Chennai floods: thousands of residents flee North Chennai

Thousands flee north Chennai where no rescue services are operating. A scene near Vyasarpadi bridge. Photo: Sruthisagar Yamunan
The Hindu

Thousands flee north Chennai where no rescue services are operating. A scene near Vyasarpadi bridge. Photo: Sruthisagar Yamunan

No rescue services have been operating in the area. Flash protests across the region as no essential supplies have been received.

Thousands of residents are fleeing north Chennai, where no rescue services have been operating. There are flash protests across the region, which has not received essential supplies in two days.

The Vyasarpadi bridge is completely blocked as is the Vallalar Nagar bridge with the mass exodus of thousands of people who are trying to leave. Ambulances too, are not able to get through. R.K. Nagar, Tondiarpet, Sathyamoorthy Nagar, Vallalar Nagar, Kodungaiyur and Mint are completely inundated and it is difficult to see dry land in these parts.

Residents who blocked the Vallalar Nagar bridge angrily screamed at officials saying that for the government, Chennai starts and ends at Poes Garden and Gopalapuram. “We have never been considered residents of Chennai and today you can see the effects of this,” the residents said.

(by The Hindu)

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India’s public cloud services market to top $800 million: Gartner

India's public cloud services market to top $800 million: Gartner
The public cloud services market in India stood at about $632 million in 2014.

 

NE W DELHI: Public cloud services market in India is expected to grow about 33% to touch $838 million by the end of this year, driven by strong growth in cloud infrastructure and security solutions, research firm Gartner said.

The public cloud services market stood at about $632 million in 2014.

High rates of spending on cloud services in India is expected to continue through 2018 and the market is poised to reach $1.9 billion by the same time, Gartner said in a statement.

“In 2015, public cloud services revenue is driven by high rates of growth in key market segments, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud management and security services and cloud application infrastructure platform as a service (PaaS),” it said.

Cloud computing refers to a pay-per-use model of computing where applications and software are accessed over the internet and not owned by users.

IT companies can save huge costs on these products as they would not have to invest in purchasing them, resulting in reduced IT costs.

Some organisations, especially larger ones, set up a cloud-like infrastructure in their own data centre to secure data, which is called a private cloud.

Public cloud refers to providers such as Amazon, Google and Salesforce.com, whose shared services are available to all.

Spending on IaaS is expected to total $104.8 million in 2015, an increase of 38% over last year.

On the other hand, spending on cloud management/security and PaaS is forecast to grow at 35.4% to $56.7 million and $84.6 million, respectively during the same period.

“Organisations in India seeking IT outsourcing services are increasingly turning to public cloud services as an alternative to traditional ITO offerings,” Gartner research vice president Ed Anderson said.

In fact, cloud services are not only being used for low-value or transient workloads but also increasingly for production workloads, including some mission-critical initiatives, he added.

According to Gartner’s cloud adoption survey, 53% of organisations in India indicated they are using cloud services today, with another 43% indicating plans to begin using cloud services in the next 12 months.

“Business process as a service (BPaaS) is expected to grow from $130 million in 2014 to $351 million in 2018. SaaS is expected to grow from $246 million in 2014 to $707 million in 2018,” Gartner senior research analyst Fred Ng said.

The growth of cloud services varies by country and specific cloud service type and the Indian market is unique in that demand is consistently high for all types of cloud services, he added. (by TOI)

 

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As it happened: Isro’s launch of India’s heaviest rocket

By Times of India

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75,000 Xiaomi Redmi Note Phones to Go on Sale on Tuesday via Flipkart

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Xiaomi has announced that the second flash sale of the Redmi Note phablet will see 75,000 units going on sale on Tuesday. The flash sale on Tuesday will kick off at 2pm IST on Flipkart for registered users.

The firm in a tweet on Monday announced the number of Xiaomi Redmi Note units going on sale via Flipkart on Tuesday.

The first flash sale on December 2 saw 50,000 Redmi Note units going on sale. The sale was successful in the manner the Mi 3 and Redmi 1S flash sales have been in the past. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer announced that 50,000 units of the Redmi Note (Review | Pictures) were up for out of stock in just 6 seconds on Flipkart.

It’s worth pointing out that Flipkart’s procedure requires people to just add the handset to their cart for it to be classified as ‘sold out’, and people are given additional time to complete their purchase.

Priced at Rs. 8,999, the Redmi Note features dual-SIM support with dual standby, and runs Android 4.2.2 with Xiaomi’s MIUI v5 skin on top. Powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MTK6592 SoC, it is coupled with a Mali-450MP4 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

The Redmi Note bears a 5.5-inch 720×1280-pixel IPS LCD screen and features a 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera with LED flash, as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. It comes with 8GB of built-in storage with expansion via microSD card (up to 32GB).

