BSNL Offers 2 Months of Free 20Mbps Broadband Plan to New Laptop Buyers

After revising several of its prepaid plans to increase subscriber base, the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is now looking to lure more users to switch to its broadband connection as well. In a new scheme, the company is reportedly giving two months of 20Mbps broadband connection free to all new laptop and PC buyers. These customers are said to be eligible for the BSNL BBG Combo ULD 45GB plan that was launched very recently. This plan was launched earlier this month, alongside many other plans with 20Mbps speeds.

The price of the BSNL BBG Combo ULD 45GB plan is at Rs. 99. Telecom Talk reports that all users who buy a new laptop or PC are eligible to get two months of the BSNL BBG Combo ULD 45GB plan for free. To avail this plan, users must submit the bill copy of the laptop/ PC within two months of purchase. The report states that the offer is applicable pan-India, except for the Andaman and Nicobar telecom circles.

The report doesn’t detail as to where the customer has to submit the bill, but claims that the bill will be kept in the customer file with the commercial officer of the area. To recall, the new BBG Combo ULD 45GB plan that is said to come with 1.5GB data benefit per day at 20Mbps speeds, and is priced at Rs. 99. Once you cross the FUP, you get to access to Internet at 1Mbps. They also offer unlimited voice calling to any network in the country. This broadband plan is available pan-India, except for Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With this plan, BSNL is also offering one free email ID and 1GB of storage space.

Other plans that were announced alongside include the BSNL BBG Combo ULD 150GB Plan at a price of Rs. 199, and it offers 5GB of data per day. The BSNL BBG Combo ULD 300GB and 600GB Plans are priced at a monthly rate of Rs. 299 and Rs. 399. They offer 10GB per day and 20GB per day data benefit respectively. These plans also offer 20Mbps speeds, after which the speed will dial down to 1Mbps. The speed is said to be restored at 12am midnight every day.

Google Vault Gets New Hangouts Meet and Drive Trash File Retention Rules, Improved Search, More

G Suite of Google has introduced several new features in the latest update to Google Vault. To recall, the Google Vault is a product that lets you retain, hold, search, and export data to support your organisation’s archiving and eDiscovery needs. It supports emails, chats in classic Hangouts with history turned on and Google Talk chats that are on the record, Google Groups, files in Google Drive and Team Drives, and Conversations in Hangouts Chat. Vault is entirely Web-based and is included with the G Suite Enterprise or Business or Education edition. With the latest update, Google Vault will be equipped with new features to “allow for more granular retention and provide a more transparent search experience.”

Google detailed the new Vault features in a blog post, and said, “These features can help you retain exactly the data you need and thereby reduce your liability risk, as well as improve your eDiscovery process with better search and export capabilities.” The update includes improvements to email search options, ability to set retention policy in terms of Hangouts Meet recordings, files in Google Drive trash, and easier exports when it comes to Hangout Chat.

Earlier, Hangouts Meet recordings had the same retention rules as the Google Drive retention rules. With this launch, users will be able to set default and custom retention rules particularly for Hangouts Meet. This will users to set shorter retention periods for Meet recordings. This feature can come useful in certain cases, for instance, when the recording contains more sensitive content.

Users can also set retention policies for files in Drive trash. As a G Suite admin, you can set custom Drive retention rules that expunge files a particular number of days after users move them to trash. Google says that this option provides more “flexibility for organisations who wish to control the lifecycle of files deleted by users separately from those files still active in their users’ My Drive and Team Drives.”

With this launch, Google says that it is making the process of searching your entire domain and large OUs easier and more transparent. If a data type supports domain-wide search, you can now select “All Accounts” to search the entire domain. Also, when the Vault processes your large search request, you will get an activity indicator and the amount of time that has elapsed. An option to cancel your search or run another search in a new tab will also be available.

Other improvements in Google Vault include easier exports when it came to Hangouts Chat including a far less number of files during the export instead of one file per conversation. Earlier, only one conversation per file was available, but now you will see multiple conversations included in the same file until the file size limit is reached, says Google. The company also noted that every Chat conversation will continue to have metadata associated with it, but will contain two new fields – Type of conversation, and Conversation ownership.

The latest update to Google Vault has started for G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education editions only, as well as G Suite users with the Vault add-on. It will be a gradual rollout and may take up to 15 days.

