Apple reportedly planning to release cheaper MacBook Air this year

MacBook Air, launched with the aid of then Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in 2008, has now not been updated on the grounds that 2015

Apple is reportedly making plans to release a greater affordable version of the thirteen-inch MacBook Air within the 2nd quarter of 2018, the media suggested.

Apple is likely to launch a new MacBook Air “with a lower charge tag” at some point of the second quarter of 2018, that means we have to see it faster in preference to later, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities was quoted as saying to 9to5mac on Saturday.

The analyst expects the more affordable MacBook Air will assist push MacBook shipments up via 10-15 in line with cent this year.

MacBook Air, launched with the aid of then Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in 2008, has not been up to date considering that 2015 as Apple has shifted attention in the direction of the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook pro.

The thirteen-inch MacBook Air, a popular choice for university college students, is presently offered starting at $999 for 128GB of PCIe-based totally storage, a 1.8GHz twin-core i5 processor, and 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

The device remaining saw a minor update at the global builders conference (WWDC) in June 2017, with a barely faster processor, and 8GB of RAM as a default.

Kuo says that KGI is “advantageous” on shipments of AirPods and predicts the refreshed version will come in the second

half of of the yr, using strong 12 months over yr boom.

similarly, Kuo predicts on the entry-level 6.1-inch model of iPhones this 12 months.

Kuo additionally notes that call for for HomePod has been “mediocre” to date.

basic, demand for the clever speaker primarily based on “transport time” is “impartial”, the record stated.


Reliance Big TV offer: 500 channels free for 5 yrs, HD ones for 1 year

The effectively free offer on Reliance Big TV DTH is valid starting today, March 1, 2018

Anil Ambani-owned direct-to-home service provider Reliance Big TV is now offering free access to up to 500 channels at a zero effective cost, along with one year of free subscription to premium channels.

To avail of the Reliance Big TV set-top box at effectively zero cost, you need to book the DTH from the company’s official portal by paying a booking amount of Rs 499. Another sum of Rs 1,500 needs to be paid once the DTH is delivered, for installation and other services.

However, the total sum of Rs 2,000 is refundable after successful completion of three years in the form of recharge.

According to terms and conditions of the offer, you need to do a monthly recharge of Rs 300 from second year onwards for two consecutive years. At the end of three years, the company would refund a sum of Rs 2,000 in the form of recharge.

The offer comes bundled with free access to up to 500 free-to-air channels for five years and one year of free subscription to paid channels.

“Today, Reliance Big TV is going to mark the beginning of a new dawn in the way Indians have been accessing entertainment on their TV sets. Starting from today, entertainment comes effectively free of cost, with the latest offer by Reliance Big TV. Now every Indian household can enjoy home entertainment & students can have free of cost access to education content with HD HEVC set Top box,” said Vijender Singh, Director, Reliance Big TV in a statement.

Asus challenges iPhone X with all-screen, AI-powered Zenfone 5, Zenfone 5z

The Zenfone 5-series boasts artificial intelligence capabilities, which, unlike some of the other phones, are not limited to camera but have access to display, ringtone, battery and live videos too

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Asus on February 27 showcased the Zenfone 5zand Zenfone 5 at the Mobile World Congress. The smartphones are identical in looks and have similar features. However, these identical twins are powered by different breeds of processors and have different RAM configurations to differentiate.

The next-generation Zenfone-series boasts artificial intelligence capabilities, which, unlike some of the other phones, are not limited to just camera but have access to display, ringtone, battery and live videos as well.

Apart from the AI capabilities, the Zenfone 5z and Zenfone 5 have 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, thanks to their 6.2-inch fullHD+ screen covering almost the entire front. The 19:9 aspect ratio leaves just a small notch on top to accommodate an 8-megapixel camera, earpiece and sensors – just like in Apple iPhone X but smaller.

On the back, the smartphones sport a dual-camera set-up, which features 12MP and 8MP shooters.

The primary 12MP sensor boasts f/1.8 aperture and the 8MP sensor features 120-degree wide-angle lens. Both, front and rear cameras are backed by AI for automatic scene selection and portrait photography, and machine learning to improve the output by learning usage patterns.

