Afghanistan Situation: Working To – Latest news headlines


Doing All To Evacuate Indians In Afghanistan: Centre At All-Party Meet

Afghan Crisis: Control over Kabul airport has been split between occupying Taliban forces and US troops.

The government has told 31 opposition parties that the immediate priority is the evacuation of all Indians stranded in Afghanistan, sources said on Thursday afternoon. This was after an all-party meet called by Prime Minister Modi to brief the opposition on the “critical” Afghanistan situation.

Around 15,000 people have contacted the government seeking assistance in fleeing from Afghanistan, sources said, adding that Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had also briefed the opposition about evacuation steps being taken by other nations, such as the United States, Russia and China.

India is trying to evacuate as many people as possible from Afghanistan, Mr Jaishankar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. He underlined that evacuating Indians is the “top priority”.

“We have undertaken evacuation operations in extremely difficult conditions, especially at the airport. Our immediate concern and task is evacuation, and the long-term interest is the friendship for the Afghan people,” Mr Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.

Sources also said the government had told opposition leaders the Taliban broke promises made to the United States and its allies in Doha in the weeks up to its occupation of Kabul.

Last week – before the Taliban took control of Kabul – news agency Reuters said the Islamist group had agreed to a two-week cease-fire in exchange for President Ashraf Ghani’s resignation and the start of talks on setting up a transitional government.

Apart from Mr Jaishankar, the meeting was attended by Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge (Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha) and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (party chief in the Lok Sabha) were among the opposition leaders present, as were NCP chief Sharad Pawar, the DMK’s TR Baalu, and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.

India, which has been allowed to operate two flights per day from Kabul, has evacuated over 300 of its citizens so far. A similar number of citizens from other nations have also been brought back.

However, evacuations have been slowed by the volatile security situation in and around the airport in Kabul, control of which is split between occupying Taliban forces and the United States.

The Foreign Ministry has said the government is committed to their safe return, adding that the main challenge is the operational status of the airport. Evacuations have also been affected by the fact that some Indians had not registered on arrival in Kabul, making it difficult to locate them.

The last batch of evacuation flights from Kabul landed in India on Sunday – a special Air Force plane carrying around 168 people, including 107 Indian citizens, was among those flights.

The evacuees also included some Indian Sikhs who had taken refugee at a gurudwara in Kabul.

An Afghan woman who was on the Air Force flight told ANI the situation in her country was “deteriorating”, and that the Taliban had burned down her house.

Indians were also flown in on three other flights – operated by Air India, IndiGo and Vistara. These flights were routed via Tajikistan and Qatar, due to safety concerns over some flight paths.

On August 17, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security to monitor the safe evacuation of Indians stranded in Afghanistan.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan 10 days ago, after President Ashraf Ghani fled and the group walked into Kabul with no opposition. This was after a staggeringly fast rout of major cities, and following two decades of war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Since then at least 20 people have died at Kabul airport as thousands rush to flee the country, according to a report by Reuters that quoted an unnamed NATO official.

With input from PTI, Reuters


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I’m ‘Listen Like You Mean It’ Author Ximena Vengoechea, and | Sidnaz Blog


Ximena Vengoechea has done a lot of listening. Keeping her ears and mind attuned to the needs of others is something of a calling for her not only in her work as a user researcher at some of the biggest names in the technology industry, but as a person navigating the constant stimuli of modern life. Her book Listen Like You Mean It is a user’s manual to connecting to the world around you through the almighty power of listening—which involves far more than maintaining eye contact and inserting the odd affirmative nod. Listening, it so happens, involves decoding and interpreting what isn’t said, in addition to what actually is.

I recently spoke to Vengoechea about the concept of listening, and how improving one’s listening skills can impact so many aspects of our lives, including the ways we work.

How does one perfect the art of listening, and how does your research in this area inform your approach to work?

Most of us listen “well enough.” We catch the surface-level, literal meaning of what’s been saidenough to remain polite with our neighbors and colleagues and nod and smile at our partnersbut we miss the subtext and emotions beneath the surface.

