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Google Doodle hails 105th year of South Pole conquest



google doodle

Mumbai, Dec 14: Google on Wednesday saluted the 105th anniversary of the great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s Antarctica expedition and conquest of the South Pole with a special Doodle dedicated to his epic journey on December 14, 1911.

Amundsen’s expedition comprised just 19 people and nearly 100 Greenland sled dogs, who along with the use of skis to cross treacherous terrain, were key to the team’s success.

Known as the ‘last of the Vikings’, the 39-year old Amundsen had raced another British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott and left his party behind by five weeks to reach the icy-cold ‘bottom’ of the world that day.

Amundsen, along with Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting erected a tent at Polheim and hoisted the flag of Norway, and at the bottom of the tent marked it ‘Fram’, the polar exploration ship on which the expedition was carried out.

The Doodle depicts the crew with a tent at the finishing line, skis, sleds, dogs, and the flag fluttering furiously, fighting a snow storm in a stark grey-white background, indicating the harsh conditions down there.

Later, Amundsen – a lifelong adventurer with a gift for organisation and planning said: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order” and his South Pole conquest was a perfect illustration of that principle.

Like the dogs, the explorers were aware that playfulness could help them endure the extreme conditions of the icy frontiers south under.

While prepping from Framheim, their base camp in the Bay of Whales, the team maintained a sense of fun — playing games, holding ‘guess-the-temperature’ contests, celebrating birthdays and telling stories.

When a sub-crew made the final trek to the South Pole in December 1911, it was their camaraderie and meticulous preparations that helped them win the race to “the bottom of the world”.

“In honour of that achievement, today’s Doodle depicts the crew at the finish line, taking a moment to bask in the glory while the Antarctic wind whips outside their tent,” the Doodle tribute said.

Amundsen, who also conquered the North Pole years later, disappeared along with four others while on an air rescue mission to the Arctic on June 18, 1928.

It was after five decades in 1960 that Indian Navy’s Lt Ram Charan became the first Indian to set foot on the Antartica as part of an Australian Polar Expedition.

Indian marine biologist, S.Z. Qasim led the first Indian expedition to Antarctica in 1981-1982, paving the way for India’s entry to the icy continent for research and setting up a permanent base there.

Later, Qasim guided seven other expeditions to the ‘bottom of the world’. He died aged 89 in 2015.






80% Indian internet users browse YouTube: Google

Touching 225 million monthly active users on mobile alone, India is one of the fastest-growing countries for the video platform, the company said.




Mumbai, March 23 : With the increasing penetration of smartphones, data becoming affordable and ever-growing availability of content, 80 per cent of internet users across all age-groups in the country are accessing YouTube, Google India said on Friday.

The Google-owned company highlighted how YouTube is associated with India’s internet growth story at “Brandcast 2018” event as it celebrated its 10th anniversary in the country since its launch in 2008.

“For brands, YouTube is now an end-to-end platform and as per the December 2017 ‘ComScore Video Metrix Multi-Platform’ it reaches 85 per cent of all highly engaged internet users, in the 18 years and above age-group,” Rajan Anandan, Vice-President, South East Asia and India, Google, said in a statement.

Touching 225 million monthly active users on mobile alone, India is one of the fastest-growing countries for the video platform, the company said.

“We now have more than 300 channels with over a million subscribers, from just 16 channels in 2014. We will continue to invest in programmes to support creators, and encourage more diversity and distribution of their content,” said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer, YouTube.

The total number of online video consumers is expected to reach 500 million by 2020, the company said citing a report by FICCI-EY.

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Vivo V9 with 19:9 ‘FullView’ display launched in India



vivo v 7
Vivo 7 smartphone

Mumbai, March 23: Chinese smartphone maker Vivo on Friday launched the V9 for Rs 22,990. This is the company’s first flagship device in India with dual rear cameras.

The cameras come with 16MP+5MP sensors, 19:9 “FullView” display 2.0, and have the highest screen-to-body ratio of 90 per cent, the company said in a statement.

Prospective buyers can pre-book the device at retail stores, Vivo E-store, Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall.

“We are confident that our latest flagship will set new benchmarks in the smartphone industry,” said Kent Cheng, CEO, Vivo India.

Vivo V9’s rear camera offers features such as ultra HD, slo-mo, live photos, retina flash, and Augmented Reality (AR) stickers.

The device sports a 24MP selfie camera with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities.

The bezels on the smartphone measure 1.75-mm so that a 6.3-inch display could be accommodated in a traditional 5.5-inch body, the company added.

Vivo V9 also comes with “Game Mode” that would allow users to block all messages, calls, and alerts during gaming sessions.

The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 octa-core processor coupled with 4GB RAM, and 64GB internal storage and is fuelled by a 3,260 mAh battery.

The smartphone will be available in champagne gold, and pearl black colours at all retail stores starting April 2.


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Snapchat rolls out ‘Map Explore’ to find friends, events



San Francisco, March 23: Photo-sharing app Snapchat has rolled out a new feature called “Map Explore” that will make it easier for users to find events and see friends’ updates on Snap Map.

Snap said the travel and location updates will automatically appear on user’s Snap Map when friends opt to share their location, The Verge reported on Thursday.

The feature will also show Explore updates for Story snaps, including breaking news and other events from around the world, the report added.

“We made ‘Map Explore’ because we noticed that when you open the Map, you aren’t always sure where to start your journey,” Snapchat was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Unless you swiped outside your city, you might never see some of the amazing events our community is capturing,” the statement added.

To access the feature, pinch to zoom out from the camera screen when you launch the app.

Tap on new updates at the bottom of the screen, then swipe horizontally to scroll through updates from your friends and other content from Snap Map.

If you want to delete your status or turn on Ghost Mode (which hides your location) tap on the settings icon in the top right hand of the map.

In 2017, Snapchat launched Snap Map as a tool to let users share their location with friends.


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