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Facebook-funded digital money project Diem announced on Monday the closure and sale of $ 182-million (approximately Rs. 1,360 crores) for its technology, which includes an annual campaign that has caused much concern to regulators.

Facebook’s 2019 announcement of cryptocurrency design and payment systems promptly raised red flags for international finance officials, which raised a lot of criticism about the security and reliability of the private network.

“The idea that Facebook made cryptocurrency was a far cry from the regulators,” said analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.
“They have made it clear that they do not trust Facebook in what they are doing now, so they will not allow it to go into the money business.”
Diem Networks USA chief executive Stuart Levey said in a statement that the move was a step forward, but “it was clear from our conversation with the organization’s management that the project would not go ahead.”
“In the coming weeks, the Diem Association and its subsidiaries are expected to begin a process of closure,” the association said in a statement.
The technology was purchased by Silvergate Capital Corporation in California which is a go-to for crypto projects, and that puts the retail price of $ 182 million (approximately Rs. 1,360 crores).
Silvergate has purchased development, delivery, and operational infrastructure, as well as blockchain payment system-based payment tools and cross-border cable transfers.
“As far as I know, Diem is dead,” said Enderle.

Crypto boom

“As we made this effort, we sought feedback from governments and regulators around the world, and the project became more and more effective as a result,” the Diem organization said in a statement.
Facebook developed the technology, formerly known as Libra, and entrusted project management to a Geneva-based NGO.
After the revolt of a few major partners like PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard, the organization backed off its ambitions, before renaming itself as Diem by the end of 2020.
The so-called Stablecoin – a type of digital currency tied to other types of assets – has not been introduced. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
“The merger of a Stablecoin manufacturer or wallet provider with a trading firm could lead to a greater focus on economic power,” U.S. regulators said in a 2021 report.
“These policy concerns are similar to those often associated with a mix of banks and commerce, such as the benefits of obtaining credit or using data to market or limit access to products,” the report said.
Facebook, which renamed itself, Meta, in October, has faced criticism for its top online position, yet it is not the only strong organization interested in crypto.
Creative Strategies commentator Carolina Milanesi wondered if Libra-turned-Diem, from the beginning, was part of Facebook’s vision of a metaverse platform.
“Cryptocurrency will come in one way or another,” Milanesi said.
“Maybe that’s what Facebook relied on and decided to leave the head to someone else.”
People are already buying houses for sale in a fixed, tangible world called a metaverse.
The European Central Bank in July officially launched a pilot project to create a “digital euro,” in response to the growing popularity of electronic payments and the rise of cryptocurrencies.
Big banks are also responding to the growing digital payment system as spending continues to decline, the epidemic-driven practice and the desire to avoid contact.
“There is a lot of mistrust surrounding cryptocurrency, and most of us in the industry are convinced that it is a great Ponzi scheme,” Enderle said.
Diem asset sales are “another red flag in crypto,” he added.
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Instagram will close its dedicated IGTV app, the company announced Monday. As the company discontinues support for its dedicated video sharing platform, IGTV videos and other video-based content will continue to be available on the main Instagram app, according to the company.

At the moment, Instagram is working on a new “ad experience” that will allow service creators to earn ad revenue from Reels. The move comes two months after Instagram announced that the service would be “doubled” in video content by 2022.

In a blog post announcing the decision, Instagram announced that it is closing the IGTV app, to make video content “as easy as possible to find and create”.

Instagram has launched a separate IGTV app for 2018, aimed at capturing longer videos in a straightforward format. Instagram merged its Feed Video with IGTV on Instagram Video last year, and the company says it will continue to invest in Reels.

Instagram also announced that in-stream video ads (formerly known as IGTV ads) have also been discontinued, as part of the company’s focus on Reels.

The company claims that content creators who make money with the help of in-stream video ads will receive a temporary monthly payment, based on their previous profits. Instagram has also revealed that it is working on a new Instagram ad experience for Reels monetized content, which will be tested later this year.

In December, Instagram head Adam Moseri unveiled the 2022 service path, which included a focus on video on Instagram. Last month, Meta launched Reels into the company’s Facebook application in more than 150 countries, after the company lost a third of its market value following a revenue report.