Effective listening is about creating the space for others to express themselves, in order to better understand them. Putting this into practice requires a strong awareness and understanding of ourselves (and what biases, assumptions, emotions, and experiences we are bringing into a given conversation), as well as a strong understanding of othersand specifically of others’ needs in conversation.

Understanding others’ needs has proven to be very effective in my work. In any given conversation, it’s crucial to understand what needs your conversation partner is bringing in, be it a need for support, advice, validation, or simply an empathetic ear. It’s a kind of detective work that makes collaborating and aligning with others much easier, and also makes meetings (and life!) a lot more interesting. I find myself using this technique often in my approach to work. At the office, if I’m called into a meeting, I want to uncover: What is the need here? What is this person trying to accomplish? What role are they hoping I can play in meeting that need? There’s always a latent need to uncover, and by giving others the space to express themselves and getting curious and asking questions along the way, I can get closer to understanding those needs, and that person. 

You finished your book while raising a newborn in the pandemic and working a full-time job on top of freelance gigs—sounds like a monstrous endeavor. How did you manage your time during this process?

Monstrous is the right word! In general I wouldn’t recommend trying to do All The Things at once, but it happens. Because my time was so scarce, I had to be regimented about it. I kept a massive spreadsheet to track my progress on the book over the course of two years. It helped me to stay organized and also motivated. Especially on days where I’d find myself reworking a chapter and feeling like I’d made little progress, it was a helpful reminder that I had in fact done what I’d set out to do.

The other thing I did was honor my natural productivity cycle as much as possible. Over the years, through observation and self-tracking, I’ve learned that I do my best strategic thinking before lunchtime. That makes mornings a great time for me to do the actual work of writing. As the day goes on, my energy wanes, so I turn to less taxing efforts, like administrative tasks and emails. Evenings are best for “lean back” activities like reading relevant books and expert research, or drawing—my book includes just shy of 100 illustrations, and drawing is for me quite meditative and helps me to wind down.

Knowing all of this made it much easier for me to find the right activity for a given block of time, which helps when you don’t have much time to begin with. The other thing that helped was creatively using existing pockets of time (like commutes, back when we had those, and my toddler’s nap time), as well as having a very supportive spousemy husband definitely picked up the slack at home and kept my toddler and I fed.

When having everyday conversations, what are some ways the average person can dig deeper and use listening skills to build stronger relationships?

Usually, we are so caught up in our own narrativeswinding up to respond to something that’s been said, mentally tuning out because we find a topic boring, jumping ahead in an effort to persuade or correct someonethat we don’t actually hear what the other person is saying. To truly hear someone out, we need to set aside our own assumptions, opinions, and preconceived notions (also, sometimes, our emotions). In other words, we need to bring humility into the conversationto shift our mindset from being an expert with all the answers to being a student open to hearing more.

From there, get curious about your conversation partner. What can you learn about them at this moment? What can they teach you about a given topic, experience, or themselves? Asking others about their experience is one of the best ways to strengthen a relationship, because it demonstrates your interest in another person. Research shows that rather than focusing our efforts on being interesting to others (by telling stories, jokes, or “performing” for them), we should concentrate on being interested in othersthat’s what draws people in. You can do this by asking open-ended questions that begin with “how” and “what”these are more constructive questions than those that begin with “do,” “is,” and “are”, which are more likely to bias others and result in one-word, yes-or-no responses. Ask follow up questions, too, to take the conversation deeper. For example, encourage the conversation by asking, “what else?” or “say more about that,” or “tell me more.”

Of course, remember your goal is to have a conversation, not an interrogation, so make sure you are paying attention to body language and tone of voice to understand if your question-asking is paying off or making someone uncomfortable. This is where the “art” side of listening comes ina script is a fine place to start, but you have to continuously check in, using your own eyes and ears and intuition, to make a conversation sing.

How can someone use listening skills to better inform their own approach to work?

