huawei Technologies and Finland’s Nokia.

It has staked its recovery on demand for next-generation 5G equipment and could be well placed to benefit from current turmoil surrounding market leader Huawei amid US, Chinese tensions which came under the spotlight on Thursday.

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the Chinese company’s founder and CEO, was arrested in Canada on Wednesday, at the behest of US authorities investigating alleged violations of US trade sanctions, according to a source.

The United States had already taken steps to block the company’s equipment from mobile networks over security concerns, and Australia and New Zealand have barred the supplier from new 5G networks for the same reason.

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