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Micromax Canvas Lapbook L1161 With Windows 10 Launched at Rs. 13,999

Foraying into the laptop segment, country’s handset maker Micromax on Thursday said it aims to garner 10 percent market share in the next 12-18 months.

Micromax, which will compete with the likes of HP, Dell, and Lenovo, has priced its Lapbook L1161 at Rs. 13,999 that will be available from Friday via Snapdeal.

“Micromax has always strived to bring the best technology innovations to close the gap between consumer needs and available devices,” Micromax Chief Marketing Officer Shubhajit Sen told PTI.

The Canvas Lapbook L1161 addresses the need of affordable computing, in line with the PM’s Digital India initiative, he added.

“With our entry into the laptop category, we aim to drive the growth of the category and garner a market share of 10 percent in 12-18 months,” he said.

According to industry body MAIT, the notebook market declined 15 percent to 5.81 million units in 2014-15 from 6.83 million units in 2013-14, impacted by burgeoning smartphone sales.

However, the industry body has forecast a 17 percent growth in notebook sales to 6.80 million in 2015-16. Previously, Micromax has launched a Laptab (Review) that features a tablet with a detachable keyboard.

Of the total PC market (desktops and notebooks), HP was the market leader with 25.6 percent share, followed by Dell – 22.1 percent, Lenovo – 15.8 percent and Acer – 11.5 percent in 2014, according to data from research firm IDC.

Powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor (up to 1.83GHz), the Lapbook L1161 will come pre-loaded with the latest Windows 10 operating system.

“The Lapbook is designed to cater the needs of young India in Tier II and III markets,” he said. The Lapbook L1161 comes with dual speakers, 11.6-inch HD IPS display, 32GB inbuilt storage (expandable up to 64GB), 5000mAh battery rated to deliver up to 11 hours of battery life, and, a seven-day on-site service. It weighs 1.3 kilograms.

Micromax also launched the second generation of Laptab, called Laptab LT777, priced at Rs. 17,999, that will go on sale on Amazon India portal from Tuesday. It features a 11.6-inch touch display, Windows 10, and offers 8-10 hours of backup.


Australian Sheep Breaks World Record With Mammoth Fleece

An Australian sheep that underwent a life-saving shave after being found with a massive fleece has entered the Guinness World Records for having the most wool sheared in a single sitting.

The merino sheep, which was nicknamed Chris after it was found wandering alone just outside Australia’s capital Canberra in early September, had 41.1 kilograms (90.6 pounds) of wool taken off in one piece by a champion shearer.

Guinness World Records said on its website that it had verified the record, which displaced the previous woolly champion Big Ben, an animal shorn of 28.9 kilograms in New Zealand in 2014.

“We certainly didn’t have the world record as priority when we sheared Chris, but we appreciate the recognition,” Tammy Ven Dange, the head of the RSPCA in the Australian Capital Territory, said in a statement Wednesday.

“We can only hope that record is never broken again because it would be unlikely that the animal would live to tell the story.”

Chris’ plight made global headlines following Ven Dange’s tweet appealing for help from a shearer after the overgrown animal was spotted by bushwalkers.

Ven Dange said that merino sheep were bred for their wool and they could face health issues, or even die, if not sheared regularly.

The fleece has been donated to the National Museum in Canberra, while Chris was re-homed in a hobby farm in neighboring New South Wales state.


Man Tries to Open Jet Door At 30,000 Feet, Mistakes It for Loo

In a bizarre incident, a Scottish man tried to open a KLM plane’s door at 30,000 feet, mistaking it for the loo entrance, attracting a fine of 600 euros and a ban from travelling with the airline for five years.

James Gray said airline staff accused him of trying to open the door of the plane he was on while travelling at 30,000 feet.

However, he claimed he only touched the handle after confusing it for the door to the toilet.

James, from Alloa, was huckled off the KLM flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam the moment it touched down at Schiphol Airport, Scotland’s Sunday Post reported.

