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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 PrimeVideo.com. 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 PrimeVideo.com 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.”

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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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.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


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.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


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.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


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.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Fornite Battle Royale developer Epic will support cross-platform play between Xbox One, PC, iOS and Android. The news was revealed during Microsoft’s debut Inside Xbox broadcast on Saturday, March 10. Last week, the developer announced that PS4, PC, iOS and Android users will be able to play the same version of the game together. Thanks to Sony and Microsoft’s ongoing feud with regards to cross-platform play, PS4 and Xbox One owners will not be able to play Fornite Battle Royale together.

“Contrary to what may have been implied, Microsoft has long been a leading voice in supporting cross-platform play, connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles. We’ve been working together with them over the last several months to make this possible, and will bring this functionality to Fortnite players on Xbox right along with other platforms,” a post on Epic’s blog announcing Xbox cross-platform play for Fortnite said.

That tone is interesting to say the least, given that Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney had lambasted Microsoft for its approach towards UWP and Windows 10 and its impact on gaming a couple of years back.

If, like everyone else, you are wondering why you Fortnite players on Xbox One and PS4 still won’t be able to play with each other, here’s a little explanation from Sony Worldwide Studios Head Shuhei Yoshida on why PS4 and Xbox One cross-play is not possible.

“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward,” Yoshida had said in March 2016, when the same subject came up with reference to Rocket League. “Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish… We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.”

In a conversation with Gadgets 360, Mark Little, Executive Producer at WWE 2K18 developer Visual Concepts said enabling cross-play is a lot more complicated than just flipping a switch.

“I can only imagine the complexities of those conversations between the two [Sony and Microsoft] and some of those of complexities come in the areas of stuff like purchasable content and if ‘we allow cross-platform play, what does it mean to purchase on one platform and play it on the other’,” Little had said. So there’s a lot of really complicated issues. It’s not our problem. It’s on the first-party side. There’s a lot of interesting things they need to figure out as first-parties that has nothing to do with us. Once they figure it out we’ll figure out what our plan is.”

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


US President Donald Trump on Monday blocked microchip maker Broadcom’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm on national security grounds, ending what would have been the technology industry’s biggest deal ever amid concerns that it would give China the upper hand in mobile communications.

The presidential order reflected a calculation that the United States’ lead in creating technology and setting standards for the next generation of mobile cell phone communications would be lost to China if Singapore-based Broadcom took over San Diego-based Qualcomm, according to a White House official.

Qualcomm has emerged as one of the biggest competitors to China’s Huawei Technologies Co in the sector, making Qualcomm a prized asset.

Qualcomm had earlier rebuffed Broadcom’s $117 billion (roughly Rs. 7.6 lakh crores) bid, which was under investigation by the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a multi-agency panel led by the Treasury Department that reviews the national security implications of acquisitions of US corporations by foreign companies.

In a letter on March 5, CFIUS said it was investigating whether Broadcom would starve Qualcomm of research dollars that would allow it to compete and also cited the risk of Broadcom’s relationship with “third party foreign entities.”

While it did not identify those entities, the letter repeatedly described Qualcomm as the leading company in so-called 5G technology development and standard setting.

“A shift to Chinese dominance in 5G would have substantial negative national security consequences for the United States,” CFIUS said. “While the United States remains dominant in the standards-setting space currently, China would likely compete robustly to fill any void left by Qualcomm as a result of this hostile takeover.”

National security and Huawei
A White House official on Monday confirmed that the national security concerns related to the risks of Broadcom’s relationship with third party foreign entities.

A source familiar with CFIUS’ thinking had said that, if the deal was completed, the US military was concerned that within 10 years, “there would essentially be a dominant player in all of these technologies and that’s essentially Huawei, and then the American carriers would have no choice. They would just have to buy Huawei (equipment).”

Huawei has been forging closer commercial ties with big telecom operators across Europe and Asia, putting it in prime position to lead the global race for 5G networks despite US concerns.

Huawei has a dominant position in China, which is set to become the world’s biggest 5G market by far, and has also made inroads in the rest of world to compete with rivals such as Ericsson and Nokia in several lucrative markets, including countries that are longstanding US allies.

