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Google Doodle hails 105th year of South Pole conquest



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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.






Adobe reports record $2 bn revenue in Q4



New Delhi, Dec 15: Riding on the success of its Creative, Document and Experience Cloud portfolios, software giant Adobe on Wednesday said that it has achieved a record $2.01 billion revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 that ended on December 1.

The company also registered an annual revenue of $7.30 billion — representing a 25 per cent year-over-year growth.

“Adobe delivered a record revenue of $2 billion in Q4. Our strong business momentum is driven by the market-leading solutions we provide to empower people to create and businesses to digitally transform,” Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO of Adobe, said in a statement.

The company said that its ‘Digital Media’ segment revenue was $1.39 billion, with Creative and Document Cloud achieving record quarterly revenue of $1.16 billion and $235 million, respectively.

Digital Media Annualised Recurring Revenue (ARR) grew to $5.23 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $359 million.

Adobe Experience Cloud achieved a record revenue of $550 million, which represents a 18 per cent year-over-year growth.

“Adobe achieved record annual and quarterly revenue and the leverage in our business model once again drove record profit and earnings,” said Mark Garrett, Executive Vice-President and CFO of Adobe, adding that “We are raising our fiscal 2018 revenue target and remain bullish about delivering strong top line and bottom line growth.”

The software giant’s operating income grew 37 per cent and net income grew 26 per cent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis, operating income grew 37 per cent and net income grew 39 per cent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.

“Cash flow from operations was a record $833 million and deferred revenue grew to an all-time high of $2.49 billion. The company repurchased approximately 1.9 million shares during the quarter, returning $297 million of cash to stockholders,” Adobe said.

As far as revenue details of the fiscal year are concerned, Adobe reported $5.01 billion in Digital Media segment revenue, with Creative and Document Cloud achieving a record annual revenue of $4.17 billion and $837 million, respectively.


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OnePlus 5T ‘Star Wars’ edition phone in India for Rs 38,999




Mumbai, Dec 15 : Celebrating its third anniversary in India, Chinese smartphone player OnePlus has now introduced OnePlus 5T “Star Wars” special edition smartphone in collaboration with science-fiction film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” for Rs 38,999.

The limited edition phone’s design has been inspired by planet “Crait” from the movie. The metal back of the device is “Crait” white with a “Star Wars” logo in red.

“We dedicate the ‘Star Wars’ limited edition to OnePlus and Star Wars fans in India as a part of our three-year anniversary celebration. We’ve worked hard to refine every detail,” Kyle Kiang, Head, Global Marketing, OnePlus, said in a statement late on Thursday.

Similar to OnePlus 5T, the special edition device also features a 16MP + 20MP primary camera with f/1.7 aperture on both sensors.

There is a six-inch display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 for immersive viewing.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset fuels the phone, coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage.

On the software front, there is a customised red, white and black theme with a set of 10 exclusive “Star Wars” wallpapers.

Apart from India, the limited edition variant will also be available in select European countries including Finland, Sweden and Denmark.


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Facebook to push more videos via pre-roll ads for ‘Watch’




San Francisco, Dec 15 : In a move that will push more videos to users, Facebook has announced it will introduce pre-roll advertisements on its video-on-demand service “Watch”.

“Today, the majority of video discovery and watch time happens in News Feed. It provides a great opportunity for publishers and creators to reach their audience, drive discovery, and start to build deeper connections for their content,” Maria Angelidou-Smith, Product Management Director and Abhishek Bapna, Product Manager, Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Thursday.

The social media giant is also updating News Feed ranking to improve distribution of videos from publishers and creators that users actively want to watch.

“With this update, we will show more videos in News Feed that people seek out or return to watch from the same publisher or creator week after week — for example, shows or videos that are part of a series, or from partners who are creating active communities,” Facebook added.

Facebook said it will start formally testing the format next year, according to Ad Age.

However, this does not mean the entire News Feed is going to be full of video ads for users.

The social media major has long resisted the format because of its reputation for annoying viewers who are trying to view their desired content.

For years, CEO Mark Zuckerberg even banned “pre-roll” from Facebook’s advertising platform.

“We don’t need to do pre-roll because our model is not one where you come to Facebook to watch one piece of content, you come to look at a feed,” Zuckerberg had earlier said in July.


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