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Most Indians still prefer to download music than livestreaming

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New Delhi, July 18: In what could make global live streaming players a little concerned, a global survey on Tuesday revealed that when it comes to listening music, Indians still prefer to download rather than Livestream their favourite songs.

According to the ‘State of Digital Downloads’ report by global content delivery network services provider Limelight Networks, Indians download music more often than they download applications.

When it comes to music, 68 per cent of respondents noted they prefer to download music over streaming or purchasing a CD.

“Our report indicates that this high-potential country, which is gradually gaining centre-stage in the global forefront, contradicts global trends on many accounts and has its own unique preferences and consumption patterns,” said Michael Milligan, Senior Director, Product and Solution Marketing, Limelight Networks, in a statement.

The survey, conducted across seven countries, also found that majority of the Indian consumers will only download an application (66.7 per cent) or music (63.3 per cent) if it is free.

It found that only 4.2 per cent of Indian respondents prefer to rent or purchase DVDs of movies and TV shows and a mere 23.4 per cent prefer hard copies of books or traditional print media.

On the contrary, almost 90 per cent people prefer to stream or download TV shows and movies, while 62.2 per cent prefer to download books, newspapers and magazines, the survey noted.

IANS

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Twitter to begin penalising hateful, abusive accounts: Report

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San Francisco, Dec 18: Aimed at reducing hateful content on its platform, Twitter will start penalising accounts from Monday that include “hateful imagery and display names”, or those who “use username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behaviour”, the media reported.

According to a report in ReCode late on Sunday, “for Twitter, the two new restrictions are attempts to combat rampant harassment and abuse on the site”.

Twitter announced new guidelines covering abuse, hateful conduct, violence and physical harm in November.

Facing criticism over the years for its poor handling of “abuse”, Twitter “updated” its rules in October and November, clarifying its policies on graphic violence, spam and self-harm, among others.

The changes are part of revamp to Twitter’s policies surrounding online abuse.

The biggest updates on the platform include abusive behaviour, self-harm, spam and related behaviours, graphic violence and adult content.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also announced plans to act more aggressively on violence and sexual abuse.

In an internal email which was obtained by Wired.com, Twitter’s head of safety policy in October emailed members of its Trust and Safety Council on new rules to promote free speech and curb violence and sexual harassment.

“We hope our approach and upcoming changes, as well as our collaboration with the Trust and Safety Council, show how seriously we are rethinking our rules and how quickly we’re moving to update our policies and how we enforce them,” Twitter said.

“We will immediately and permanently suspend any account we identify as the original poster/source of non-consensual nudity and/or if a user makes it clear they are intentionally posting said content to harass their target,” the email read.

“If the account appears to be dedicated to posting non-consensual nudity then we will suspend the entire account immediately,” it added.

On hate symbols and imagery, it said: “At a high level, hateful imagery, hate symbols, etc will now be considered sensitive media (similar to how we handle and enforce adult content and graphic violence)”.

On violent groups, Twitter said it will take enforcement action against organisations that use or have historically used violence as a means to advance their cause.

IANS

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Microsoft AI helping Indian farmers increase crop yields

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New Delhi, Dec 17: New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Machine Learning, Satellite Imagery and advanced analytics are empowering small-holder farmers in India to increase their income through higher crop yield and greater price control, Microsoft India said.

In a few dozen villages in Telengana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, farmers are receiving automated voice calls that tell them whether their cotton crops are at risk of a pest attack, based on weather conditions and crop stage.

In Karnataka, the government can get price forecasts for essential commodities such as tur (split red gram) three months in advance for planning the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

“Sowing date as such is very critical to ensure that farmers harvest a good crop. And if it fails, it results in loss as a lot of costs are incurred for seeds, as well as the fertilizer applications,” Suhas P. Wani, Director, Asia Region, of the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), said in a Microsoft blog post.

The non-profit ICRISAT conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world.

In collaboration with ICRISAT, Microsoft has developed an AI-Sowing App powered by Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite including Machine Learning and Power BI.

“The app sends sowing advisories to participating farmers on the optimal date to sow. The best part – the farmers don’t need to install any sensors in their fields or incur any capital expenditure. All they need is a feature phone capable of receiving text messages,” the company said.

To calculate the crop-sowing period, historic climate data spanning over 30 years – from 1986 to 2015 – for the Devanakonda area in Andhra Pradesh was analysed using AI.

To determine the optimal sowing period, the Moisture Adequacy Index (MAI) was calculated.

MAI is the standardised measure used for assessing the degree of adequacy of rainfall and soil moisture to meet the potential water requirement of crops.

This data is then downscaled to build predictability and guide farmers to pick the ideal sowing week.

This year, ICRISAT has scaled sowing insights to 4,000 farmers across Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for the Kharif crop cycle (rainy season).

Predictive analysis in agriculture is not limited to crop growing alone.

The Karnataka government will start using price forecasting for agricultural commodities, in addition to sowing advisories for farmers in the state.

Commodity prices for items such as tur, of which Karnataka is the second largest producer, will be predicted three months in advance for major markets in the state, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has developed a multivariate agricultural commodity price forecasting model to predict future commodity arrival and the corresponding prices.

The model uses remote sensing data from geo-stationary satellite images to predict crop yields through every stage of farming.

The model currently being used to predict the prices of tur, is scalable, and time efficient and can be generalised to many other regions and crops.

IANS

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Increased customs duty a statutory industry-wise hike, says Apple

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New Delhi, Dec 16: A day after the finance ministry decided to increase the customs duty from 10 per cent to 15 per cent on mobile phone, tech giant Apple said its is a statutory industry-wise hike.

“There is no comment on this as it’s a statutory industry-wise duty hike,” an Apple official told IANS.

The notification issued by the Department of Revenue said customs duty will increase from 10 per cent to 15 per cent for mobile handsets.

At present, Apple is assembling iPhone SE model at its Bengaluru facility in collaboration with Wistron Corporation, its Taiwanese manufacturing partner.

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is also seeking tax relief and other incentives from the central government to commence assembling more handsets in the country.

Experts say that with this decision, Apple has two choices.

“Apple will either have to increase the price of handsets or start assembling more in the country,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, had told IANS.

However, domestic and some China-based manufacturers will not be affected as most of them are assemble a lot in the country, including South Korean giant Samsung.

“They just need to rev up their assembly lines,” Pathak further added.

WeForNews

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