Meanwhile, Instagram rival TikTok on Monday began allowing users to upload videos for as long as 10 minutes in an attempt to challenge YouTube’s rival, which focused on short-form content with its “Shorts” feature.

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Apple’s upcoming Apple 14 series could seem more useful and efficient than previous generation iPhones. This is because the iPhone 14 series is expected to include satellite communications to assist users in emergencies.

The feature will be able to connect to satellite networks in areas where there is no signal, especially in remote locations. The iPhone 14 is expected to hit the market in September 2022.

A special scoop shared by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg. He shared in his report that the iPhone 14 will use the satellite connection feature to connect to satellite networks in rural areas.

Last year, a similar report emerged before the launch of the iPhone 13 series but that did not happen as planned. Gurman reports that thanks to the satellite communication option available on the iPhone 14, users will be able to connect to satellite networks.

The iPhone 14 will come with the “Emergency Contacts” option which will allow users to share a short message when no mobile app is available.

Apple is expected to launch four models under the iPhone 14 series. There will be an iPhone 14, an iPhone 14 Pro, an iPhone 14 Pro Max, and another unnamed model, which rumors suggest will not be an iPhone 14 mini. In this case, Apple may not launch the smaller version of the iPhone 14. It may be a Max variant instead.

The iPhone 14 models are thought to use different processors and two of them can use the A16 processor, which is expected to be the redesigned version of the A15, which enables the iPhone 13 series.

According to sources, Apple may reproduce The A15 became the A16 due to the shortage of chips worldwide. The Cupertino-based bully is reportedly fighting to “make all the A16 and M2 chips they need”.

There may be no major upgrades to the iPhone 14 cameras. The iPhone 14 is expected to incorporate the same 12-megapixel camera sensors available on previous iPhone models, including the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13. Models -pro is expected to get a 48-megapixel main sensor.

The iPhone 14 series is expected to be launched in September 2022. Reports indicate that the phone has already entered the production process.

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WhatsApp introduces a new feature for iOS users. The message field adds a new privacy option, which will allow people to hide the “save visibility” status for certain contacts.

The same feature is already available for Android beta users. The feature is now seen in the latest beta version of iOS, according to WaBetaInfo. Those who sign up for the beta program will be able to use this feature.

This can be a useful feature for those who just want to hide their “Last See” from a few people. There are times when you just do not want anyone to know when you are online. Currently, WhatsApp offers only three options to hide the Recognition of Contacts. All options are self-explanatory.

The first is Everyone, which means your last one will be visible to everyone. The second is My Contacts. If you select this, WhatsApp will display your last visibility only to those who have stored their number in your phone’s address book.

There is also a third option, “No one.” This means that if you do not want anyone to know while you are online for the last time on WhatsApp, you can choose this option.

WhatsApp is now exploring another option, My External Contacts. This will allow users to disable the last view of certain people. This is in the testing phase and only beta users can try it.

It is not yet known when this feature will be released in the stable version of the app. The company has been testing this feature for a long time now, so this is not expected to take much time.

Besides, WhatsApp has recently confirmed that it will soon increase file sharing size to make it easier for users. In a blog post, WhatsApp revealed that users will be able to share up to 2GB of files.

Currently, the file size limit for videos, voice messages, and photos is no more than 16MB. For texts, WhatsApp allows you to convert files up to 100MB in size. In comparison, some popular messaging apps like Telegram allow you to share files up to 2GB in size.

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The Apple iPhone 13 and MacBook Air are available in offline stores at pretty low prices. There are also some good bank and exchange offers that make the deal even better.

Imagine, which is one of Apple’s authorized sellers, is offering these Apple products at discounted prices. If you are interested in buying any one of these, then keep reading to know more.

The iPhone 13 comes with a starting price of Rs 79,900 in India. But, you can get it at a pretty low price. There is an instant 10 percent discount offer, so you will be able to buy the handset for Rs 71,910, the seller told India Today Tech.

This basically means that you are getting a flat discount of Rs 7,990. There is also a Rs 5,000 cashback offer for HDFC bank cards, which effectively brings down the price to 66,910.

The store is also giving up to a Rs 22,000 exchange offer and an additional Rs 5,000 bonus discount on the exchange of your old phone. This suggests that you can get the iPhone 13 for less than Rs 60,000 if you avail of the exchange offer as well.

