Science & Technology

  • NASA wants people to watch historic SpaceX launch from home
    Washington, April 24 (IANS) Amid COVID-19 restrictions, the historic SpaceX mission to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 27 is set to be a much quieter affair than it would have been in normal times, with the US space agency asking people not to travel to Florida to witness the spectacle.   "We are asking people to join us in this launch, but to do so from home," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was quoted as saying in a press confe
  • Zoom's user base hits 300 million despite privacy issues
    San Francisco, April 24 (IANS) Video meet app Zoom has surpassed 300 million daily users globally, a 50 per cent increase over the 200 million users it had last month and significantly more than the 10 million members it had at the end of 2019.   The video meeting platform has seen a spike in users since the Covid-19 pandemic as millions have been forced to work from home.   "Clearly the Zoom platform is providing an incredibly valuable service to our beloved user
  • HP introduces free remote helpdesk for PC users in India
    New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) PC and printing major HP Inc. on Thursday introduced a limited-period free helpdesk support to PC users of all brands to address their operational issues in India. In the absence of regular support and service channels, HP is making this service available to PC users of all brands to ensure they can operate without hindrance and maintain business continuity. For individual consumers, this service will be available free till May 31, while small and
  • Hydroxychloroquine shows no benefit in COVID-19 patients: Study
    New York, April 22 (IANS) Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug termed potential "game changer" for COVID-19 by US President Donald Trump, showed no benefit in treating patients with the disease in Veterans Health Administration medical centres in the US, says a study. In fact, the risk of death was found to be higher in those treated with hydroxychloroquine than in the group that included patients not treated with the drug, according to the findings published in the prepri
  • Snapchat user base hits 229 million, shares up 20%
    San Francisco, April 22 (IANS) Snap, the parent company of popular social media platform Snapchat, saw its stock up nearly 20 per cent after its first quarter revenue increased 44 per cent (year-over-year) to $462 million, along with Snapchat's daily active user base reaching 229 million, which is up 20 per cent from last year. DAUs increased sequentially and year-over-year in each of North America, Europe, and rest of the world on both iOS and Android platforms. On average,
  • Microsoft partners helping Indian firms adopt remote working with ease
    New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) During these tough COVID-10 pandemic times, companies are looking at innovative ways to perform their day-to-day business tasks with ease remotely and Microsoft partners are busy delivering remote work and business continuity solutions across industries and geographies, for educational institutions and governments, to SMBs and large enterprises. According to Venkat Krishnan, Executive Director, Commercial Partners, Microsoft India, while educational i
  • Hackers sold data of 267 million Facebook users for just Rs 41,500
    San Francisco, April 21 (IANS) Hackers have sold personal data of a whopping 267 million Facebook users for just Rs 41,500 (approximately 500 Euros) that includes email addresses, names, Facebook IDs, dates of birth and phone numbers. Thankfully, no passwords of the 267 million Facebook users were exposed by the hacker, according to the cyber risk assessment platform Cyble. The Cyble researchers executed the sale and were able to download and verify the data. "At this stage, w
  • WhatsApp becomes medium of education for students amid lockdown
    New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) In a bid to ensure that studies do not suffer during the current lockdown, Delhi government school teachers have resorted to tutoring students remotely via WhatsApp.   Schools under the East, South and North Municipal Corporations have started online classes for children, under which study material is being shared by teachers via WhatsApp. MCD schools have children, mostly from poor families, studying in classes I to V.     Speak
  • Microsoft launching 'plasmabot' to urge recovered patients donate plasma
    San Francisco, April 19 (IANS) As countries including India explore plasma therapy to treat severe COVID-19 patients, Microsoft is launching a plasmabot initiative to encourage people who have been recovered from the deadly disease donate their plasma.   Several studies have begun in different parts of the world to test effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in treating COVID-19 patients. The idea behind this therapy is that immunity can be transferred from a healthy p
  • COVID-19 striking more children than expected: Study
    Contrary to what governments and a school of scientists claim, the number of children infected with the coronavirus is far more extensive than what is currently reported, report says. Photo: Reuters   New York, April 18 (IANS) Contrary to what governments and a school of scientists claim (including Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk), the number of children infected with the coronavirus is far more extensive than what is currently reported -- a hidden detail that could vast
