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Thursday, November 26, 2020
WhatsApp confirms group voice calls in latest update

WhatsApp confirms group voice calls in latest updateGiving its over one billion users more power to connect, WhatsApphas confirmed group voice calls in its latest beta version of Android. According to WaBetaInfo, a popular website that tests new WhatsApp features early, the 2.17.70 beta WhatsApp update has confirmed group calls. "The 2.17.70 iOS update has very hidden references to group calls! Before it was an internal news, now it's all confirmed. "There are a lot of hidden references about group voice calls, but there is only one reference about group video calls. So group video calls are partially confirmed at the moment," WaBetaInfo tweeted on Sunday.

It was earlier reported that the Facebook-owned messaging app was working on a group voice calls and could release the feature next year. Facebook already has a similar feature on Messenger.

"WhatsApp 2.17.70 sends a request to the server to ask if the user you are calling is in another group call!" WaBetaInfo tweeted. "Note that these references we found are very strong (but they aren't visible for you at present) and they have allowed us to understand what WhatsApp is going to add in the application, as we did for WhatsApp for iPad," it added.

The newest beta version of WhatsApp for Android has several updates, including a smaller app size and a feature that would notify your friends when you change your number.

According to technology website Teknepolis, one major update is that when you change your phone number in WhatsApp, your contacts would receive notification of the update. The feature would work every time you change your phone number.

WhatsApp has also announced advanced features for improved group management, including a tool that will prevent the group creator to be deleted from the group by other administrators. The administrators on WhatsApp groups will also be able to choose if other participants can modify the subject of the group, its icon and its description.

Reports said recently that WhatsApp's much anticipated "unsend" feature will be soon rolled out to all users. According to WABetaInfo, the messaging app is finally testing the "Delete for Everyone" feature. "The server finally works and it successfully recalls the message. It will be remotely enabled later and seen that WhatsApp 'enabled' their servers for the Delete for Everyone feature, it may really be enabled soon," said WABetaInfo in a tweet recently.

With this feature, the users will be able to recall or unsend texts, images, videos, GIFs, documents, quoted messages and even status replies within a five-minute window. WhatsApp will also facilitate instant money transfer via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transaction system soon. With over 1.2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is available in more than 50 different languages around the world and in 10 Indian languages. (Source: ETTelecom)

Paytm Mall claims 20% of total e-commerce festive sales

Paytm Mall claims 20% of total e-commerce festive sales It is not just the top ecommerce players, Flipkart and Amazon India, who reaped rich sales in the just-concluded festive season. Minnows like Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall claim to have cornered a relatively significant slice of the market pie as well.

Paytm Mall, which was launched as a separate platform six months ago, claims to have garnered a market share of 15-20% during the sales. The company, which has been betting big on its online-to-offline (O2O) model, said 40% of its festive sales were contributed by this model and claims to have achieved an annualised GMV run-rate of approximately $4 billion, a target that was set for March 2018.

This brings their festive sale month (from September 20 till mid-October) GMV to an estimated $300 million. While this number has been extrapolated based on the uptick witnessed during the festive season, it remains to be seen how the performance would vary when it is business as usual.

“People shop less post-Diwali season, but that will not impact our business since it is a horizontal platform selling products with repeat purchases as well,” Paytm Mall’s chief operating officer Amit Sinha told ET.

“Moreover, our O2O model will lead to a month-on-month increase in retailers on board, thereby causing an increase in acquisition of customers.” While majority of the ecommerce platform customers were existing Paytm users, the company claims to have witnessed a six-fold increase in new consumers.

ANALYSTS SCEPTICAL
Analysts, who said that 80% of the overall festive sales worth $2.8-2.9 billion (beginning with Flipkart and Amazon’s flagship sales in September) were cornered by Flipkart and Amazon India, are sceptical about Paytm Mall’s performance. They have pegged the company’s overall festive sales at no more than $200 million, primarily powered by cashback offers.

“The two categories customers were comfortable buying on Paytm Mall were smartphones and laptops and only if there were good enough cashback offers,” said an analyst, requesting anonymity. “You don’t see customers opting for Paytm Mall if the cashback option isn’t available.” Majority of the company’s GMV during the festive season has been contributed by home appliances, smartphones, laptops, and two-wheeler, while most units sold have been from the FMCG section, a category which has been Amazon India’s focus as well.