One of the interesting things about improving your listening skills is that you begin to realize how much of your ability to be an effective listener is really about you, not the other person [and] how fascinating or boring they are (in fact, if they’re boring, in some ways that is on you).

We tend to assume that listening is little more than showing up and paying attention to the other person, but it’s also deeply tied to paying attention to ourselves. It’s noticing how we instinctively listen in conversation—what I call our “default listening modes,” a kind of filter we hear the world through, such as problem-solving, mediating, or validating—and whether or not that given listening mode is really what’s called for.

It’s identifying your personal “hot spots, the topics that uniquely set you off and emotionally activate you in some way, be it talking about climate change, Father’s Day, or feminism, and becoming aware of when you are having a strong reaction in conversation that makes it hard to listen with empathy. And it’s knowing what prevents you from staying present, be it a lack of food or sleep, being a morning person or a night owl, getting distracted by devices, and more. That kind of self-knowledge comes by having a scientific approach and observing yourself in action: tracking your thoughts, instincts, and emotions during a conversation, and also reflecting on them afterward. [Consider] external factors, too, like how your surrounding environment, the topic at hand, or even particular company affect your ability to listen.

When you do this, you can more easily see what gets in the way of your ability to listen with empathy, and even catch yourself in real time. I think that makes many of our work-related conversations much easier. In a performance review or heated debate, you can catch yourself if you’re having an emotional response to feedback and are having trouble hearing the other person out. In a coffee catch up with a colleague, you can notice if you are zoning out because you are hungry, tired, or distracted by a previous conversation. Observing and learning from your behavior and noticing how you are affected by your surroundings helps you to uncover your unique needs for doing your best listening. That’s going to help everything from meetings to brainstorms to interviews and client presentations run smoother. 

What are some lessons you learned about work from the process of writing this book, and how do you hope to implement them going forward?

In my day job, I don’t consider myself to be a perfectionist—my motto when working in startups has always been “done is better than perfect,” and if a project took two months to complete that was considered to be a long time. Yet writing a book is an entirely different endeavor. I worked on the book for two years, and it turns out, I do have some perfectionist tendencies after all, for the right project. Though I loved the blank page part of the writing process (going from 0-80% has always been my sweet spot), when it came time for editing, I found I had a tendency to overdo it.

The editing process taught me the importance of stepping back when you’ve reached a limit instead of trying to perfect something. I can’t tell you how many times in the last stretch of my work I tried so hard to “crack” a chapter that I ended up cracking it wide open and making an even bigger mess of it, all because I was too close to it and couldn’t see that the thing that needed fixing was actually far simpler than I was making it out to be. Kudos to my husband for forcing me to close the laptop and take a walk on more than one occasion!

My editor was also helpful in pointing out when something was good enough. The takeaway for me is that it’s important to be able to step back and recognize when you’ve reached a limit on improving something, and equally important to have people in your life and in support of your work that you can turn to for help with the things you know you aren’t good at, and don’t have the energy or skill set for. 


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Latest News Today – Samsung Working on Fixing WhatsApp Media Sharing Issue


Samsung users running two WhatsApp accounts on their Galaxy smartphones using the Dual Messenger feature have been reportedly facing several issues. Samsung is now said to be working on a fix. Dual Messenger allows users to run two different accounts of apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, etc. on a Galaxy smartphone. Many users have been reporting issues with opening and sending media on the parallel version of WhatsApp on their phones. Samsung has reportedly said it will release a fix with a future update soon.

A report by SamMobile quotes Samsung as saying that it is working on fixing an issue where users are unable to open media received on WhatsApp registered using its Dual Messenger. Users are also unable to send saved media. The issue is said to be persistent with WhatsApp version (or later).

Till an update arrives, users have been reportedly advised by Samsung to forward the media received on their Dual Messenger WhatsApp to their primary WhatsApp and open it from there. For sending media, users are advised to send files via the Gallery or My Files app and sharing them by selecting the Dual Messenger WhatsApp.