The Zenfone 5z and Zenfone 5 sport 2.5D curved glass on the front and back, supported by a metal chassis that holds them together seamlessly. The Zenfone 5z houses Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip (SoC), 6GB RAM and host of storage options starting from 64GB. The Zenfone 5, on the other hand, uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, 4GB RAM, and comes with 64GB storage in base model.


Moscow confused as IAF puts fifth-generation fighter on back burner to buy Rafale

Currently, the Sukhoi T-50 is powered by the NPO Saturn AL-41F1, which only is a souped-up version of the AL-31FP engine that powers the Sukhoi-30MKI

The ongoing MAKS 2015 air show in Moscow features an impressive flying display by the Sukhoi T-50, the fifth-generation prototype fighter’s first public outing in two years. But even the rousing applause fails to mask the disappointment of Russian officials at the Indian Air Force‘s (IAF’s) foot-dragging in co-developing the T-50 into a “fifth generation fighter aircraft” (FGFA) that the IAF will buy.

Well-informed sources in Moscow say the IAF vice chief has written a letter that effectively blocks the FGFA project. It criticises 27 different aspects of the FGFA, raising questions that must be answered before New Delhi and Moscow put $2.5 billion each into jointly developing the advanced fighter.

Business Standard also learns the IAF has vetoed a Russian offer to co-develop a fifth-generation engine for the FGFA. This is baffling to the Russians, given the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) long-standing attempts at joint engine development in order to end India’s expensive dependency on foreign vendors for aero engines. An internal DRDO estimation reckons that India will import aero engines worth Rs 3,50,000 crore over the next decade.

After the DRDO failed to develop the Kaveri engine to the level where it could power the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), it strived to persuade French engine-maker, Snecma, to co-develop an engine. But Snecma declined to share key technologies, especially those relating to materials that can withstand the hellish temperatures created in the engine’s combustion chamber.

Nor has Washington agreed to share these technologies, even after President Barack Obama agreed during his January visit to New Delhi that a “joint working group” would explore US-India cooperation in engine technology.

DRDO and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) officials say the Russian offer of engine co-development fits well with the FGFA project itself, since the engine will power the same fighter. Currently, the Sukhoi T-50 is powered by the NPO Saturn AL-41F1, which only is a souped-up version of the AL-31FP engine that powers the Sukhoi-30MKI. A brand new, more powerful, engine is needed to let the FGFA supercruise, or fly at supersonic speeds while cruising without an afterburner. This is considered essential for a fifth-generation fighter.

Military aerospace experts worldwide believe that, given Moscow’s economic distress, the T-50 project badly needs India’s financial partnership to move forward. So far, the Russian Air Force has ordered only one squadron of T-50s.

Sergey Chemezov, who heads Rostec, the powerful Russian high-technology agency, downplays India’s delay. “As for the involvement with India, there is a certain delay, though this is not something that we (Russia) can be responsible for.


JioPhone gets Facebook as its first third-party app; rollout begins today

The app has been designed from scratch to work on KaiOS, the default operating system that comes loaded with the Reliance JioPhone


Reliance JioPhone , India’s first 4G-enabled feature phone, is all set to receive the Facebook app officially on February 14. The app has been designed from scratch to work on KaiOS, the default operating system that comes loaded with the Reliance JioPhone.

“We are excited about our partnership with Jio and the opportunity to provide the best possible Facebook experience for millions of people using JioPhone. Working with partners like Jio, we want to make sure everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being connected,” said Francisco Varela, vice-president of Mobile Partnerships, Facebook.

From today, the existing and new customers of JioPhone could download the Facebook app from JioAppStore. The app supports timeline view, push notifications and video playback capabilities.

For a non-touch device, the Facebook app on JioPhone supports cursor function to access News Feed and photos.

“JioPhone is the world’s most affordable smartphone built with transformational technology especially for Indians to migrate from a feature phone to a smartphone. As promised, JioPhone will be home to the world’s leading applications, starting with Facebook. Jio, the world’s largest mobile data network, is built to empower every Indian with the power of data and JioPhone is an integral part of this Jio movement,” said Akash Ambani, director, Reliance Jio.