“Paytm Mall does not yet have the large variety of products and a high range of sellers that other marketplaces have,” said a seller, who is present across all ecommerce platforms. While Paytm Mall presently has 30,000 sellers, Flipkart and Amazon India have over 1.6 lakh and 2 lakh sellers, respectively (Source: Economic Times)

Nokia 7 With 'Bothie' Camera, 6GB RAM Option Launched: Price, Specifications

Nokia 7 With 'Bothie' Camera, 6GB RAM Option Launched: Price, SpecificationsNokia 7 has become the latest Nokia smartphone to become official as the company unveiled its latest mid-range handset at an event in China. The launch had been anticipated since a Tmall teaser suggested the handset may carry the moniker '7'. With Nokia 7, buyers will get flagship-like features at roughly half the price of Nokia 8. Among the highlights of the handset is the 7000 series aluminium body and Corning Gorilla Glass on the back panel. In fact, the Nokia 7 rear panel uses 3D glass thermoforming technology for casting and features with rounded corners.

The latest addition to the Nokia's Android smartphone portfolio packs an f/1.8 aperture lens and comes with 'bothie' camera mode, which made its debut on the flagship Nokia 8 (Review). The company is heavily marketing the feature as "Dual-Sight mode" which uses both front and rear cameras simultaneously. The handset also supports live video streaming to Facebook and YouTube from the built-in camera. With the Nokia 7, HMD Global claims users can go live on Facebook from within the camera app and use the "Dual-Sight mode."

Nokia 7 price and availability
The all-new Nokia 7 has been launched first in China and will be going on sale starting Tuesday. It comes in two variants: 4GB RAM priced at CNY 2,499 (roughly Rs. 25,000) and 6GB RAM at CNY 2,699 (roughly Rs. 26,500). There's no word on the availability of the Nokia 7 outside China as of now. The Nokia 7 comes with 4K video with Nokia OZO audio technology that supports 360-degree recording.

Nokia 7 specifications
Coming to innards, the Nokia 7 runs on stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat and comes with timely software update promise from the company. HMD Global has also confirmed that the Nokia 7 is Android Oreo-ready. It features 5.2-inch IPS 2.5D display with screen resolution of 1080x1920 pixels and also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top. The smartphone features the new octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 clocked at 1.8GHz. It comes in 4GB and 6GB RAM options. There's 64GB storage and comes with expandable storage up to 128GB (via microSD card).

On the camera front, the Nokia 7 sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture lens and dual tone flash. At the front, there's 5-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture. The handset comes with USB Type-C port and also supports NFC connectivity options. It comes with the usual assortment of connectivity features. At the back, the handset sports fingerprint scanner. It packs 3000mAh non-removable battery. It measures 141.2x71.4x7.9mm. (Source: NDTV)

For every 3 male engineers, IT firms employ 1 woman: Survey

For every 3 male engineers, IT firms employ 1 woman: SurveyThe overall representation of women in the engineering workforce of IT firms is just 34 per cent, according to a survey by Belong.co on ‘The Gender Gap in the Tech Industry in India’. The recruitment solutions start-up looked at all tech companies in the country and found that there is one woman engineer for three men engineers, leading to the fact that the Indian technology industry has just 26 per cent women in engineering roles. The survey was done with ITES companies with over 50 employees and the data was collected from around three lakh women. This reinforces the assumption that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) jobs attract fewer women, the survey added.

Career trajectories
After analysing the career trajectories of techies, who moved into managerial positions, and data, the survey found that the transition of men on an average to managerial positions is usually after six years of experience, while women move to these roles after eight years of experience.

Further, the survey has revealed that as much as 45 per cent of women move out of core engineering roles after close to eight years. After quitting engineering, these women mostly move to marketing, product management or consulting, it added.

It said that among the tech talent in India, there are more women in software-testing roles (a less sought-after skill) compared with core programming roles.

This is the case even though the absolute number of jobs in software testing are significantly less than programming, it added. The Belong survey also revealed that for every 100 testing jobs, there were 34 women, compared with 66 men. When it came to hardcore programming roles, the ratio changed to 25:75, it added.

