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Microsoft announces bold features in video meet app Teams

Presenters can choose to hop between breakout rooms, make announcements to all breakout rooms, and/or close the breakout rooms that then bring everybody back into the main meeting.

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Seattle, Sep 22 : Microsoft on Tuesday announced several new capabilities to help people stay connected, collaborate and build solutions in its video meet app Teams.

While there isn’t a limit on the number of people in a Teams tenant, team membership is currently limited to 5,000 members. Later this year, it will be increased to support up to 25,000 members per individual team, the company said.

Coming in October, breakout rooms will allow meeting organisers to split up participants into smaller groups to facilitate brainstorming sessions or workgroup discussions.

Presenters can choose to hop between breakout rooms, make announcements to all breakout rooms, and/or close the breakout rooms that then bring everybody back into the main meeting.

“With the new Together mode scenes coming this year, you can transport your team to a variety of settings that can help set the tone and create the experience for your meeting, whether it be an auditorium, a conference room, or a coffee shop,” the company said during the ‘Microsoft Ignite 2020’ virtual conference.

Coming later this year, custom layouts will allow for a more dynamic content viewing experience and enable presenters to customise how content shows up for participants during a meeting.

For example, when a presenter is showing a PowerPoint slide, participants will be able to see the presenter’s video feed transposed onto the foreground of the slide they’re showing.

Microsoft said that later this year, Teams will have the option for a recap with the meeting recording, transcript, chat, shared files and more that can be automatically shared in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab for each meeting.

The recap will also be available in the meeting event in the Outlook calendar.

“For more structured meetings such as customer webinars, organisers can use event registration with automated emails to make it easier to manage attendance. After the meeting, a detailed reporting dashboard will help understand attendee engagement,” Microsoft announced.

Microsoft Teams will have a streamlined view that shows contacts, voicemail and calling history at once, making it easier to initiate or return a call with a single click.

A new search experience in Teams, powered by Microsoft Search and available late this year, will make finding messages, people, answers, and files faster and more intuitive.

“This redesigned search results page provides better context and faster results, with AI-powered relevance based on the people and content you engage with most in Teams and other Microsoft 365 services,” the tech giant announced.

Also, new personal well-being features like a virtual commute, integration with apps like Headspace, and an emotional check-in experience will be available in the first half of 2021.

In an effort to strengthen security, Mcrosoft will enable customers to add a layer of encryption using their own keys for Teams, similar to Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive.

“Customer Key for Teams is targeting public preview before the end of this calendar year”.

Developers will soon be able to integrate their apps into Teams meetings and create scenarios that have deep awareness of the meeting context – including roster, roles, and permissions, Microsoft said.

Business

Qualcomm, Reliance Jio light up India’s first 5G trials, top 1000 MB speeds

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Ericsson showcases 5G

New York, Oct 21 : Inching closer to its 5G rollout, India’s Reliance Jio, which counts 400 million subscribers on its 4G network in India, achieved a 1000 Mbps throughput milestone for its first round of 5G trials in partnership with US wireless-communication chip giant Qualcomm Inc.

“The product is already tested and validated by a Tier One carrier in the US,” Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio, said at the Qualcomm 5G Summit Tuesday. IANS was at the event.

The two companies announced that they have achieved over a 1 Gbps (1,000 MBPS) speed on the Reliance Jio 5GNR solution and the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platform.

Two standout features – phenomenal speed and stunning reduction in latency – will separate current 4G/LTEA networks from fifth generation (5G) networks. The new technology is drummed up to transport us into a world where entire movies can be downloaded in seconds and the time between command and execution is nearly wiped out, leading to exciting new applications in the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Oommen pointed to the combined muscle of Qualcomm’s chips that are crucial for superfast 5G networks and smartphones and Jio Platforms’ scale to deliver a homegrown 5G solution.

At the RIL AGM 2020, Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced plans for a 100 percent “homegrown 5G” network in India.

Currently, only the US, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland and Germany are able to offer 1GBPS speeds to 5G customers, RIL said.