The JioPhone will come with pre-loaded Jio apps for messaging and entertainment. The phone can be connected with television sets via TV Cable accessory for watching live TV using the Jio TV app.


Budget 2018: What Pranab, Chidambaram & Jaitley did & didn’t do in the past

Here are the key highlights of the Union Budgets from 1997 to 2017

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set to present Budget 2018 on February 1. While Budget expectations and Budget wishlist have started coming from all quarters and sectors, what the finance minister will announce in his Budget speech is known only to a select few members of the Budget-making team of the finance ministry.

There is a view that Jaitley would deliver a populist Budget this time, given that it is the last full Budget of the Narendra Modi-led central government in its present term. However, this has been a fiscally difficult year for the government, and prudent economics would not allow him to give freebies.

There have been reports that Jaitley might even consider increasing the personal income tax exemption limit to benefit the middle class salaried people, who have been impacted lately by rising retail inflaion.

Business Standard takes a look at the past Budgets and the key highlights that took the centre stage and became a talking point.

Budget 1997-98

The Finance Minister P Chidambaram, announced lower Income Tax rates of 10, 20 and 30 per cent as against the then 15, 30 and 40 per cent. The rate was 10 per cent in the first slab of Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000, 20 per cent in the slab of Rs 60,000 to Rs 150,000 and 30 per cent for all incomes above Rs 150,000. Presenting the Second Budget of the United Front Government in the Lok Sabha today, the Finance Minister announced his intention to widen the tax net by amending the Income Tax Act. Under the new proposal residents of large metropolitan cities who satisfy certain economic criteria should voluntarily file the tax return as they would normally fall within the taxable slabs. P Chidambaram also introduced a new tax scheme for retailers having a total turnover of less than Rs 40 lakhs. The income will be estimated at 5 per cent of the total turnover. A Voluntary Disclosure Scheme to harness ‘black money’ for productive purposes was also announced. (more)


Bhima-Koregaon: When new Dalit leadership faces off with Hindutva project

The educated Dalit doesn’t just want a ride on the bus of democracy; it wants to be at the steering wheels

Maharashtra saw violent protests after clashes between Dalits and some Maratha groups in Bhima Koregaon. Dalits had gathered in Pune to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. These clashes and the subsequent protests brought the focus back on Dalit assertion and its conflict with Hindutva politics. The writer analyses this conflict in this Business Standard Special.The determination and force of the response of the Dalits to the violence at the Bhima Koregaon has unsettled the BJP governments of the state of Maharashtra and the centre. It has also baffled the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. This time it has not been easy for the BJP and the governments to denounce the protests the way could do in the past. Previously the Student leaders of the JNU were successfully branded as anti-national. The students and teachers of the Ramjas college of the university of Delhi were also declared anti-national. Before them, the student unrest – mainly led by Dalits – at the central University of Hyderabad was condemned as casteist and anti national. This time the response from the centre’s of power has been slightly complex.

It is true that the RSS tried to blame the violence at the Bhima Koregaon on Umar Khalid and Jignesh Mevani. It did say that the Bharat tere tukde honge gang was responsible for the violence. But interestingly, this time this allegation could not create the kind of frenzied attack on these leaders as we have seen on the previous occasions directed at Kanhaiya, Umar and others.

Student leader Umar Khalid and the newly elected MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani were targeted specifically. Criminal cases were registered against them claiming that it was their provocative speeches which led to violence. But again, these two leaders have not been pushed to back foot. Instead of going defensive, the Dalit leaders have blamed the RSS for the violence and have been demanding the arrest of Guruji Bhide and Ekbote. Prakash Ambedkar has even allaeged that the PMO is saving these accused. The RSS is struggling. How did it happen? Let us try to understand the new situation.

Jignesh Mevani has made it clear after the atrocity at Una that he wouldn’t let the BJP and RSS have respite even for a moment. He is also articulating an alternative vision of development and politics for the Dalits which is much more than getting representation in the electoral politics for them. Even after entering the assembly in Gujarat through elections he has made it clear that his fight would continue on the streets. (more)