Google Measure App, Originally Exclusive to Project Tango, Now Available for ARCore Devices

Google Measure, the app that was initially a part of the devices supporting Project Tango, has now reached devices supporting ARCore. The app is designed to let users use augmented reality (AR) technology to measure objects in the real world. It was originally launched in 2016 as one of the key Google apps supporting Tango hardware. However, with the latest development, you can receive the enhanced AR experience on your ARCore-supported device. Google notably replaced Project Tango with ARCore in December and discontinued support for Project Tango in March. Soon after the formal discontinuation of Project Tango support, the search giant announced the rollout of a list of new games, shopping and hope, and creative apps based on ARCore 1.0 to support the advanced AR platform.

As its name suggests, the Google Measure app leverages AR to measure surfaces using the camera of the device. You just need to move your phone to analyse a scene and then drag the virtual line over the object or a particular surface to measure its dimensions. Also, you can move closer to view the virtual line on the screen from different angles and once measured, you can take a photo to save the measurement. The app has both imperial and metric units to match your requirements.

When it comes to the compatibility, the Measure app now works with any device that supports ARCore. The list of ARCore-supported devices is quite wide and so far includes various models from companies such as Asus, Google, HMD Global, Huawei, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Sony, and Xiaomi.

You can download the Google Measure app on your supported device directly from Google Play or get its APK file from APK Mirror.

Interestingly, the expansion of the Google Measure app comes weeks after Apple announced its Measure app for iPhone users that brings a measurement tool using AR tech. Apple’s app is initially a part of devices running the initial iOS 12 beta, though it will be widely available following the public release of iOS 12 sometime in September.

Red Shell Tracking Software Removed From PC Games Amid Allegations of Spyware

A new controversy has hit the PC gaming industry as major marketing firm, Red Shell has been accused of installing spyware and tracking user activity through over 50 games including Total War, Civilization VI, Elder Scrolls Online, Kerbal Space Program, and more. While Red Shell’s official website claims that it does not collect any personal information, it is being alleged that the firm tracks user’s activity even outside of the game. Many of the games have announced the removal of Red Shell from their gaming data.

Early in June this year, a Reddit thread claimed that Red Shell had indeed been stealing user data and selling it off to third parties. “Red shell is a Spyware that tracks data of your PC and shares it with 3rd parties. On their website they formulate it all in very harmless language, but the fact is that this is software from someone I don’t trust and whom I never invited, which is looking at my data and running on my PC against my will. This should have no place in a full price PC game, and in no games if it were up to me,” said Reddit user Alexspeed75.

Red Shell has replied to the controversy in a statement to Kotaku, saying, “”We collect the minimum amount of data necessary to do attribution… Our customers rely on us to tell them which activities they’re engaged in are working and which ones aren’t. Any information that doesn’t help us make those matches we don’t collect.” The company added it doesn’t sell data to third parties, nor is it used for ad targeting in the ‘traditional sense’ – it instead claims to help figure out which ads are .

As per the report, citing Reddit, Steam, and forum posts, developers of 16 titles have announced the removal or upcoming removal of Red Shell from their games, including Battlerite, Conan Exiles, Hunt: Showdown, Dead by Daylight, Secret World Legends, The Elder Scrolls Online, Total War, and Warhammer: Vermintide. Dead by Daylight developers explained its use of the software prior to the revelations, saying “We integrated Red Shell with the goal to track the efficiency of our marketing campaigns (how many players clicked on our advertisements on social media platforms and then purchased the game afterwards). There was never any intention to sell data to third parties.”

To find out whether Red Shell is present in the game, you can look for files dubbed Redshell.dll and RedshellSDK.dll however, the thread notes, the files could have been renamed making it tough to locate the identity. Essentially, Red Shell offers digital fingerprint tracking. For instance, one fingerprint is registered when a user clicks on a Facebook ad of the game and another is registered when the game is purchased. The marketing company claims a 91 percent match rate and an astonishing over 98 percent accuracy rate.

Vivo V9 Youth Price in India Reportedly Slashed

Vivo V9 Youth, a toned-down variant of the Vivo V9, was launched in India in late April this year. In a new development, the Vivo V9 Youth has reportedly received a price cut and its lone variant with 4GB RAM and 32GB inbuilt storage will now be available for a new best buy price of Rs. 17,990, claims an established retailer. The smartphone was launched at a price of Rs. 18,990 and is available across offline and online channels. Key highlights of the handset include a 19:9 display, an iPhone X-like notch, a selfie camera with AI integration, and a vertical dual camera setup on the rear.

The Vivo V9 Youth price cut in India was first discovered by Mumbai-based retailer, Mahesh Telecom, who has been reliable in terms of information around price cuts in the Indian market in the past. The V9 Youth is available for purchase via Vivo’s offline partners as well as online partners including Amazon, Flipkart, Vivo E-store, and Paytm Mall.