Connectivity options on the Redmi Note include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot functionality, Bluetooth 4.0, a Micro-USB port with OTG support, and A-GPS. It is powered by a 3100mAh battery.

Notably, what is arguably the cheapest 4G LTE smartphone in India, the Redmi Note 4G, will launch in India in the second half of December at Rs. 9,999 via flash sales and Airtel stores.Design (by gadgets.ndtv)

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India signs up for multi-crore TMT project

In this artist rendition provided by TMT, the Thirty Meter Telescope is seen. China and India have signed on to be partners for a project to build the Thirty Meter Telescope, which will be the world's largest when it's finished in 2018, at the summit of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. It's the first time either nation has joined a major telescope involved in research on the frontiers of astronomy. The TMT observatory will be so powerful it will allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse into the early years of the universe.
AP In this artist rendition provided by TMT, the Thirty Meter Telescope is seen. China and India have signed on to be partners for a project to build the Thirty Meter Telescope, which will be the world’s largest when it’s finished in 2018, at the summit of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. It’s the first time either nation has joined a major telescope involved in research on the frontiers of astronomy. The TMT observatory will be so powerful it will allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse into the early years of the universe.

The Centre has agreed to spend Rs. 1299.8 crores over the next decade for the development of the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) in Hawaii.

On Tuesday, Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan signed a multilateral agreement admitting India‘s participation in the development of the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) in Hawaii.

This project was rapidly cleared by the Union Cabinet and India has agreed to spend Rs. 1299.8 crores over the next decade for this project. Besides learning about the universe, India will gain the technology to manufacture fine aspherical mirror segments from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). This technology, say experts, will form the basis of the next generation of spy satellites.

TMT will contain 492 hexagonal mirror segments of 82 different kinds. These will behave like a single mirror with an aperture of 30 metre diameter. This large collecting area of 650 square metres is thrice as sensitive as the Hubble Space Telescope. India’s role will primarily be to create the control systems and software that keep the mirrors aligned and collects the data.

The control system is an intricate process involving edge sensors—that detect the mutual displacement of mirrors, actuators to correct their alignment, and the segment support assembly. These will be manufactured by General Optics (Asia) in Puducherry, Avasarala Technolgies and Godrej in Bengaluru respectively.

GC Anupama of Indian Institute of Astrophysics explained that India will also manufacture 100 aspherical mirror segments in Hoskote, near Bengaluru. “These thin glass slabs made in Japan have minimal expansion when heated. We will apply a protective layer and a reflective coating using technology from Caltech,” she told the Hindu.

“Initially we will start off by producing two a year and after the technology transfer is complete we will make one every fortnight,” she added. The telescope is expected to be completed by 2024.

The James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in 2018 by the US, with European and Canadian collaboration, also uses segmented mirrors. These are being designed to deploy and form a mirror after being delivered into its orbit.

AN Ramaprakash, India Co-Chair of TMT explained that telescopes when turned towards the earth are spy satellites. “They can resolve structures up to the size of man walking on the Earth. Segmented mirrors are the next generation in telescope technology and gaining this expertise is a huge leap for us,” he told this paper.

Institutions from the United States of America, Canada, Japan and China are also participating in the construction of the world’s largest telescope on Mount Mauna Kea. This telescope, 4207 metres above sea level, may cost more than 1.47 billion US dollars. Through it we hope to find answers to fundamental questions about the universe. These include, how and when the first galaxies were formed, does life exist outside the Earth, the constitution of black holes and the nature of the universe’s acceleration.

India’s Departments of Science and Technology and Atomic Energy are funding the project in which IIA, Bangalore, Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune will participate. (by The hindu)

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Buying a tablet? What you should know

NEW YORK: Time for a tablet?

People tend to hold onto tablets longer than smartphones, so take time to weigh your options. A major consideration is what phone you or your gift recipient already has. Although it’s possible for Android owners to have Apple’s iPads, for instance, there are advantages to sticking within the same system. You often can buy apps just once and share them across both devices, and you don’t need to learn two different systems.

Here are some buying tips organized by system. Prices listed are for base models. You can typically spend more for additional storage or LTE cellular connectivity.

iPads

The iPad remains top of the line among tablets. The selection of apps designed specifically for it is unmatched. Those who already have iPhones will appreciate the ability to start email and other tasks on one device and finish on the other. You can even make phone calls from iPads, if you have an iPhone on the same Wi-Fi network.

