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Google to train two million Android developers: Pichai

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Photo: Sunder Pichai

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New Delhi, Dec 17 : Global internet search engine giant Google will train two million new Android developers in the next three years, its chief executive Sundar Pichai said here on Thursday.

“As per the new plan (by Google), we will train two million Android developers in partnership with 30 universities. This will be done over the time period of next three years.

“For me, getting many developers in the workforce are going to solve many new things,” the Indian-origin CEO, who is on a three-day visit to India – his first after becoming the CEO of the restructured Google, said at the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC).

He later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said he had “a very good meeting” with Pichai.

“Had a very good meeting with Google CEO,” Modi tweeted.

At his SRCC interaction, Pichaio, asked how Google evolves to stay relevant, said: “In the technology world, everything changes in such a fast pace. In 1980s the personal computers were just getting underway and then in 1990s the internet came into existence in US and 10 years after that the smart phones started getting popular.

“This shows you how things change. So lot of what we do is to figure out what the next phase is. You have to reinvent yourself.”

Speaking his mind, the 43-year old CEO said: “If I wouldn’t have become the CEO of Google, I would still be building software products.”

Talking about the recent startup wave in the country, an upbeat Pichai said: “I have always been waiting for this change in India. Last year when I visited India, I really felt that startup culture had really taken hold here.

“Its incredible to see for the scale of India overtime, you do need enterprenuers to tackle and build things for India and globally and I think its a unique opportunity that India has. All the elements you need (for startups) are already here (in India).”

On Wednesday, Pichai met Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said the global search engine company has reached in-principle agreement with the Indian government for its research and development project, Loon, which is aimed at providing internet connectivity in rural India.

“I have proposed Google to partner with the state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited for the pilot project,” Prasad said.

Talking about the public Wi-Fi project which he announced on Wednesday, Pichai said he was very excited about it as it is the largest such project in the world wherein 400 railway stations will get Wi-Fi internet.

“The reason we are doing it is that in India when you bring access to internet it changes lives of people,” Pichai said.

On a lighter note, he also told the students at SRCC that he dreamt of becoming a cricketer! He said he is a big fan of Barcelona and Argentine footballer Lionel Messi.

He also mentioned that he is a fan of legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. “I did dream of being a cricketer. I used to be a fan of Gavaskar and later on Sachin (Tendulkar). I always loved technology. So I used to read about Silicon Valley “

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Apple loses $60bn over reports of weak smartphone demand in 2018

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Taipei, April 21: Apple lost over $60 billion in market cap in two days after Taiwan Semiconductor, Apple’s biggest supplier, said in an earnings update that second-quarter revenues would be hit by “weak demand from the mobile sector”.

Apple shares fell nearly seven per cent on Thursday and Friday over reports of a sharper slowdown in smartphone sales this year, Financial Times reported late on Friday.

Not just Apple, the news led to several global chipmakers losing market valus, including Analogue Devices, Dialog Semiconductor, Qualcomm and Qorvo.

For the first time since 2009, smartphone sales in China fell last year while global sales fell in the fourth quarter of 2017 for the first time since 2004.

In another setback for the iPhone maker, its efforts to get LG Display’s OLED screens for future iPhone production line “have hit manufacturing issues”, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Apple is reportedly divided on whether LG will be able to succeed as Samsung’s replacement for OLED displays.

The Cupertino-based company currently uses Samsung’s OLED displays for iPhone X.

The LCD panels which are currently being used in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are supplied by LG. Apple Watch screen is made by LG Display.

There are reports that Apple is designing and producing its own device screens, secretly at a facility near its headquarters in California.

It is believed that Apple will switch to OLED displays for all of its iPhone releasing in 2019.

IANS

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Canon infusing AI into cameras for Indian millennials

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New Delhi: Kazutada Kobayashi during an interview with IANS

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) As the millennials in India constantly strive to click that “wow” moment and instantly share it with friends on social media, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled cameras with “minds of their own” are the future that will create perfect shots for them, a top Canon executive has emphasised.