You can activate Samsung’s Dual Messenger by going to Settings > Advanced features > Dual Messenger. Follow these steps to activate two WhatsApp accounts on your Samsung phone.

In other Samsung-related news, the South Korean tech giant is gearing up to launch the Galaxy A22 5G smartphone in India. The upcoming smartphone is expected to come in two RAM + storage configurations — 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 128GB.

Does WhatsApp’s new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Satvik Khare is a sub-editor at Gadgets 360. His proficiency lies in educating how technology makes life easier for everyone. Gadgets have always been a passion with him and he’s frequently found finding his way around new technologies. In his free time he loves tinkering with his car, participating in motorsports, and if the weather is bad, he can be found doing laps on Forza Horizon on his Xbox or reading a nice piece of fiction. He can be reached through his Twitter

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Latest News Today – India Working On First Major Free Trade Pact In A Decade


India Working On First Major Free Trade Pact In A Decade

This would be the first major free trade agreement for India since 2011. (Representational)

India and the UK are intensifying talks to remove non-tariff barriers and foster greater market access as they work to stitch together the South Asian nation’s first major free trade pact in a decade.

The two countries have zeroed in on a list of achievable items that would help the UK showcase the benefits of leaving the European Union while also allowing India to forge new bilateral ties after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government pulled out of a multilateral Asia trade pact in 2019, according to people with the knowledge of the matter in the capital, New Delhi.

They expect to finalize an interim agreement by the end of the year that would give British medical devices and agricultural products such as apples, quinces and pears access to Indian markets, while widening the scope of employment in the UK for Indian seafarers and nurses, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is still under discussion.

Under pressure from exporters, India has been in talks over early harvest deals with the UK, U.S. and the EU — some of its major trading partners — but until now, only Britain has shown interest. And unlike many of India’s other trade talks which have lingered for years without an outcome, there is a strong chance of a deal with the UK given the needs of both the sides, the people said, noting these negotiations have progressed much faster than others.

A spokesperson at the British High Commission in New Delhi didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and a text message. Call and text messages sent to the spokesman at India’s trade ministry remained unanswered.

The initial deal would form part of the broader free trade agreement which would slash tariffs on a range of items, facilitate investments and give access to services and goods in a bid to increase bilateral trade. The U.K. and India want to double trade between their two countries by 2030, up from over $15.4 billion in 2019-20.

This would be the first major free trade agreement for India since 2011 when it signed a comprehensive deal with Malaysia, though a minor FTA was inked with Mauritius in February.

Turning Inwards

Despite championing free trade in global forums, the Modi government has been turning inwards over the last few years, first announcing review of all the existing free trade agreements over concerns that they led to more imports than exports, and then raising tariffs to support domestic industries. Soon after being elected for second term with a thumping majority, the Modi government opted out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Since then, India has worked on reviving bilateral trade relations with major export destinations such as the EU, the U.S., and Australia to offset the expected loss, while it tries to woo investors looking for alternative destinations to China for their supply chains.

Earlier in May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and PM Modi pledged a “quantum leap” in their relationship and launched an enhanced trade partnership to boost exports and resolve market access issues.

The proposed agreement, one of the high-priority deals Johnson is hoping to secure — along with Australia, New Zealand and the US — is expected to resolve long-pending demands including allowing British legal firms access to the Indian market and a social security pact to ensure India’s skilled professionals don’t have to pay certain taxes in the UK if they’re being paid domestically, the people said.

Still, contentious issues remain, including high Indian tariffs on alcohol and automobiles. The UK wants the removal of tariffs including a 150% levy on whiskey and 125% duty on imported cars, while India is seeking “data secure nation” status. Areas including e-commerce, public procurement, financial and banking services have yet to be discussed, the people said.