Qualcomm’s 5G thrust comes at a time of escalating US and China tensions over tech leadership.

Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf has described as a “mortal sin” the scenario that the company is not prepared for the 5G opportunity riding on the back of geopolitical tensions.

“We’ve really got a great opportunity with where 5G goes. Let’s not blow it. When the pandemic struck my view was that the mortal sin is to not be prepared for the opportunity on the back side of this,” Mollenkopf told The Wall Street Journal, earlier this month.

5G has emerged as a new frontier for US-China rivalry, with the most dramatic escalation coming in the summer of 2020. Starting from within its own borders, the US is leading a worldwide campaign to convince foreign governments, particularly those in allied nations, to bar Chinese 5G from their advanced telecommunications networks, arguing that allowing them into those systems would lead to violations of their citizens’ privacy.

The US sees Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment company, as an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state, and therefore a conduit to sabotage.

On July 12 this year, Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Inc, committed to invest upto Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms which translated into a 0.15 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. Jio Platforms Ltd is a majority-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of Rs 659,205 crore ($87.1 billion) and net profit of Rs 39,880 crore ($5.3 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2020.

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India

CBI Registers Case To Investigate TRP Scam In Uttar Pradesh

The case, which was earlier registered at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow based on a complaint of an advertising company promoter, was handed over to the CBI by the Uttar Pradesh government.

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TRP TV

The CBI has registered an FIR in a case of alleged manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRP) based on a complaint filed in Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Tuesday.

The case, which was earlier registered at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow based on a complaint of an advertising company promoter, was handed over to the CBI by the Uttar Pradesh government. According to officials the primary allegations relate to manipulation of TRPs in return for payment. The CBI officials refused to give any further details.

This move comes at a time when the Mumbai Police is also investigating three channels including Republic TV in a similar case.

Television rating points (TRPs) are calculated in India by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) using a device called Bar-O-Meter, which is installed in over 45,000 households across the country. The device collects data about a program or channel watched by members of these households on the basis of which weekly ratings are issued by BARC.

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Tech

Airtel’s privacy policy updated after furore

Airtel clarified in a statement, “We have come across some reports regarding our privacy policy as stated on our web site”.

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New Delhi, Oct 19 : Airtels privacy policy statement has been updated after a controversy over sexual orientation being part of the personal information that can be accessed.

The privacy policy of Airtel mentioned that it can collect users’ personal information and data like genetic information, sexual orientation, racial and ethnic origin, religious and philosophical belief, trade union membership, health data, financial information and political opinion and share these with third parties.

While signing the privacy policy, many users may not have realised the enormity of the details that can be accessed.

The policy said, “Personal information collected and held by us may include but not limited to your name, father’s name, mother’s name, spouse’s name, date of birth, current and previous addresses, telephone number, mobile phone number, email address, occupation and information contained in the documents used as proof of identity and proof of address.

“Airtel and its authorised third parties may collect, store, process the following types of sensitive personal information such as genetic data, biometric data, racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, religious and philosophical belief, trade union membership, data concerning health, data concerning natural personal sex life or sexual orientation, password, financial information (details of bank account, credit card, debit card, or other payment instrument details), physiological information for providing our products, services and for use of our website.

“We may also hold information related to your utilisation of our services which may include your call details, your browsing history on our website, location details and additional information provided by you while using our services.”

Airtel clarified in a statement, “We have come across some reports regarding our privacy policy as stated on our web site”.

“We would like to state that the privacy of our customers is of paramount importance to us,” it added.

Airtel said, “The generic content of the definitions of what constitutes personal data as laid down by the IT Act are expansive, which had been inadvertently put on our website. This was a clerical error,” the company said.

“We thank those who brought this error to our attention. We emphatically confirm that we do not collect any personal information relating to genetic data, religious or political beliefs, health or sexual orientation etc.,” Airtel said.

“The policy which we have always used to collect data has been duly updated for the benefit of our customers,” the company said.

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