Vivo V9 Youth specifications

The Vivo V9 Youth runs Funtouch OS 4.0 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box, and sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2280 pixels) FullView display with an 19:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

In the camera department, the Vivo Y9 Youth bears a dual camera setup at the back with 16-megapixel primary and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor. On the front, the V9 Youth sports a 16-megapixel camera sensor for selfies and video calling. There is a 3260mAh battery powering the internals from under the hood.

Earlier in June, Vivo’s latest mid-range smartphone Vivo Y83 was launched with a FullView 2.0 display and a similar display notch. Features of the handset include a MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, 4GB of RAM, a 19:9 display, and AI capabilities.

US Top Court Lets States Force Online Retailers to Collect Sales Tax

States may force online retailers to collect potentially billions of dollars in sales taxes, the US Supreme Court said in a major ruling on Thursday that undercut an advantage many e-commerce companies have enjoyed over brick-and-mortar rivals.

In a 5-4 ruling reviving a South Dakota law challenged by Wayfair, Overstock.com and Newegg, the justices overturned a 1992 high court precedent that had barred states from requiring businesses with no “physical presence” there, like out-of-state online retailers, to collect sales taxes.

Shares of online retailers fell following the ruling, which opened the door to a new revenue stream to fill state coffers – up to $13 billion (GBP 9.8 billion) annually, according to a federal report.

“Big Supreme Court win on Internet sales tax – about time!” President Donald Trump, who has bashed online retail powerhouse Amazon.com and whose administration backed South Dakota, said on Twitter. “Big victory for fairness and for our country. Great victory for consumers and retailers.”

The ruling likely will result in many consumers paying more for online purchases. Because many e-commerce companies do not collect state sales taxes on purchases, they have had an advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses that do collect it.

South Dakota’s law, enacted in 2016, focussed on larger out-of-state e-commerce companies, requiring them to collect sales tax if they amass $100,000 in sales or 200 separate transactions. Other states are now expected to pursue sales tax on out-of-state online purchases, with more legal fights likely. Forty-five of the 50 states have sales taxes.

Overstock closed down 7.2 percent and Wayfair dropped 1.6 percent, though both said the ruling would have no major impact on their businesses. Amazon shares closed down 1.1 percent.

Amazon, which was not involved in the Supreme Court case, collects sales taxes on direct purchases from its site but does not typically collect taxes for merchandise sold on its platform by third-party vendors, representing about half of total sales. The ruling means states may now seek to tax more of those sales, Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea said.

Trump has blasted Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper that the Republican president has disparaged for its coverage of him.

Liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined four conservative justices in the majority in the ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, while conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s three other liberals in dissent.

“Rejecting the physical presence rule is necessary to ensure that artificial competitive advantages are not created by this court’s precedents,” Kennedy said.

In the digital era, the costs of complying with different tax regimes “are largely unrelated to whether a company happens to have a physical presence in a state,” Kennedy wrote.

‘Defend main street’
“This is a great day for South Dakota. We have long fought the battle to defend Main Street businesses and now with today’s ruling, all businesses will compete on a level playing field,” South Dakota Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard said.

Roberts, in dissent, said e-commerce has exploded in the United States in part because there have been uniform rules.

“Any alteration of those rules with the potential to disrupt the development of such a critical segment of the economy should be undertaken by Congress,” Roberts added.

Democratic US Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota was on the losing side in 1992 when she was that state’s tax commissioner in the ruling that was overturned on Thursday. Heitkamp suggested that states follow South Dakota’s lead and enact laws tailored not to target small businesses.

“It’s important that you look at what the court said about it not being a blank check for the states. That should be a message to the states,” Heitkamp told Reuters.

Shares of eBay and Etsy, which both provide platforms for small retailers to sell their wares, were off 3.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Shares of major retailers that have a sizeable presence online as well operating brick-and-mortar stores responded positively. Target Corpclosed up 1 percent and Walmart was up 0.7 percent.

The South Dakota law and others like it could yet face legal challenges on other grounds. Congress could also intervene to set a nationwide standard.

“You will certainly see, absent congressional action, significant litigation, as states try to push the envelope on this,” said Mike Dabbs, senior director of government relations at eBay, which had backed Wayfair.

Jeffrey LeSage, Americas vice chairman for tax at accounting firm KPMG, said the ruling “could turn out to be almost as significant for American businesses as the recent rewrite of the US federal tax code.”

The win was welcomed by groups representing brick-and-mortar retailers and decried by e-commerce advocates.

The ruling puts an end to a legal regime that “distorts free markets and puts local brick and mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage with their online-only counterparts,” said Deborah White, general counsel of the Retail Industry Leaders’ Association.