Do keep in mind that the exchange amount is calculated on the basis of your current phone’s condition.

It is important to note that this offer is currently available only in the offline stores of Imagine. In addition to this, those who are based in Noida, Gurugram, and Delhi will be able to avail themselves of these offers and get the iPhone 13 at a discounted price. The offers are not available all over India.

If you are considering buying the iPhone 12, then you shouldn’t get it as the iPhone 13 can be purchased at a pretty low price. If you are getting a good exchange discount on your old phone, then this will be a steal deal. The iPhone 12 is selling online with a starting price of Rs 54,900.

Apart from this, there is also an offer on the MacBook Air M1. The laptop, which is currently on sale for Rs 92,900, can be bought for 83,610 from offline stores of Imagine.

This basically means that the company is giving a discount of Rs 9,290. In addition to this, there is also Rs 6,000 off on HDFC bank cards. So, the effective price will be Rs 77,610. One will also get an exchange offer of up to Rs 15,000 and a Rs 7,000 additional bonus discount.

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The Indian government is about to launch the Open Network for Digital Commerce to end the dominance of US-based e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Walmart in India.

The ONDC forum will allow buyers and sellers to collaborate and trade online. The launch of the ONDC platform comes in the wake of an Indian gang of infidelity on local Amazon retailers and some of Flipkart in Walmart. Companies were accused of breaking the rules.

With the launch of ONDC, the government aims to promote an open platform for the exchange of goods and services through electronic networks.

An open network platform will be launched in five cities including Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong, and Coimbatore, an official said on Thursday. Later it would be extended to other cities.

According to a Reuters report, the Modi government and its key supporters have long argued that Amazon and Flipkart benefit only a few large retailers at a reasonable price. However, the companies have been adamant that they comply with the Indian government rules.

Amazon and Flipkart still have to respond to the ONDC government platform. The report revealed that India’s ONDC program aims to cater to 30 million retailers and 10 million retailers online.

The program covers at least 100 cities and towns by August. The government will focus on programs that work in the local languages ​​of consumers and retailers. The apps will highlight small retailers and rural buyers.

The government in the document stated that retailers and building firms supported the ONDC program. Banks such as the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and Baroda Bank have already invested $ 2.55 billion.

According to a Reuters investigation last year, Amazon was accused of providing special treatment for some years to a group of retailers in its area and used them to violate Indian laws. Amazon has denied the allegations.

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The three major technology companies have decided to abandon passwords altogether. Google, Apple, and Microsoft have joined forces to announce their commitment to building a password-free backpack where you will no longer need to enter passwords on your mobile phone, desktop, and browser devices.

In other words, these three companies work to deliver password-free authentication to all major device platforms, such as Android, iOS, Windows, ChromeOS, Chrome browser, Edge, Safari, and macOS, among others.

Apple’s chief marketing officer for platform products, Kurt Knight, said, “As we design our products to be accurate and functional, we also design them to be confidential and secure.” Google’s Director of Safeguarding at Google and President of FIDO Alliance, Sampath Srinivas, in a blog post, said, “The key to passing will bring us closer to the password-free future we’ve been mapping for over a decade.” Vasu Jakkal, Vice President of Company Security, Compliance, Ownership, and Management, wrote in a post, “Microsoft, Apple, and Google have announced plans to increase support for the standard password-free login.”

Signing in to your online account will be as easy as unlocking your phone by authenticating password-free authentication built with the cooperation of three technology companies.

For example, you set a password, PIN, or pattern to unlock your phone and continue using it every time you have to unlock your device. The same process will suffice to allow you to sign in to your online accounts.

You will not need to enter a password. A unique cryptographic token called a passkey will verify your login between your mobile phone and the website.

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IITH takes an early lead in 6G research by showcasing key developments in the use of extreme massive MIMO technology
This is a 3-fold improvement over the state-of-the-art 5G massive MIMO technology
Spectrum is a scarce natural resource. The extreme massive MIMO technology developed by IITH showcased possibilities of a 3-fold increase in 5G spectrum utilization
MEITY and DOT have supported the R&D over the last 10-years

Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) today announced a demonstration of the Extreme Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output), a key technology that is being considered for 5G-advanced and 6G deployments.