  • TikTok now lets parents add their accounts with their kids
    Beijing, April 17 (IANS) Short video-sharing platform TikTok has announced to introduce 'Family Pairing' which gives parents more control over their children, by linking their own account with their kids, with a caveat that children have to approve this. The move will give parents more control over the user activity of their kids as they can set controls on 'Screen Time Management', 'Direct Messages' and 'Restricted Mode'. "Family Pairing enhances our suite of safety tools a
  • Facebook to inform users who liked, reacted on harmful COVID-19 content
    San Francisco, April 16 (IANS) Facebook on Monday announced to inform millions of its users who have interacted with harmful COVID-19 claims on its platform, by showing messages in their News Feed in the coming weeks. People who have liked, reacted or commented on harmful misinformation about COVID-19 that Facebook have since removed will have such messages landing in their News Feed - connecting them to COVID-19 myths debunked by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the compan
  • US scientists warn social distancing may have to remain till 2022
    Washington, April 16 (IANS) Social distancing measures such as restrictions on public gatherings may have to remain in lace intermittently for at least a couple of more years to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the absence of vaccine against the virus or dramatic increase in critical care capacities, researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have warned. These tough measures which have already pushed the world economy into recession may be necessary because th
  • Long-duration space travel could change astronaut brain volume
    New York, April 15 (IANS) Long-duration space travel could lead to permanent brain volume changes as well as pituitary gland deformation in astronauts, warns a study. For the study, published in the journal Radiology, the researchers performed brain MRI on 11 astronauts, including 10 men and one woman, before they traveled to the International Space Station (ISS). The researchers followed up with MRI studies a day after the astronauts returned, and then at several intervals
  • Facebook AI model beats Google, runs 5 times faster on GPUs
    San Francisco, April 12 (IANS) A team from Facebook AI Research (FAIR) has developed a novel low-dimensional design space called 'RegNet' that outperforms traditional available models like from Google and runs five times faster on GPUs. RegNet produces simple, fast and versatile networks and in experiments, it outperformed Google's SOTA EfficientNet models, said the researchers in a paper titled 'Designing Network Design Spaces; published on pre-print repository ArXiv. The r
  • Smartphone downswing alarming in India, to last longer: Report
    New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) The downswing in smartphone industry had already started before lockdowns in countries like India and with retail stores now shut, online channels selling essential items like groceries and consumers in no mood for device replacement, the slowdown will be deep and last longer than in China, a new report said on Friday. The smartphone market in China saw a sharp hit in January and February but was already recovering before the end of March as supply ch
  • Microsoft giving 3-months paid parental leave to help kids study at home
    San Francisco, April 10 (IANS) Microsoft has announced three-months paid parental leave for its workers are schools are shut and parents are learning to cope with children taking online classes at home. According to a CNN report on Friday, the tech giant has given two options to its workforce: Take a 12-week leave at one go or few days in a week. Microsoft has called this initiative "12-Week Paid Pandemic School and Childcare Closure Leave" which is meant to "give our employ
  • Twitter tells users it's sharing more personal data with advertisers
    San Francisco, April 9 (IANS) In a weird move apparently to bring in more ad dollars, Twitter has rolled back a privacy setting that allowed users to stop sharing some personal data with its advertisers, saying the update will help the company "continue operating as a free service." Users in India and elsewhere received the pop-up message late Wednesday, which said that "the control you have over what information Twitter shares with its business partners has changed." "Speci
  • 'Smart Tech' can help India manage global crisis better
    New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Leveraging the power of "Smart Tech" -- 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 -- can help India create an efficient crisis management system which can ensure minimal impact due to any man-made or natural crisis, a new report from market research firm techARC said on Wednesday. These technologies can help create an automated end-to-end supply chain for consumers with minimal failure chances, said the report. "No one can afford to pause a coun
  • All Microsoft events to be digital-only till July 2021
    San Francisco, April 7 (IANS) In a strong message for tech giants as new coronavirus continues its unabated growth globally particularly in the US, Microsoft is planning to make all its events – internal as well as external – digital-only till July 2021.   According to a report in The Verge on Tuesday, the online-only focus is now extending to far more events over the next year.   "In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, Microsoft has been closely mo