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Latest News Today – OnePlus May Be Working on Introducing Its Cryptocurrency


OnePlus could be the next big name in the growing market of cryptocurrencies led by Bitcoin as the Chinese company is found to be conducting a survey on blockchain research. The survey is aimed at getting user feedback on cryptocurrencies. The company is asking users whether they have used trading platforms such as Coinbase, Gemini, Robinhood, and Binance. It seems to be a hint at OnePlus venturing into the cryptocurrency platform/ wallet space. Bitcoin and other digital currencies such as Ethereum and Dogecoin have become quite popular among young smartphone users, especially because of the easy access to cryptocurrency trading apps. This might have led OnePlus to think of a native solution for its users to at least store cryptocurrencies — if not invest and trade.

As initially reported by MySmartPrice, the survey titled OnePlus Blockchain Research suggests the company’s interest in building a product around cryptocurrency. Although the focus of the survey from its title solely appears to be around understanding the blockchain technology, some of the questions available to its respondents hint at the development of a new cryptocurrency platform that could be a wallet to save digital assets such as Bitcoin.

The survey asks users about whether they invest in cryptocurrencies and which platforms they use for the investment. It also includes a question on understanding problems and inconvenience investors have encountered when investing in or holding a cryptocurrency. Further, the company is seeking information on whether the respondents have used any “software hot wallets” such as the Coinbase Wallet or MetaMask.

Gadgets 360 has reached out to OnePlus for a comment on the matter and will update this space when the company responds.

Cryptocurrency remains a very volatile investment. You would know if you have been reading about or tracking Bitcoin price in India. But nonetheless, companies in tech appear to have plans to step into the cryptocurrency market.

OnePlus rival and one of the leading smartphone vendors Samsung has been supporting Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies on its Galaxy smartphones since the launch of the Galaxy S10 in February 2019. The South Korean company offers its Blockchain Wallet to provide support for the popular coins. It also recently updated the wallet with support for third-party hardware wallets.

A few days back, Apple was also found to have interest in entering the cryptocurrency world. The Cupertino-based company posted an opening for a business development manager with experience in the cryptocurrency industry. It could be to natively start supporting Bitcoin transactions through Apple devices.

That said, traditional investors still don’t prefer investing much in cryptocurrencies, owing to their volatility and problems like the ripple effect, which means the drop in the price of one also affects other cryptocurrencies.

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Cryptocurrency Prices across Indian exchanges

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at [email protected] Please send in your leads and tips.

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Latest News Today – Long Working Hours Are A Killer, WHO Study Shows


Long Working Hours Are A Killer, WHO Study Shows

The joint study was produced by the WHO and the International Labour Organization (Representational)


Working long hours is killing hundreds of thousands of people a year in a worsening trend that may accelerate further due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

In the first global study of the loss of life associated with longer working hours, the paper in the journal Environment International showed that 745,000 people died from stroke and heart disease associated with long working hours in 2016.

That was an increase of nearly 30% from 2000.

“Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard,” said Maria Neira, director of the WHO’s Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.

“What we want to do with this information is promote more action, more protection of workers,” she said.

The joint study, produced by the WHO and the International Labour Organization, showed that most victims (72%) were men and were middle-aged or older. Often, the deaths occurred much later in life, sometimes decades later, than the shifts worked.

It also showed that people living in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region — a WHO-defined region which includes China, Japan and Australia — were the most affected.

Overall, the study – drawing on data from 194 countries – said that working 55 hours or more a week is associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease compared with a 35-40 hour working week.

The study covered the period 2000-2016, and so did not include the COVID-19 pandemic, but WHO officials said the surge in remote working and the global economic slowdown resulting from the coronavirus emergency may have increased the risks.

“The pandemic is accelerating developments that could feed the trend towards increased working time,” the WHO said, estimating that at least 9% of people work long hours.

WHO staff, including its chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, say they have been working long hours during the pandemic and Neira said the U.N. agency would seek to improve its policy in light of the study.

Capping hours would be beneficial for employers since that has been shown to increase worker productivity, WHO technical officer Frank Pega said.