Qualcomm is also a major player in 5G, estimated to have 15 percent of 5G-essential patents in the world, compared with 11 percent for Nokia and 10 percent for all of China, according to a Jefferies report citing LexInnova research. Many smartphone makers are counting on Qualcomm to deliver its 5G chipset on time in late 2018 to roll out their 5G phones in 2019.

Shares of Broadcom rose less than 1.0 percent to $264.10 in after-hours trade while Qualcomm fell 4.3 percent to $60.14.

Broadcom said it was reviewing the presidential order. “Broadcom strongly disagrees that its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm raises any national security concerns,” it said in a statement in response to the decision.

Qualcomm, which had delayed its annual shareholder meeting during the CFIUS review, set the new date for March 23.

The move by Trump to kill the deal comes only months after the US president himself stood next to Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan at the White House, announcing the company’s decision to move its headquarters to the United States and calling it “one of the really great, great companies.”

This is the fifth time a US president has blocked a deal based on CFIUS objections and the second deal Trump has stopped since assuming office slightly over a year ago.

“The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by the Purchaser (Broadcom) is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected directly or indirectly, is also prohibited,” the presidential order released on Monday said.

The order cited “credible evidence” that led Trump to believe that Broadcom’s taking control of Qualcomm “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

Broadcom’s next move
Broadcom had struggled to complete its proposed deal to buy Qualcomm, which had cited several concerns including the price offered and potential antitrust hurdles.

The presidential decision to block the deal cannot be appealed. However, it is not clear what rules Broadcom would have to follow if it goes ahead with announced plans to move its headquarters to the United States.

Companies may challenge CFIUS’s jurisdiction in court but may not challenge the inter-agency panel’s national security findings, a CFIUS expert said.

If Broadcom decides to press on with its effort to buy Qualcomm, it would be wise to drop the matter for now while the company quietly wraps up its move to the United States, a second CFIUS expert said. Once the move is done, Broadcom could argue that CFIUS does not have jurisdiction, the second expert said.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Apple said it is acquiring Texture, a digital magazine service that lets users subscribe to more than 200 magazines for $9.99 (roughly Rs. 650) a month.

Texture, offered via the app stores of Apple, Google and Amazon.com, bolsters Apple’s efforts in online services and media. The Cupertino, California, company aims to top $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3.24 lakh crores) in annual services revenue by 2021, and a magazine subscription service would likely contribute to that.

The deal may help Apple boost relations with news outlets that have become wary of Facebook and Google. Some publishers reported losing online traffic from Facebook after the social media network recently refocused on content from friends and family.

Texture’s magazine catalogue includes Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Bloomberg Businessweek. The app is currently run by Next Issue Media, owned by a group of publishers and other companies including Hearst Corp., Meredith Corp., News Corp., Rogers Communications. In 2014, private-equity firm KKR invested $50 million in the company.

Apple made its first big push to integrate magazines and newspapers into its devices with an application called Newsstand in 2011. It replaced that with the more comprehensive Apple News service a couple of years ago.

Apple typically doesn’t formally announce acquisitions of smaller companies, but its services executive Eddy Cue, who oversees its media efforts, is speaking at the South by Southwest conference this week in Austin, Texas.

“We’re excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalogue of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers,” Cue said in a statement. “We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.”

At the conference, Cue said Texture is “beloved” by iPad customers and said users of the existing Apple News service follow more than 20 publications, up from four a couple of years ago. “We’ve become a pretty decent player in a short amount of time,” he added.

The company didn’t say how much it paid for Texture, but the move marks Apple’s second reported acquisition of the calendar year. In January, it bought BuddyBuild, a Canada-based app development service.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Women at Microsoft Corp working in US-based technical jobs filed 238 internal complaints about gender discrimination or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016, according to court filings made public on Monday.

The figure was cited by plaintiffs suing Microsoft for systematically denying pay raises or promotions to women at the world’s largest software company. Microsoft denies it had any such policy.

The lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal court in 2015, is attracting wider attention after a series of powerful men have left or been fired from their jobs in entertainment, the media and politics for sexual misconduct.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys are pushing to proceed as a class action lawsuit, which could cover more than 8,000 women. More details about Microsoft’s human resources practices were made public on Monday in legal filings submitted as part of that process.