He was whisked away to a nearby detention centre where he spent the night before he was fined 434 pounds (600 euros).

But when he went to fly home he said KLM staff refused to let him on board and said he was banned from flying with them for five years.

He only made it back after a friend paid for him to travel with a rival airline.

“The crew told me to stay in my seat and I was to be arrested when the plane landed. I tried to explain it was a simple mistake. It was a misunderstanding,” Gray was quoted as saying by the daily.

“The police came and arrested me. They weren’t too friendly,” he said.

Gray claimed he spoke to a translator by phone as he was being interviewed by Dutch police.

He also had to borrow money after the fine wiped out his holiday funds.

A spokeswoman for Schiphol Airport and a spokesperson for the Royal Dutch Border Police both refused to comment. KLM said a passenger had been handed over to authorities due to “his misbehaviour” on board.


Android 6.0 Marshmallow Rollout Tipped to Start on October 5

Amidst several leaks surrounding the upcoming Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, a Canadian telecom carrier has tipped that the latest iteration of Android may start rolling out on October 5. According to Telus, the LG Google Nexus 5 and the Motorola Google Nexus 6 will start receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow as on OTA update starting October 5.
The telecom carrier on its official ‘Software Update Schedule’ page listed the release date for the next Android update for the two previous generation Nexus smartphones. Soon after several media reports cited Telus’ software update schedule, the telecom carrier updated the page removing the mention for Android 6.0 Marshmallow update. However, Mobilesyrup managed to get a screenshot of the list of the devices posted by telecom carrier. We will have to still wait for any announcement from Google regarding the rollout of Android 6.0.
Some of the new features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which has been available as the Android M developer preview since Google I/O 2015, include revamped app permissions; Google Now on Tap feature; new Chrome feature that will change the Web experience for Android users; new ways to handle Web links; integrated Android Pay mobile payment system; new fingerprint APIs for developers to add into their apps and native fingerprint support, apart from battery saver features called Doze that will make Android devices smart about managing power. Some of the other additions include a new memory manager, adoptable storage devices, new app drawer, auto backup and restore for apps, and support for USB Type-C ports.

Google will almost certainly unveil the two new Nexus phones apart from the new Chromecast dongle at its Tuesday event in San Francisco. Previous years have seen the rollout of the new Android version for previous generation Nexus devices almost a month after the launch of new Nexus devices, so if Telus’ post was accurate, Google has sped up its rollout cycle.

Last year, Google took at least two weeks to start rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop update for its Nexus devices.

Both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones were recently leaked in a flurry of press renders. The designs of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P in the press renders were in line with earlier leaks.


Instagram Tops 400 Million Users

Instagram has rocketed past the 400-million-user mark, with more than 80 million pictures shared daily at the Facebook-owned service.
The number of people sharing pictures and videos each month using Instagram soared from 300 million at the start of this year and tops the number of people using Twitter monthly by nearly 100 million.
“While milestones like this are important, what really excites us is the way that visual communication makes the world feel a little bit smaller to every one of us,” Instagram said in a blog post.
“Instagrammers continue to capture incredible photos and videos from all corners of the Earth (and even the solar system).”
More than half of the last 100 million people to join Instagram live in Europe or Asia, with Brazil, Japan, and Indonesia seeing the strongest growth, according to the service.
The list of high-profile new Instagram users who quickly won legions of followers included David Beckham, Caitlyn Jenner and footballer Toni Kroos.
Earlier this month, Instagram unveiled plans to expand its offerings to advertisers, opening up possibilities for global marketing efforts on the photo-sharing network.
The expansion is intended to allow advertisers to launch global campaigns in a variety of formats including video ads of up to 30 seconds.
Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2012, has had only limited advertising opportunities up to now.
In 2013, it began with a small number of “sponsored” posts by well-known brands such as Michael Kors and Adidas.
The new system could help Instagram generate considerably more revenue.
Instagram also introduced a service called Marquee, a “premium” advertising product aimed at driving mass awareness in a short time-frame for events like movie premieres and new product launches.
Industry tracker eMarketer estimates that Instagram’s worldwide ad revenue this year will grow rapidly, hitting $600 million.
Instagram is seen as a potential growth segment for Facebook, which has nearly 1.5 billion users.
Last month, Instagram broke its square mold with an update that adds portrait and landscape formats to the image-sharing smartphone application, which also opened up new possibilities for advertisers.
Meanwhile, Twitter continues to search for a new leader since Dick Costolo announced on June 12 he was stepping down, with co-founder Jack Dorsey holding the job on an interim basis since July 1.
The unusually long search has some investors and analysts worried over the future of Twitter, which has failed to ignite the kind of growth that many had anticipated when it launched its public offering in 2013.