On the other hand, small internet businesses will lose out because of the increased compliance costs, said Chris Cox, a lawyer for e-commerce industry group NetChoice.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

Facebook Expands Fact-Checking Initiative to New Countries

Facebook has announced to expand its fact-checking programme to new countries that aims to fight spread of fake news on its platform.

The social media giant now has the fact-checking programme running in 14 countries and plans to scale to more countries by the end of the year.

“These certified, independent fact-checkers rate the accuracy of stories on Facebook, helping us reduce the distribution of stories rated as false by an average of 80 per cent,” Tessa Lyons, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday.

In India, Facebook already is in partnership with a Mumbai-based fact-checking organisation called Boom.

Like other Facebook fact-checking partners, Boom is certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, a non-partisan international fact-checking network at Poynter.

Facebook has also expanded its test to fact-check photos and videos to four countries.

“The test includes those that are manipulated (a video that is edited to show something that did not really happen) or taken out of context (a photo from a previous tragedy associated with a different, present day conflict),” the company said.

Machine learning is helping Facebook identify duplicates of debunked stories.

“We’re going to start working with our fact-checking partners to use Schema.orgas aClaim Review’, an open-source framework used by various technology companies and fact-checking organisations,” Lyons said.

To help curb foreign interference in public discourse, Facebook said it is going to use Machine Learning to help identify and demote foreign Pages that are likely to spread financially-motivated hoaxes to people in other countries.

In April, Facebook announced a new elections research commission to help provide independent research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally.

“We’re currently working with the commission to develop privacy-protected data sets, which will include a sample of links that people engage with on Facebook,” the company added.

Labstep wants to fix the way science experiments are recorded and reproduced – TechCrunch

Labstep, an app and online platform to help scientists record and reproduce experiments, has raised £1 million in new funding, including from existing investors. The company, whose team has a background in commercial R&D and academic research, including at Oxford University, is backed by Seedcamp and says it plans to use the new capital to double its team to 12, and for further product development.

This will include the launch of a marketplace for lab supplies, and is one of the ways Labstep plans to generate revenue. The startup will also add features to its app that streamline how scientists outsource elements of their research.

First conceived of in late 2013 and soft launched in 2015, Labstep has set out to digitise the lab experiment tracking and sharing process, and in turn give scientific research a major leg up.

As explained by CEO and co-founder Jake Schofield, science experiments are often recorded in an archaic way, relying on a mixture of pen and paper or entering resulting data into legacy software. Not only is this cumbersome but it also means that experiments are prone to mistakes and can be especially hard to replicate and therefore validate, either by a team working together internally or when sharing and cross-checking with the wider scientific and research community.

Enter: Labstep. The platform and app enables scientists to build libraries of experimental procedures — a bit like recipes — and then easily record progress when following a procedure in the lab, including building a timeline of the experiment. Procedures can also be shared with teams or more broadly, as well as deviated from in a transparent way. In fact, Schofield says one way to think about Labstep is as a ‘Github for lab experiments’. Procedures can be made public or private and can be optionally forked.

“Rather than following paper printouts, when actually carrying out your experimentation you can walk through these procedures step by step on a mobile device at the bench,” Schofield tells me. “Interactive features streamline and make it much easier to capture, comment, and record when you deviate from these processes”.

“Our API allows you to connect all the devices in your lab and automate the upload of results,” he explains. “Every action creates a timeline post, this automatic audit trail increases accuracy and saves the huge amounts of time normally spent writing a progress diary after the fact. You can form lab groups, like internal slack channels, that allow you to share these protocol libraries and real-time updates to see how your colleagues are progressing, this is massive as people are often collaborating and working in different geographical locations”.

In addition, the record of the steps that lead to a scientific conclusion can be attached to academic papers in the form of a URL so that other scientists can attempt to replicate the findings. This feature alone could go some way to tackling what the Labstep founder says is “a global reproducibility crisis,” estimated to cost billions per year in wasted research.

“At the point you publish your results, the competitive emphasis on keeping your research private shifts as you now want others to reproduce and validate your findings. We generate unique IDs that can be put in your publications and methods sections to link the protocols and the process that lead to these results,” he says.

As a route to monetisation, in the coming months Labstep will roll out a marketplace to make it easier to source the lab supplies needed to reproduce findings. It also plans to harness the real-time data that the Labstep app captures on how supplies in the lab are used, and Schofield says that by streamlining the ordering process, the reproducibility problem can be further addressed.

In another nod to collaboration, Labstep will also launch cloud features that allow users to outsource elements of the experimental process. I’m told that although outsourcing of research is commonly done in commercial R&D, it is used much less in academia.