The survey found that if 29 per cent women start working in a given year, the percentage drops to a dismal 7 per cent after 12 years.
The biggest drop-off in pure numbers is after the first five years, it said.

One of the major reasons for this is that women often take a break to start a family around this time in their lives, and many do not return to the workforce, it said..

Initiatives
There have been initiatives by many big companies to tap these lost talents and ‘bring back’ these women, it said. From leadership development programmes and special incentives to refer women candidates, Indian IT companies are using innovative techniques to hire and retain tech talent, it added. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

UIDAI security key in 13.8 lakh telecom biometric units: CEO

UIDAI security key in 13.8 lakh telecom biometric units: CEONearly 13.8 lakh biometric devices in use by the telecom sector for Aadhaar authentication have been made compliant with UIDAI's new encryption norms, according to CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey. The move is aimed at adding a new device-level security layer at a time when Aadhaar-based e-KYC is being used by telecom industry for fresh connections and re-verification of existing mobile subscribers. "In telecom sector, about 13.8 lakh fingerprint devices have been upgraded as registered devices with the new encryption key. Telecom industry is now fully compliant," the UIDAI CEO told .

Overall, about 15 lakh devices have been "upgraded", meaning that these devices, that were being used in the field for biometric authentication, have now been secured with a new layer of encryption. All new biometric devices, as it is, have the latest encryption norms in place, Pandey added.

"In all, about 15 lakh devices have been upgraded out of 20 lakh such units in circulation in various sectors...many banks are also in the process of upgrading their biometric units," he added. Lauding telecom companies for completing the "massive" task of rolling out the new security feature in existing fingerprint devices, Pandey said encryption key will ensure that biometrics captured cannot be misused.
"This is like a third lock. One lock is in form of encryption at the time of biometric capture, then it gets further encrypted at level of the telecom operator, and then we have our own encryption," he said.

Aadhaar-based e-KYC is essential for subscribers going for new SIMs. Further, in early 2017, the government asked mobile operators to reverify all the existing prepaid and postpaid customers, with the help of the 12-digit unique identity number and biometric details.
The re-verification exercise is scheduled to be completed by early 2018. UIDAI's next priority would be to ensure compliance of new encryption norms in other user agencies like banks and government offices, he added.

"We will soon take stock of those who have not complied and ask them to explain why it has not been done yet", he said.
UIDAI is the nodal body responsible for rolling out Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification number that identifies residents based on their biometrics.

While more than 118 crore Aadhaar cards have been generated in the country, 4 to 5 crore Aadhaar authentications are taking place everyday. (Source: Economic Times)

Spectrum allocation critical to 5G: Jio President

Mobile app to make Aadhaar verification easierSpectrum allocation will be the most critical element in adoption of fifth-generation or 5G mobile networks in India, Reliance Jio Infocomm president Mathew Oommen has said. The comment comes in the wake of the government last month setting up a high-level panel with a corpus of Rs 500 crore for research and development to facilitate rolling out of 5G-based services by 2020. “The government has set its focus on 5G. It is important for the industry, technology community and academia to work together and also participate (in auction) for getting the right amount of spectrum,” Oommen told ET. “We need building blocks, and the most critical element is the amount of spectrum allocation per carrier.”

Oommen, who heads global strategy, service development and networks at the new entrant, had recently said that the telco was focusing on 4G-based services but was also looking at 5G.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has sought views of the stakeholders on the quantum, timing and valuation of airwaves in 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands that could be auctioned in order to enable telecom operators to offer 5G services.

At least 100 MHz per operator would be required for 5G enablement, according to Oommen, who said deployment would be carried over frequencies in the 3.5 GHz or less than 6 GHz range. The Global Mobile Suppliers Association has said the 3300-4200 MHz and 4400-4990 MHz bands would be primary spectrum bands between 1GHz and 6 GHz for the introduction of 5G.

In the previous auction, the spectrum in 700 MHz band, considered efficient for rolling out 5G, besides 4G, remained unsold as the industry alleged exorbitant pricing. Asked whether Jio could consider purchase of airwaves in the premium 700 MHz band in the next auction, Oommen said it was too early to spell out a strategy. Jio, which launched commercial services in September 2016, has IP-based 5G-ready network. (Source: Economic Times)

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