Creative SBS E2800, SBS E2400 2.1 Speaker Systems

Creative has announced the launch of two new home entertainment 2.1-channel speaker systems for the Indian market, the SBS E2800 and SBS E2400. The E2800 will retail at Rs. 4,599, while the cheaper E2400 will cost Rs. 3,599. Both speaker systems will go on sale by the end of September.

The Creative SBS E2800 has a range of connectivity options, including RCA (for connectivity with TVs and DVD players), FM radio, USB and 3.5mm line-in. A remote is also included in the sales package to control the system. The system is a powered 2.1-channel speaker set, with two satellite speakers and a combined amplifier/input/subwoofer unit, with an output of 50 Watts.

The second system launched is the cheaper Creative SBS E2400. It has a lower power output rating of 24 Watts and does not have FM radio connectivity, but is similar to the E2800 in all other ways. Both devices notably lack Bluetooth connectivity, which is commonly available in other 2.1-channel home entertainment speaker systems at similar prices.

“We’re extremely excited to be introducing this amazing sound system to the Indian market. It’s the perfect solution for anyone looking for a powerful yet affordable all-in-one home entertainment speaker system,” said Ernest Sim, Regional Sales Manager of Creative Technology Ltd, adding, “And it’s the perfect audio upgrade. Just connect the SBS E2800 to your TV set or tablet and experience a whopping 50 watts of audio power, together with powerful bass from the subwoofer – you’ll be absolutely blown away with its powerful room-filling audio performance for movies, music or gaming.”


Dubai Ruler’s Son Dies of Heart Attack

Dubai announced a three day mourning period after the 33-year old son of the Gulf emirate’s ruler passed away, the official state news agency WAM said on Saturday.
Sheikh Rashid, son of the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, suffered a heart attack on Saturday morning, the agency said.
Sheikh Rashid was the eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed. Rashid’s brother Sheikh Hamdan is the Crown Prince of Dubai.
© Thomson Reuters 2015


Pluto Resembles Earth in New Spectacular Images

A near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon covering 1,250 km area has left scientists stunned as it has a familiar arctic look like we see on Earth.
The latest images, taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, show breathtaking views of Pluto’s majestic icy mountains, streams of frozen nitrogen and haunting low-lying hazes.
“This image really makes you feel you are there at Pluto, surveying the landscape for yourself,” said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern in a statement.
“But this image is also a scientific bonanza, revealing new details about Pluto’s atmosphere, mountains, glaciers and plains,” he added.
Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14 this year, New Horizons looked back toward the Sun and captured the near-sunset view which was downlinked to Earth on September 13.
This new view of Pluto’s crescent offers an oblique look across Plutonian landscapes with dramatic backlighting from the Sun.
It spectacularly highlights Pluto’s varied terrains and extended atmosphere.
Owing to its favourable backlighting and high resolution, this image also reveals new details of hazes throughout Pluto’s tenuous but extended nitrogen atmosphere.
The image shows more than a dozen thin haze layers extending from near the ground to at least 100 km above the surface.
In addition, the image reveals at least one bank of fog-like, low-lying haze illuminated by the setting sun against Pluto’s dark side, raked by shadows from nearby mountains.
“In addition to being visually stunning, these low-lying hazes hint at the weather changing from day to day on Pluto, just like it does here on Earth,” noted Will Grundy, leader of the New Horizons composition team from Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona.
This new image also provides evidence for a remarkably Earth-like “hydrological” cycle on Pluto – but involving soft and exotic ices, including nitrogen, rather than water ice.
“We did not expect to find hints of a nitrogen-based glacial cycle on Pluto operating in the frigid conditions of the outer solar system,” added Alan Howard, member of the mission from University of Virginia.
“Pluto is surprisingly Earth-like in this regard,” added Stern, “and no one predicted it”.