Meanwhile, Labstep says it has users from over 600 universities globally including Stanford, Harvard and MIT in the U.S., and Oxford, University College London, Imperial College, King’s College and the Crick Institute in the U.K. It’s also not the only startup in this space to have got the attention of investors. Benchling, a graduate of Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator, raised a $14.5 million funding round a couple of weeks ago.

Labstep wants to fix the way science experiments are recorded and reproduced – TechCrunch

Labstep, an app and online platform to help scientists record and reproduce experiments, has raised £1 million in new funding, including from existing investors. The company, whose team has a background in commercial R&D and academic research, including at Oxford University, is backed by Seedcamp and says it plans to use the new capital to double its team to 12, and for further product development.

This will include the launch of a marketplace for lab supplies, and is one of the ways Labstep plans to generate revenue. The startup will also add features to its app that streamline how scientists outsource elements of their research.

First conceived of in late 2013 and soft launched in 2015, Labstep has set out to digitise the lab experiment tracking and sharing process, and in turn give scientific research a major leg up.

As explained by CEO and co-founder Jake Schofield, science experiments are often recorded in an archaic way, relying on a mixture of pen and paper or entering resulting data into legacy software. Not only is this cumbersome but it also means that experiments are prone to mistakes and can be especially hard to replicate and therefore validate, either by a team working together internally or when sharing and cross-checking with the wider scientific and research community.

Enter: Labstep. The platform and app enables scientists to build libraries of experimental procedures — a bit like recipes — and then easily record progress when following a procedure in the lab, including building a timeline of the experiment. Procedures can also be shared with teams or more broadly, as well as deviated from in a transparent way. In fact, Schofield says one way to think about Labstep is as a ‘Github for lab experiments’. Procedures can be made public or private and can be optionally forked.

“Rather than following paper printouts, when actually carrying out your experimentation you can walk through these procedures step by step on a mobile device at the bench,” Schofield tells me. “Interactive features streamline and make it much easier to capture, comment, and record when you deviate from these processes”.

“Our API allows you to connect all the devices in your lab and automate the upload of results,” he explains. “Every action creates a timeline post, this automatic audit trail increases accuracy and saves the huge amounts of time normally spent writing a progress diary after the fact. You can form lab groups, like internal slack channels, that allow you to share these protocol libraries and real-time updates to see how your colleagues are progressing, this is massive as people are often collaborating and working in different geographical locations”.

In addition, the record of the steps that lead to a scientific conclusion can be attached to academic papers in the form of a URL so that other scientists can attempt to replicate the findings. This feature alone could go some way to tackling what the Labstep founder says is “a global reproducibility crisis,” estimated to cost billions per year in wasted research.

“At the point you publish your results, the competitive emphasis on keeping your research private shifts as you now want others to reproduce and validate your findings. We generate unique IDs that can be put in your publications and methods sections to link the protocols and the process that lead to these results,” he says.

As a route to monetisation, in the coming months Labstep will roll out a marketplace to make it easier to source the lab supplies needed to reproduce findings. It also plans to harness the real-time data that the Labstep app captures on how supplies in the lab are used, and Schofield says that by streamlining the ordering process, the reproducibility problem can be further addressed.

In another nod to collaboration, Labstep will also launch cloud features that allow users to outsource elements of the experimental process. I’m told that although outsourcing of research is commonly done in commercial R&D, it is used much less in academia.

Meanwhile, Labstep says it has users from over 600 universities globally including Stanford, Harvard and MIT in the U.S., and Oxford, University College London, Imperial College, King’s College and the Crick Institute in the U.K. It’s also not the only startup in this space to have got the attention of investors. Benchling, a graduate of Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator, raised a $14.5 million funding round a couple of weeks ago.

XXXTentacion’s Baby Mama is His GF, He Knew About Pregnancy

XXXTentacion

Baby Mama is GF …

He Knew She Was Pregnant

6/22/2018 1:00 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

XXXTentacion‘s legion of fans might be shocked by the baby news his mom dropped, but it wouldn’t have been a surprise to him — he knew weeks ago.

Sources close to the rapper tell TMZ … X’s girlfriend — whom he’d been dating for months — is the mystery baby mama. We’re told the ultrasound photo shared by X’s mother, Cleopatra Bernard, is definitely the girlfriend’s. 

As we reported … Cleopatra posted the sonogram with the caption, “He left us a final gift.”

Based on the womb snapshot, taken April 23, X’s gf was just over 8 weeks along back then — so, she’s about 4 months pregnant now. That also means the due date is somewhere around mid-November.

We’re told the gf is definitely not his ex, Geneva — and the only reason X hadn’t revealed the news is because he wanted her to have a stress-free pregnancy.