Opera rolls out AI powered news feed for iPhone users in India


Source : THE HINDU

Global tech firm Opera Software on Tuesday rolled out a new version of its mobile browser app Opera Mini for iPhone users in India that has artificial intelligence (AI)-powered news feed.

Apart from English, the news feed is available in Gujarati, Hindi and Tamil for the Indian users.

The revamped user-interface features a news feed on its start page which, the company claims, renders news four times faster than the previous version.

The AI news engine uses real-time intelligence ranking, powered by machine learning and deep learning, to analyse users’ interests and provide them content they can engage with more in its “For You” section.

“The goal is to provide each user the ability to get their optimal content based on their interest, which is constantly evolving,” said Cuautemoc Weber, Head of Global Accounts and Content, Opera Software, in a statement.

The app will allow users to customise the news feed with international news sources by setting location and categories as per their choice.

The feature is also available in select countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and the United States.

The company plans to further extend it to Russia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


PSLV-C39 carrying IRNSS-1H series satellite to be launched on August 31


Source : THE HINDU

The launch is scheduled at 19:00 hrs from the Second Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The 29-hour countdown for Thursday’s launch of navigation satellite ‘IRNSS-1H’ to augment the existing seven satellites of the NavIC constellation began on August 30.

To be launched on board PSLV-C39, IRNSS-1H will be a ’back-up’ navigation satellite for IRNSS-1A, one of the seven satellites in the constellation, as its three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning.

“The 29-hr countdown operations of PSLV-C39/IRNSS-1H mission have started on Wednesday at 14:00 hrs IST,” the Indian Space Research Organisation said.

The launch is scheduled at 19:00 hrs from the Second Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The Mission Readiness Review (MRR) committee and Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) had on August 29 cleared the 29-hour countdown.

The launch vehicle PSLV-C39 will use the ‘XL’ version of PSLV equipped with six strap-ons, each carrying 12 tons of propellant.

The over 1,400 kg spacecraft was built and tested by ISRO along with a consortium of six small and medium industries.

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India on par with U.S.-based GPS.

The system that offers services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers, was named ‘NavIC’ (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

ISRO had launched seven satellites - IRNSS-1G on April 28, 2016, IRNSS-1F (March 10, 2016), IRNSS-1E (January 20, 2016), IRNSS-1D (March 28, 2015), IRNSS-1C (October 16, 2014), IRNSS-1B (April 4, 2014) and IRNSS-1A on July 1, 2013.

According to ISRO officials, the total cost of all the seven satellites was ₹1,420 crore.


UIDAI refutes Wikileaks reports of Aadhaar data snoop, says system is secure


Source : THE HINDU

The statement by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) came after WikiLeaks hinted that CIA had allegedly accessed the Aadhaar database.

The UIDAI on Sunday asserted that Aadhaar system has stringent security features to prevent any unauthorised capture or transmission of data, refuting reports that hinted at sensitive biometric data being allegedly accessed by certain foreign agencies.

The statement by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) came after WikiLeaks hinted that CIA had allegedly accessed the Aadhaar database.

Dismissing the allegations, UIDAI said Aadhaar biometric capture system has been “developed within our own country and it has adequate and robust security features to prevent any possibility of any such unauthorised capture and transmission of data regardless of any biometric device that may be used.”

The UIDAI said that such “misinformation was being spread by certain “vested interests”.

“Some vested interests are trying to spread misinformation that since ‘Cross Match’ is one of many devices which are being used in biometric devices by various registrars and agencies in Aadhaar ecosystem, the biometrics being captured for Aadhaar are allegedly unauthorisedly accessed by others,” the UIDAI statement said rejecting charges of data compromise.

Outlining the stringent checks and balances in UIDAI system, it said that any biometric device before being used in Aadhaar system is “thoroughly tested” internally and externally extensively by Standardised Testing Quality Certification (STQC) and certified.

“In addition, there are many other rigorous security features and processes within UIDAI through which it ensures that no biometric data of any individual is unauthorised accessed by anyone in any manner whatsoever,” the UIDAI said.

The Aadhaar issuing body said that the biometric identifier had been issued to over 117 crore people, with around 4 crore authentication taking place every day.

“Till date, there has not been a single case of leak of biometric data, theft of identity, or financial loss to any one on account of use of Aadhaar. The UIDAI will continue to take every possible measure to ensure that Aadhaar remains safe and secure,” it said.