Facebook is Finally Working on a ‘Dislike’ Button, But it Might Not Be What Many Expect

After years of requests from its users, Facebook has confirmed it’s working on a “dislike” button.
“People have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day, because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said during a live Q&A session Tuesday.
You’ve long been able to “like” something on Facebook with the click of a button. But for some content, that doesn’t work so well, Zuckerberg acknowledged.
“Not every moment is a good moment,” he said. “If you share something that’s sad, like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away _ it may not be comfortable to like that post.”
The answer to that problem might casually be referred to as a dislike button. But Zuckerberg wanted to avoid creating a system of reddit-style up and down votes.
And with good reason: Unlike reddit, Facebook’s feed is the product of a sophisticated algorithm, which means it would need to be taught how to handle the new button. Would a torrent of dislikes serve to bury a post in your newsfeed? Or elevate it?
Facebook’s answer seems to be “neither.” What the service appears to prefer is something that allows you to express “empathy” with “more options.”
This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg has considered the idea. In December, he revealed that he had been weighing how to implement a dislike button that would be a “force for good.”
This may mean a range of possible responses that offer alternatives to the like option without being its direct opposite.


Saudi Suspends Saudi Binladin Group Over Mecca Crane Disaster

Saudi Arabia suspended construction giant Saudi Binladin Group from new contracts on Tuesday following Friday’s collapse of a crane in Mecca’s Grand Mosque which killed 107 people.
It also ordered the Finance Ministry to review exisitng projects by the firm, a titan of the Arab business world.
King Salman also ordered that the group’s board members and senior executives be barred from travel abroad after an investigation into last week’s incident showed the crane was not erected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
The disaster was embarrassing for the Saudi ruling family, which defines itself as guardian of Islam’s holiest places and has embarked on a series of enormous construction projects in Mecca aimed at expanding its pilgrimage sites.
Saudi Binladin Group has long been regarded in the conservative Islamic kingdom as the government’s favourite contractor for important or sensitive work, including defence and security projects.
Explaining the action, an official statement referred without elaborating to the responsibility and “shortcomings” of the company following an investigation into the crane crash that also injured 238 other people.
The suspension, announced in a statement from the royal court, would remain in force until the investigation is complete and until all legal cases are settled, it said.
The crane toppled over at Mecca’s Grand Mosque last Friday, less than two weeks before Islam’s annual haj pilgrimage.
The company, one of the largest contracting companies in the kingdom, had been carrying expansion work at the Grand Mosque. It was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and is run by Osama’s brother Bakr.
Neither the company, nor the family, issued an immediate statement on the suspension. The company is believed to have attributed the collapse to a lightning strike breaking a cable that was used to secure the crane.
A statement by a spokesman for the administration of the mosques in Mecca and Medina said the crane smashed into the part of the Grand Mosque where worshippers circle the Kaaba – the black-clad cube towards which the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims face to pray.
“The state wants to show to both the corporates and the Islamic world that they will address any wrongdoing and that they are on top of things,” said John Sfakianakis, regional director at Ashmore Group.
The haj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, has been prone to disasters in the past, mainly from stampedes as pilgrims rush to complete rituals and return home. Hundreds of pilgrims died in such a crush in 2006.
However, extensive development work on the main pilgrimage sites, expanding those where dense crowds had previously led to stampedes, have prevented such incidents, which were previously common, in recent years.
© Thomson Reuters 2015