The two sides are exchanging documents ahead of trial, which has not been scheduled.

Out of 118 gender discrimination complaints filed by women at Microsoft, only one was deemed “founded” by the company, according to details in the unsealed court filings.

Attorneys for the women called the number of complaints “shocking” in the court filings and the response by Microsoft’s investigations team “lacklustre.”

Companies generally keep information about internal discrimination complaints private, so it is unclear how the number of complaints at Microsoft compares to competitors.

Microsoft said in court filings that the plaintiffs did not identify practices that impact enough employees to warrant a class action, and that it spends more than $55 million (roughly Rs. 357 crores) per year to promote diversity and inclusion. The company had about 74,000 US employees at the end of last year.

Microsoft said the plaintiffs cannot cite one example of a pay or promotion problem in which Microsoft’s investigations team should have found a violation of company policy, but did not. A Microsoft spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

US District Judge James Robart has not yet ruled on the plaintiffs’ request for class-action status.

A Reuters review of federal court cases filed between 2006 and 2016 revealed hundreds containing sexual harassment allegations where companies used common civil litigation tactics to keep potentially damning information under wraps.

Microsoft had argued that the number of women’s human resources complaints should be kept secret because publicizing the outcomes could deter employees from reporting future abuses.

A court-appointed official found that scenario “far too remote a competitive or business harm” to justify keeping the information sealed.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Mi TV 4A series of smart televisions was launched in India last week by Xiaomi, with two models introduced – 32-inch and 43-inch. Both the Mi TV 4A models will go on sale via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores for the first time on Tuesday, with the sale set for 12pm IST. The 55-inch Xiaomi Mi TV 4 will go on sale alongside the Mi TV 4A series as well. To recall, Xiaomi had announced the flash sale date at launch last week, and had also specified that the second sale will be on Friday, March 16.

Xiaomi had last week revealed that the Mi TV 4A lineup will go on sale twice a week, with the Tuesday and Friday sale days continuing. The Chinese company has rebranded its Mi TV 4A series in India to call it the Mi LED Smart TV 4A series, the same thing it did with the Xiaomi Mi TV 4 series (calling it Mi LED Smart TV 4). Xiaomi says the TVs offer over 500,000 hours of content, of which 80 percent will be free content from partners like Hotstar, Voot, Voot Kids, Sony Liv, Hungama Play, Zee5, Sun NXT, ALT Balaji, Viu, TVF, and Flickstree. Content in 15 Indic languages will be available.

Mi TV 4A 43-Inch, Mi TV 4A 32-Inch price in India and launch offers
The 43-inch Mi TV 4A price in India has been set at Rs. 22,999 at launch, while the 32-inch Mi TV 4A is priced at Rs. 13,999. In terms of launch offers, the Mi TV 4A models come with Rs. 2,200 instant cashback with a JioFi connection.

Mi TV 4A specifications
The Mi TV 4A series was launched in China back in March last year, but the model launched in India has a few differences. The 43-inch model sports a full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) display while the 32-inch model has an HD (1366×768 pixels) display. Both display panels have a 178-degree viewing angle and 60Hz refresh rate. The Mi TV 4A models are powered by an Amlogic quad-core SoC that’s coupled with 1GB of RAM. The TVs comes with 8GB of internal storage.

Connectivity options on the 43-inch Mi TV 4A include Wi-Fi, three HDMI (one ARC) ports, three USB 2.0 ports, one Ethernet port, one AV component port, one S/PDIF audio port, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack port. It measures 970x613x214mm (including base), and weighs 7.43kg (7.37kg without base). The 32-inch model comes with two USB 2.0 ports and misses out on the S/PDIF port, with the rest of the connectivity options being the same. It measures 733x478x180mm (including base).

Xiaomi is also touting the presence of DTS-HD, which will augment the audio experience of the televisions, apart from two 10W speakers. The company says the audio been optimised for India, in terms of loudness. The Mi TV 4A models ship with the 11-button Mi Remote that can be used to control a set-top box apart from the television itself, using the Mi IR cable priced at Rs. 299.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)