For an uninitiated, Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) is a wireless technology that is used for sending and receiving multiple data signals simultaneously over the same radio channel.

Using multiple antennas at the base station, massive MIMO increases the coverage and capacity of cellular networks. This technology has become mainstream and is now an integral part of 5G.

Extreme massive MIMO refers to next-generation technology that uses very large antenna arrays. IITH developed an experimental research prototype with the aim to discover achievable performance limits.

The first set of pilots conducted using 192 antennas and 48 radio frequency chains showed that up to 24-36 users could be served in the same spectrum.

This is a 3-fold improvement over the state-of-the-art 5G massive MIMO technology, designed to support 12 simultaneous users. For cellular operators and users, this technology offers immense benefits; cell phone users will experience high-quality voice and video delivery in crowded areas like airports, malls, railway stations, etc.; cellular operators will be able to offer broadband wireless internet in rural households, dynamic steering of the cell site beams to reduce coverage holes in urban as well as rural areas”, said Prof Kiran Kuchi, Dean (R&D).

Prof Sai Dhiraj, the Lead Researcher for the project, said, “The research team at IITH continues to extend the boundaries of this technology. The ongoing investigations include new deployment topologies for indoor applications and outdoor cell sites. We are excited about this discovery and the possibilities offered by this new technology”.

Congratulating the IITH team for this noteworthy work, Prof B S Murty, Director, IITH, said, “Spectrum is a scarce natural resource. In countries like India, with a large population and limited wireline infrastructure, the demand for spectrum will continue to be very high. I am delighted that India takes an early lead in 6G research by showcasing the possibility of deploying next-generation networks using the extreme Massive MIMO technology developed by IITH. I also thank DOT and MEITY for the sustained R&D support over the years”.

Expressing delight for this momentous milestone, Shri K Rajaraman, Secretary DOT, said, “IIT Hyderabad has been leading from the front in IP development. Their work on NB-IoT and other areas as part of the 5G testbed has been remarkable.

We in the Department of Telecommunications are delighted to hear of the development of the Extreme Massive MIMO heralding even greater efficiency in the use of spectrum. I am sure that the IITH research team will play a significant role in the Government of India’s 5G advanced and 6G efforts”.

The researcher can be reached via our public relations cell at [email protected] for any further queries on the subject matter.

Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) is one of the eight new IITs established by the Government of India in 2008. In a short span of 14 years, the institute has become a top ranker. Currently, it has 260+ full-time faculty, ~3,900 students, nearly 200+ state-of-the-art laboratories, and five research and entrepreneurship centers.

The institute has a strong research focus with approx Rs 575+ crore of sanctioned research funding, with Ph.D. scholars accounting for about 30% of total student strength. IITH has to its credit more than 7200+ research publications, 210+ patent disclosures, 1600+ sponsored/consultancy projects, and about 100+ startups.

To know more, please visit: https://www.iith.ac.in/

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SpaceX has announced that its satellite internet service, Starlink, is now available in 32 countries. The company took to Twitter to announce the availability details. Interestingly, SpaceX said people who place an order will get their Starlink service shipped “immediately”.

Over the past few months, Starlink has been facing major issues delivering its services to major parts of the world. Customers have been complaining about shipment delays and extended wait periods. It now looks like Elon Musk’s space company is rigorously working towards resolving these issues.

Starlink shared on Twitter a map showing the service’s availability across the globe. The map shows that the service will be available across most parts of Europe and North America. The map also showed that parts of South America, Australia, and New Zealand would get immediate access to the service.

The immediate availability list doesn’t include India but the country is marked in the “coming soon” blue colour.

The company previously said Starlink service will be available in 25 countries but that list has been expanded to 32 countries now. It is great to see that SpaceX is shipping its dishes to customers immediately. This comes as great news, as consumers until now have been constantly complaining about waiting for months to get access to the service.

Starlink in India

India was initially considered to be one of the key markets for Starlink. It even started pre-orders for users in India last year. However, that was paused in November following a government notification, which warned Starlink to obtain a license for its services before starting bookings.

Following the government warning, Starlink started issuing refunds to customers who pre-ordered Starlink’s services. The company claimed that it received more than 5,000 pre-orders in the country.

Later, in January 2022, Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink’s India Head, quit the company.

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