The downside is the $499 price tag for the latest full-sized model, the iPad Air 2. Many Android tablets are cheaper. You do get a light and skinny device for the price, with a camera that matches the iPhone’s 8MP (though the iPad still lacks a flash). The new iPad Air 2 also has a fingerprint sensor to bypass security passcodes and to authorize online purchases using Apple Pay. It won’t work with in-store payments, though.

If you are on a budget or want a smaller device, consider last year’s iPad mini 2 for $299. This year’s iPad mini doesn’t have many improvements over last year’s model, except for the fingerprint and Apple Pay capabilities. The convenience might not be worth spending more for the $399 iPad mini 3.

You might consider putting the savings toward a mid-tier or higher-end model. With both iPad Air 2 and mini 3, you can upgrade to 64GB of storage from 16GB for just $100 more. Or get 128GB for $200 more than the base model.

Android tablets

Android phones and tablets don’t let you switch back and forth as easily as Apple devices do. The advantage of sticking with an Android tablet for Android phone owners is having a unified library of apps.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S is the best of the Android tablets I’ve tried. The display uses a technology called AMOLED to produce colours that pop out as you view video or browse the web. But the Tab S also comes with a high price tag — $500 for the full-size model and $400 for the smaller one.

Samsung does offer an even-pricier Galaxy Pro series, with screens of up to 12.2-inch, but that’s really aimed at professionals. Full-sized models tend to be 9- or 10-inch, while mini models are 7- or 8-inch. At the small and cheap end, Samsung offers the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 for about $180. Book lovers can choose a Nook edition, made in partnership with Barnes & Noble.

Google’s $399 Nexus 9 has the advantage of running an Android version that’s closest to Google’s vision. Samsung and other manufacturers typically add their own twists, which can confuse consumers. The Nexus does have a wireless chip for in-store mobile payments using Google Wallet, if you feel like waving it around in the checkout line.

I’m including Amazon’s Fire HDX tablets under Android, even though the system’s been modified so much that there’s little resemblance. App selection isn’t as good as what you get on purer Android devices. But Amazon is able to add such features as one-button access to live video help. It is great for first-time tablet owners and comes at a nice price — the full-size model for $379 and the smaller one for $179.

Windows tablets

Until Windows 10 comes out next year, there’s a huge divide between Windows phones and Windows tablets. Apps aren’t compatible and Windows tablets have more in common with Windows desktops and laptops. A Windows tablet is best suited for someone looking to replace a PC. In fact, many Windows tablets are just laptops with detachable keyboards.

There are too many models to list, so I’ll use Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 3 as an example. You type on a touchscreen or attach a $130 keyboard cover. The Surface itself starts at $799, though configurations go as high as $1,949 for those serious about ditching the PC. The Surface’s built-in kickstand can be adjusted to a range of positions, some better for desks and others for the lap.

The best thing about Windows tablets is their ability to run regular Windows software, such as Office and Photoshop. Other tablets have, at best, a light version.(by timesofindia)

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OnePlus One launch in doubt after Cynaogen-Micromax deal

OnePlus is supposed to launch its OnePlus One phone, a phone powered by CyanogenMod, in India on December 2. But after Cyanogen Inc announced an exclusive partnership with Micromax on Friday, there is seems to be some confusion around the launch.

Micromax and Cyanogen said that the CyanogenMod OS will be exclusively available to only Micromax phones in India.

The announcement has surprised OnePlus. Responding to a query on Twitter, the company co-founder Carl Pei said that the launch of the phone was still on schedule. “Our fans have done nothing wrong. We have done nothing wrong. India has waited long enough,” he tweeted.

But it was not clear if the phone would run CyanogenMod or not. One thing is sure that even if the OnePlus One launches with CynaogenMod, it will probably not receive any CyanogenMod updates and in future will see its operating system, at least in India, getting replaced with some other software.

In a “letter” on the company website, Pei said that his firm was building new Android-based operating system for the OnePlus One.

Pei said that already a team is working on the new operating system. “(the) team was put in place originally to build the software which would power our future devices. So, though it’s not what we originally planned, we have shifted engineering efforts to the OnePlus One upon hearing this news. According to our current estimations, we’ll be able to release our first community build to our Indian users next month and have a production-ready build in February,” he wrote.

“Our system will be based on Lollipop, and will be built to be stable, fast, and lightweight. True to our original promise of putting user experience first, it will be bloatware-free and only carry the features important to our users. We appreciate the work that Google has put into Android, and we have no plans of departing from Material Design nor adding unnecessary customizations,” Pei added. (by india today)

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