“It’s really a smart choice not to increase long working hours in an economic crisis.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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Latest News Today – Elon Musk Says He’s Working With Dogecoin Developers To


Elon Musk has shown again he can influence the digital currency market with just his tweets. After saying that his electric vehicle-making company Tesla will not accept payments in Bitcoin because of environmental concerns, he tweeted that he was working with developers of Dogecoin to improve system transaction efficiency. Following the two distinct statements from him, the world’s largest cryptocurrency hit a two-month low, while Dogecoin rallied by about 20 percent. The SpaceX CEO has in recent months often tweeted in support of Dogecoin, but rarely for Bitcoin.

In a recent tweet, Musk put out a statement from Tesla that it was “concerned” about the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin (price in India) mining and transaction, and hence was suspending vehicle purchases using the cryptocurrency.

A day later he again tweeted saying, “To be clear, I strongly believe in crypto, but it can’t drive a massive increase in fossil fuel use, especially coal”.

It triggered a downward spiral for Bitcoin value but the cryptocurrency has stabilised since.

And now he has said he was working with Dogecoin (price in India) developers to improve “system transaction efficiency” and added that the currency has potential.

A number of Twitter users welcomed Musk’s statement. One of them said it’s time people started realising that Dogecoin “is here to stay” and another referred to Musk’s previous assertion that crypto could become the world’s future currency.

However, Twitter user @JeffTutorials also asked him to stop “manipulating” crypto markets and he was supported by a few others.

Time and again, Musk’s tweets have influenced the value of Bitcoin as well as Dogecoin. While in February, a series of tweets by Musk, hailing Dogecoin, took the value of the meme-based cryptocurrency to wild levels. In March, the value of Bitcoin rose to a then all-time high of $60,000 (roughly Rs. 43 lakhs) after he announced that Tesla would accept the cryptocurrency as a mode of payment.


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Latest News Today – Xiaomi Working on Smartphone With 200-Megapixel Camera


Xiaomi is working on a smartphone that will come with a 200-megapixel sensor according to a new report. This news comes a few days after the Chinese technology giant launched the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro with an 108-megapixel Samsung HM2 primary sensor in India. Reports about the 200-megapixel sensor have been making rounds on the Internet for quite some time now. A couple of tipsters have also pointed out that Samsung is allegedly working on a 200-megapixel ISOCELL sensor for smartphone cameras.

Tipster Digital Chat Station has confirmed the existence of a 200-megapixel sensor via a tweet, as well as a post on Weibo (via ITHome). The tipster’s post does not explicitly mention that Xiaomi is working on a smartphone with a 200-megapixel camera but the ITHome report does. It also cites an older Weibo post from tipster Ice Universe who claimed that this particular ISOCELL sensor is being developed by Samsung, and has a 0.64-micron pixel.

This is not the first time that Samsung’s name has come up as the maker of the 200-megapixel camera sensor. Apart from a tweet from Ice Universe, tipster WHYLAB had also claimed that Samsung is working on this sensor. WHYLAB claimed that Samsung’s alleged 200-megapixel sensor measures 1/ 1.37-inch and has 1.28-micron pixels. It is claimed to support 4-in-1 as well as 16-in-1 pixel binning technology to reduce the noise for enhanced images. The sensor was also tipped to record 16K videos.

At that time, WHYLAB also said that the sensor may debut in the ZTE Axon 30 Pro 5G, however, the smartphone was launched with a 64-megapixel sensor by Samsung. LetsGoDigital’s Mark Peters had claimed in a tweet that the Samsung Galaxy S22 will have a 200-megapixel sensor. He also shared 3D product renders in collaboration with Technizo Concept highlighting the 200-megapixel Olympus camera. There is no concrete information in this regard as of now, and the developments should be taken with a grain of salt.

We dive into all things Apple — iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K, and AirTag — this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Sourabh Kulesh is a Chief Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He has worked in a national daily newspaper, a news agency, a magazine and now writing technology news online. He has knowledge on a wide gamut of topics related to cybersecurity, enterprise and consumer technology. Write to [email protected] or get in touch on Twitter through his handle @KuleshSourabh.