Cameras have become intelligent in the past few years with integrated capabilities like smarter chips, Wi-Fi support, smart functions, better speed and enhanced performance.

“We are on the right path when it comes to infusing AI into cameras. The experience of the last 80 years has helped us catch new trends early — be it in chips, designs, smart functions or controls. Software development is the key to stay ahead,” Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India, told IANS.

Sensing the future of AI-enabled cameras, Google has launched “Clips” — a camera that uses AI to figure out when it should take a picture or video.

The clip-on camera automatically adjusts its resolution according to the situation and has a 130-degree lens to fit more of the scene in the frame. When it senses something memorable around, it clicks a 15-second-burst photograph.

Canon India has also launched “EOS M50” — a new mirrorless camera for the youth that houses the “DIGIC 8” image processor to ensure better picture quality and comes with 4K movie shooting capability.

According to Kobayashi, camera-centric smartphones are giving the company a renewed push to come up with “serious” cameras as India is an evolving market and so are the demands and expectations of the customers.

“The relationship between a smartphone camera and a real camera is interesting. With smartphones, more and more people are now clicking pictures which have given us a thrust as people are now keen to have better image quality with AI embedded into it. This is a good takeaway from the smartphone market to build Next-Gen cameras,” Kobayashi added.

Canon is bullish on the imaging technology being a carrier for the Internet of Things (IoT) industry that is growing exponentially in India.

“IoT is the future of the connected devices and systems around us. Canon has capabilities like the entry of optical information via camera lens or data analytics via microprocessors. Camera is a very strong entry point to gather information, process and digitise it, and get the desired output. Camera will provide an edge for all IoT devices in the future,” the Canon executive noted.

On a question whether Canon will also begin manufacturing in India, Kobayashi said: “India has a high potential for manufacturing. We have made visits to prospective venues and done feasibility assessments. We don’t have concrete plans as of now to share on bringing a certain product range for manufacturing into the country but yes, we are certainly looking into this”.

The Indian camera market is growing in both the B2B and B2C segments for Canon.

“The impact of demonetisation and GST are now settled and people are ready to spend more money on cameras. I keep my fingers crossed for the second half of this year when the festive season begins. In the B2B segment, we achieved double-digit growth last year and expect to repeat the performance this year too,” Kobayashi added.

IANS

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Google’s ‘Chat’ service a precious gift to cybercriminals: Amnesty

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San Francisco, April 21: Google’s decision to launch a new messaging service called “Chat” without end-to-end encryption shows utter contempt for the privacy of Android users and has handed a precious gift to cybercriminals and government spies alike, Amnesty International has said.

Communications on the new “Chat” service will not be sent over the Internet but through mobile phone carriers, like SMS text messages, according to reports.

In a statement to The Verge this week, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the new service will not use end-to-end encryption and that Google is “pausing investment” in its existing mobile messaging app “Allo” which has an option for end-to-end encryption.

“Not only does this shockingly retrograde step leave Google lagging behind its closest competitors — Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s WhatsApp both have end-to-end encryption in place by default — it is also a step backwards from the company’s previous attempts at online messaging,” Joe Westby, a technology and human rights researcher at Amnesty International, said on Friday.

Amnesty International considers end-to-end encryption a minimum requirement for technology companies to ensure that private information in messaging apps stays private.

End-to-end encryption is a way of scrambling digital data so that only the sender and recipient can see it.

When it is in place, even the company providing the service is unable to access the content of communications.

“Following the revelations by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, end-to-end encryption has become recognised as an essential safeguard for protecting people’s privacy when using messaging apps. With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers,” Westby said in a statement.

In the wake of the recent Facebook data scandal, Westby said that Google’s decision is not only dangerous but also out of step with current attitudes to data privacy.

“Google should immediately scrap it in its current form and instead give its customers a product that protects their privacy,” Westby suggested.

Google is going all in on building the Rich Communication Services (RCS).

RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is more rich, provide phonebook polling and transmit in-call multimedia.

IANS

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