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Facebook’s latest hire triggers speculation of new TikTok rival

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With Facebook roping in former Google employee Jason Toff for a key portfolio, speculation is rife about the social networking giant preparing the launch of a serious competitor to the short video-sharing app TikTok.

Toff, who earlier served as the General Manager for Twitter’s short-video sharing service Vine, has joined as Facebook’s Product Management Director to lead the company’s recently formed New Product Experimentation (NPE) team.

“I suppose it’s a good time to share what I’m up to next! In two weeks, I’ll be joining Facebook as a PM Director starting up a new initiative under the recently formed NPE team,” Toff announced on Twitter on Monday.

Announced last week, Facebook’s NPE team is aimed at developing experimental apps for consumers who are still slightly removed from the core Facebook brand.

In Google, Toff worked on Virtual Reality (VR) projects as well as on Google’s in-house Area 120 incubator — which is similar in concept to Facebook’s NPE team, The Verge reported.

While Toff said he could not reveal details of what he is working on, his Twitter post mentioned he is looking to hire a team of UX designers and engineers to work on the project.

The world’s largest social media platform last week announced that it will begin to launch new consumer-focused apps under the developer name “NPE Team, from Facebook.”

“NPE Team apps will be aligned with Facebook’s mission of giving people the power to build community but will focus on shipping entirely new experiences. We decided to use this separate brand name to help set the appropriate expectations with users that NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people,” Facebook said.

Owned by Beijing-based start-up ByteDance, TikTok saw its first-time installs grow about 28 per cent year-over-year for the first half of 2019 to nearly 344 million worldwide despite a two-week ban in India during Q2, revealed an estimate by mobile app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

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This ISRO tech could replace GPS on your smartphone: Key things to know

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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is bringing its GPS alternative ‘NavIC’ to the common people. The space agency has partnered with Qualcomm, one of the world’s biggest chipset companies, to integrate NavIC on its new processors meant for budget and mid-range smartphones. Xiaomi and Realme have already confirmed plans to launch phones with NavIC-enabled processors.

What is NavIC?

NavIC stands for Navigation with Indian Constellation and is based on the Sanskrit word for navigator or sailor. NavIC essentially refers to Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a collection of navigation-based satellites that aims to provide accurate position information service to Indian users. The service is quite similar to GPS (Global Position System). At the moment, NavIC consists of seven satellites.

The back story

Back in 1999, India sought GPS data from the US to track Pakistai troops positioned in Kargil. The information, however, was denied by the US. Since then, India had been working on an indigenous satellite system for location services. Almost two decades later, the NavIC system is inching closer to the commercial usage.

It is worth noting that the system aims to provide two types of services. The first “Standard Position Services” (SPS) will be available to all civilian users whereas the “Restricted Services” (RS) will be available to authorised users including defence and intelligence agencies.

NavIC also brings India to an elite club of the nations that have their satellite-based location services – US’ GPS, the Russian Glonass, China’s BeiDou and Galileo of Europe.

Better than GPS?

India’s NavIC, now set to be embedded on millions of Android phones, is said to be much better than the US’ GPS. The NavIC is said to be accurate up to 5 meters, much more efficient than GPS which is said to be accurate up to 20 to 30 meters.

NavIC’s applications

ISRO says the NavIC is mainly aimed at users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500km from its boundaries.

Users can expect their future phones to use NavIC to access location-based services such as Uber, Ola Cabs, Google Maps and more. The space agency says users can expect the satellite system to help provide visual and voice navigation for drivers.

According to the agency, the technology can be used for things such as disaster management, terrestrial navigation assistant to hikers and travellers, vehicle tracking and fleet management, precise timing, aerial and marine navigation, and more.

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Microsoft ends support for Windows 7: Here’s how you can upgrade to Windows 10

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Microsoft launched Windows 7 back in July 2009. And now, nearly 10 years after its initial rollout the company is ending support for Windows 7.

Microsoft had ended mainstream support for Windows 7 back in 2015. But starting today, the company will no longer roll out security updates to its operating system. This means that the company will no longer work towards fixing bugs and security threats in Windows 7 that users might encounter in future.

So, what’s the alternative?

The alternative is Windows 10. Users can download Windows 10 on their desktops and personal computers to protect their data and continue using the latest features.

Shortly after the roll out of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft was offering free upgrade to all Windows users. However, the free upgrade program ended in 2016. If you missed the bandwagon four years back, don’t worry as there is still a way using which you can download Windows 10 on your desktop or PC. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Go to Download Windows 10 website.

Step 2: Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now and Run.

Step 3: If you are upgrading the same PC that you are working on select Upgrade this PC now option.

Step 4: Now follow the prompts.

Step 5: When the upgrading process finishes, go to Settings Update & Security > Activation. Here you will see a digital license for Windows 10. And you are good to go.

It is worth noting that Windows 7 Home and Windows 8 Home users can only upgrade to Windows 10 Home. Similarly, only Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8 Pro users can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

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Microsoft Windows 10: Top 5 tricks every user should know

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Microsoft has been introducing new features for Windows 10, making it more user-friendly. Be it laptop or desktop, Windows 10 is widely used. After mid of January this year, Windows 10 is expected to see more users as Microsoft will end support for Windows 7.

Also, there are several tricks about Microsoft’s Windows 10 that most of the existing users are not aware of. These tricks may prove beneficial for users who might soon switch to Windows 10.

Customise Windows 10 Start menu

Windows 10 users can change the look of the start menu of the operating system as per their interest and convenience. According to The Windows Club, Windows 10 users can remove frequent items from Start Menu. Users can also resize and group tiles. Items can be easily moved from left side to right of Start Menu and can be displayed in Tiles.

Change Theme, Wallpaper, Lock Screen: Windows 10 users can set up personal lock screen, wallpaper and control themes in the operating system. According to The Windows Club, users can simply go to settings, click on personalization, scroll down on themes and click on classic theme settings. One will then see three different themes and four high contrast themes that are specifically designed for night usage. Select the theme of choice and click on save theme.

To change wallpaper, go to settings, click on personalization and tap on background to change the wallpaper of their Windows 10 operating system.

To change Lock Screen, go to settings, click on lock screen option and choose a picture as the lock screen image.

Windows 10 God Mode

Windows 10 has a hidden ‘God Mode’ that allows users to create a shortcut to all the control panels of the operating system. The ‘God Mode’ proves to be beneficial for all power users as it provides them access to all the important panels from single folder.

One can go to their Windows 10 desktop and right click to create a new folder. After the new folder is created, rename it to GodMode. Add code: {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}.

Once the user exits the rename section, he/she will notice the icon of folder change to control panel.

It is not necessary to keep the file name ‘God Mode’ and can use any name of their choice.

Close background apps

Windows 10 users can save the battery of their device and prevent the apps running on the background to receive, send notifications when they are not being used. A person can restrict the background apps running on their system by going on the settings option, clicking on privacy and then tap on background apps.

To restrict all the apps running in the background, Windows 10 users can select the off option of the let apps run in the background menu.

Let battery of device last longer with Windows 10: Using Windows 10 on your laptop? Worried that your laptop battery might drain out? You may opt for new battery saver mode.

Windows 10 users can enable or disable battery saver by going to the settings, click on system and tap on battery saver. Turn it on to save your laptop’s charge.

According to The Windows Club, Windows 10 users can also select ‘turn battery saver’ mode on automatically if the ‘battery falls below’. The default is 20 percent and users may increase it to 30 percent.

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