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Latest News Today – ISRO Chairman Says India, France Working on Third Joint


India and France are working on their third joint satellite mission, even as the bilateral space collaboration is entering into multiple domains, including human spaceflight programme, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said. Sivan, also Secretary in the Department of Space, said many French companies are keen to tap into opportunities thrown up by recent reforms injected into the space sector by the Government.

“France is the biggest partner of India in space,” he said at the DST (Department of Science and Technology) Golden Jubilee Discourse on “unlocking India’s space potential – geospatial data & mapping”, an event presented on virtual mode by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication and Vigyan Prasar on Friday.

According to ISRO officials, ISRO and French space agency CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales) have undertaken two joint missions “Megha-Tropiques”, which was launched in 2011, and “Saral-Altika” in 2013.

“Currently, we are working for the third one (mission),” Sivan said.

Officials said ISRO and CNES have completed the feasibility study to realise the earth observation satellite mission with thermal infrared imager, TRISHNA (Thermal Infrared Imaging Satellite for High resolution Natural resource Assessment) and are working towards finalising an implementing arrangement for the joint development.

Sivan said India is also working with France on joint experiments and accommodation of scientific instruments in space missions.

“Indo-French space collaboration is expanding into multiple domains including space exploration and human space flight programme,” he said.

ISRO officials said the two space agencies have also finalised all interface control documents for accommodating CNES’s “ARGOS” instrument in ISROs OCEANSAT-3 satellite.

ARGOS instrument has been delivered at Bengaluru for integration with the satellite.

“Discussions on establishing ‘NavIC‘ (an independent regional navigation satellite system developed and maintained by India) reference station in France and CNES ‘Scintillation’ receivers in India are also progressing well,” they said.

ISRO-CNES HSP (Human Space Programme) Working Group had a number of discussions on medical aspects of human spaceflight and finalising an implementation arrangement to formalise cooperation in the field of space medicine, it was noted.

Sivan said with the recent reforms initiated by the government in the space sector, the Indo-French space cooperation is expected to grow further involving industries, academia and research institutes.

He said many French companies want to “make use of” reforms in the sector and “they are going to involve.”

So, the reforms would not only strengthen space cooperation at government-to-government level but industry-to-industry interaction is going to get a “fresh relook” in the changed environment, Sivan added.

Are AmazonBasics TVs Good Enough to Beat Mi TVs in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.


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Discord Could Be Working on Its Own Version of | Sidnaz Blog


Discord could be working on a Clubhouse-like feature, as per some users on Reddit. Discord already allows users to chat over voice-only or video calls but that is limited to a small group. The new feature, called Stage Channel, will allow Discord to host calls to a wider range of users on a single server. Clubhouse was launched in April 2020 and has since gain immense popularity among users. Twitter has already introduced its Clubhouse alternative with Twitter Spaces, while Facebook and Telegram are developing their own versions.

Discord’s Stage Channel was accidently discovered by a Reddit user, first spotted by XDA Developers. The feature sits alongside the existing Text, Voice, and Announcement channels within Discord. The new Stage Channel will be host only audio-only calls that will be meant to larger audiences. This feature will have a select number of speakers where the rest of the audience can request to speak, and the main speakers can select who can speak from the audience. This quite similar to how Clubhouse functions.

The Reddit post that described the feature has now been taken down. Even though the feature was visible to a select number of Discord users, there is no information from the company regarding the official rollout of the feature. The Reddit post also clarified that although the users were able to view the Channel Stage, they weren’t able to use the feature as intended. However, it was highly unexpected that public beta tests for the feature will be rolled out this soon as Discord data miners only spotted this feature a couple of days ago.

In other Discord-related news, WallStreetBets was banned from Discord in January this year for not doing the needful to mitigate the use of hateful speech on their servers. A representative from Discord said the move came after repeated warnings to the investor coalition for violating the community guidelines on the platform.

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