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Google opens public voting for ‘Doodle 4 Google’ contest




New Delhi, Oct 23: Google on Tuesday opened public online voting for 20 children shortlisted for its annual ‘Doodle 4 Google’ competition.

The annual competition, announced early in August, encouraged creative, art-loving students across India to bring their imagination to life for the search engine giant’s logo.

This year’s theme was “what inspires you”. The doodle, incorporating letters G-o-o-g-l-e, were to be created using crayons, clay, water colours and graphic design.

From a beautiful sight at the beach to nature’s tiny creatures; India’s farmer community to the Indian folk music; space exploration to learning from animals; children drew their inspiration using crayons, clay and graphic designs, the tech giant said in a statement.

Of the 75,000 students, from Class 1 to 10, across the country who sent in their entries, more than 55 per cent were from non-metro cities, including Visakhapatnam, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Bareilly, Kottayam and Bhubaneswar.

Out of these, Google shortlisted 20 from five categories: Group 1 comprising students from Class 1 to 2; Group 2 with students from Class 3 to 4; Group 3 with students from Class 5 to 6; Group 4 with students from Class 7 to 8 and Group 5 with students from Class 9 to 10.

The online voting, which began on Tuesday, will continue till November 6 (until 10 a.m.). People can cast their votes on the Doodle 4 Google 2018 voting page.

The doodle with the maximum votes will get featured on Google’s home page on Children’s Day that falls on November 14.

The national winner would win a Rs 5 lakh college scholarship, a Rs 2 lakh technology package for their school, as well as a trip to the Google office in India, among other prizes, the company said.

The first edition of “Doodle 4 Google India” was held in 2009 and the theme was “My India”.

The same contest also ran in regions including Canada, Latin America and other Asian countries.



US-based self-claimed cyber expert says 2014 elections were rigged, poll panel denies allegations




London, Jan 21 : In a sensational claim, a US-based self-claimed cyber expert Syed Shuja on Monday said the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were “rigged” and even claimed that BJP leader Gopinath Munde was “killed” as he knew about the “hacking” of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), a claim debunked by the Election Commission of India.

Shortly after the claim was made in London, the Election Commission issued a statement saying it firmly stands by the empirical facts about fool-proof stature of ECI EVMs deployed in India.

Making the allegations without proof months before the Lok Sabha polls at an event here organised by Indian Journalists’ Association (Europe), Shuja claimed he can demonstrate how machines can be hacked.

“It is not possible to hack a machine using Bluetooth. A graphite-based transmitter is required to get into an EVM. The transmitters were used in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Gopinath Munde was murdered as he knew about the hacking in EVMs,” he said in an interaction through tele-conferencing from the US.

The event was attended by senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

Shuja, who claims to be part of the team that designed EVMs used in India, alleged that Congress lost 210 seats in 2014 general election “due to tampering.”

He further alleged that his team members met “a BJP leader in 2014 who knew about this” and “they were killed in an attack”.

The expert claimed “if his people had not intercepted the BJP’s attempts to hack the transmissions during this year’s assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, they would have won those states as well.”

He claimed they stopped the transmission during Delhi assembly elections in 2015 and Aam Aadmi Party emerged as winner. “In Delhi Assembly elections, transmission initiated by the BJP IT was intercepted. We changed the frequency.”

Shuja claimed he, too, was attacked a few days ago.

He claimed a private company had helped the BJP to get low frequency signals to hack EVMs and added that Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the AAP had approached him to know if EVMs could be hacked.

Shuja claimed that someone was “pinging” the EVMs to manipulate data. He added that successive chief election commissioners have told him that EVMs cannot communicate wirelessly. “However, our technology allows you to do it using a modulator at low frequency at 7hz. This is a military grade frequency.”

In its statement, the Election Commission referred to the event in London and said it has been wary of becoming a party to “this motivated slugfest” but it firmly stands by the “empirical facts about the foolproof nature of ECI EVMS deployed in elections in India.”

“It needs to be reiterated that these EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under very strict supervisory and security conditions and there are rigrous standard operating procedures (SOPs) meticulously observed at all stages under the supervision of a committee eminent technical experts constituted way back 2010.”

The poll panel said it is also examining “what legal actions can and should be taken in the matter.”

Opposition parties in India have been expressing apprehensions about misuse of EVMs, but the Election Commission has strongly refuted such allegations.

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WhatsApp rolls out 5-chat message forwarding limit




New Delhi, Jan 21: In a bid to curb fake news, Facebook-owned platform WhatsApp on Monday announced it has globally lowered to five the forward limit for chats — a feature first launched in India last July.

“Starting today, WhatsApp will be implementing this change, globally i.e. all users on the latest versions of WhatsApp can now forward to only five chats at once,” the Facebook-owned platform said in a blog post.

Earlier, the company allowed users globally to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).

“The new change will continue to help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts,” it added.

With the Indian government talking tough on WhatsApp’s failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platorm, the instant messaging service last year rolled out its forward message limit to five chats for over 200 million users in the country.

In one of its notices, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) said WhatsApp has been requested to come out with more effective solutions that can bring in accountability and facilitate enforcement of law in addition to their efforts towards labelling forwards and identifying fake news.

The IT Ministry had also asked WhatsApp to ensure that the platform is not used for malafide activities over the growing instances of lynching of innocent people owing to large number of irresponsible messages filled with rumours.

In August, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the visiting WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels to comply with the Indian laws and take “suitable” steps to prevent misuse of the instant messaging platform in the country.

Daniels’ meeting with the IT Minister came against the backdrop of several incidents of mob lynching being linked to the circulation of fake messages and misinformation on the instant messaging platform.

After being pulled up by the Supreme Court for not appointing a Grievance Officer and complying with other laws of India, WhatsApp in September appointed Komal Lahiri as the Grievance Officer for the country.

Based out of WhatsApp’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Lahiri can be contacted via email and general post.


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Jio added most subscribers in Nov 2018, followed by BSNL: TRAI




New Delhi, Jan 19: Reliance Jio led the subscription race in November 2018 adding around 88.01 lakh subscribers across the country, the highest among all the telecom service providers.

Data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday evening showed that the subscriber base of Reliance Jio by November 30 was around 27.16 crore.

The total number of mobile phone subscribers in the country by the end of November was 117.18 crore, with a net addition of 17.39 lakh customers during the month, as per the data.

“Total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA and LTE) increased from 1,170.02 million at the end of October 2018 to 1,171.76 million at the end of November 2018, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.15 per cent,” TRAI said in its statement.

“As on November 30, 2018, the private access service providers held 89.99 per cent market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 10.01 per cent.”

The state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) added around 3.78 lakh subscribers in November, taking its total tally to 11.38 crore, it said.

Airtel was the other gainer during the month under review with an addition of around 1.02 lakh new customers, taking its total tally to 34.18 crore.

The largest service provider in terms of subscribers and revenue, Vodafone Idea, however, lost around 65.26 lakh subscribers and its subscription base as of November-end was around 42.11 crore.


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