The nationwide lockdown imposed in the country to contain the deadly coronavirus has brought some good news for the air quality across the country.
Amid all other states and cities, Delhi – which has always been in bad light due to pollution, has come up with a crystal clear view and improved air quality on Friday.
According to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Delhi breaths ‘satisfactory’ for the fifth consecutive day with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) docking at 62.
Here are some of the pictures giving glimpses of New Delhi amid the lockdown:
It is not just India but worldwide that the impact of multiple lockdowns can be observed. Quarantining and lockdowns have forced many countries’ industries to shut down, with many factories closing their doors. The World Economic Forum reports, images from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), as well as satellite footage from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), show a drastic decline in NO? emissions over recent months, particularly across Italy and China.
According to NASA scientists, the reduction in NO2 pollution was first apparent near Wuhan, but eventually spread across the world. Millions of people have been quarantined in one of the largest such actions in human history. “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” said Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Liu recalls seeing a drop in NO2 over several countries during the economic recession that began in 2008, but the decrease was gradual.
Apple HomePod smart speaker confirmed for India launch; price revealed
Apple’s first ever smart speaker, Homepod, has been a subject to several delays and slow sales in the past. But now, months after making it available in select countries, Apple is all set to launch its Siri-based smart speaker in India. The indirect confirmation comes from the HomePod listing page on the Apple India website. Although it still says ‘Check back later for availability’, the price of the device has been revealed as Rs 19,900.
Considering the price tag of the speaker, it will be safe to assume that this Siri-enabled accessory will be going up against Bose Home Speaker 300, Amazon Echo Studio and even the Echo Plus (2nd-gen), all of which are in the same range.
HomePod saw the light of the day three years ago at WWDC 2017 and went on sale in Australia, the US and the UK in early 2018 at US$349 (roughly Rs 24,860). You can also buy the smart speaker from Germany, France, Canada and select other regions. Last year it went on sale in China, Japan and Taiwan.
Sporting six microphone arrays, Apple HomePod is said to recognise the physics of a room (or what Apple calls as Spatial Awareness) and play audio accordingly so the user gets the best experience. There’s also seven beamforming speakers, each with its own amplifier. Powering the speaker is Apple’s A8 chip. You can also setup a multi-room audio system using AirPlay 2 connectivity. On the outside, you can see Apple HomePods in two colour variants – Black and White. There’s a mesh fabric coating on the outside with all the controls on the top.
What’s more is that if the user is in the middle of a phone call or listening to a song, you can easily hand it off to HomePod. All you need to do is to hold the iOS or iPadOS device next to the speaker.
This Mumbai woman is winning thousands of hearts with her inspiring’ story
Some stories serve as shining examples of hope and inspiration. The story of Manashree Soman is the perfect example. Shared on the Humans of Bombay Facebook and Instagram pages, a post about Soman and her journey is winning thousands of hearts.
“When I was born, the doctor told my parents that there was a chance I would never walk or talk in addition to being visually impaired — little did he know that I was going to turn out to be a complete chatterbox!” Soman says in the post.
“When I first applied to school, they rejected me because they thought that I’d take all the attention and that ‘I would spoil the other normal children’! But that’s where they were wrong — I was normal! I went to another regular school and blossomed,” she adds.
Throughout school, Soman made sure she got all the experiences that any child is supposed to have like participating in a fancy dress competitions and even winning a prize for singing. Soman’s teachers and friends also supported her in every aspect.
“In the 7th standard, I won the Bal Shree President’s Award. I wasn’t at school when they announced it, but apparently, my classmates jumped up and down on the benches!” she says. “I received my award from Dr. Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and performed a song for him!” she adds.
She goes on to explain that her family has been extremely supportive and has stood by her side right from school to college and her job. Soman has been working at a bank as a clerk.
And while she faces many challenges, she doesn’t allow it to bring her down. We’ll let you read the entire post to know what helps her to keep going and her wonderful message to everyone.
Shared on January 9, the post has garnered more than 63,000 likes on Instagram and nearly a 1,000 shares on Facebook. People have posted some heartwarming messages for Soman and many have described her “inspiring”.
“Amazing. She’s a queen!” says an Instragram user. “There’s no limit to what a woman can achieve,” says another.
“Young lady, nothing, absolutely nothing can bring you down. Strength of the human spirit can do wonders. Lots of love to you,” writes a Facebook user. “Speechless and you are an inspiration to all of us. May God bless you,” comments another.
Microsoft Windows 10’s five upcoming features you must know
Microsoft released the Windows 10 update 19H2 back in November 2019. It was the smallest and quickest Windows 10 update and included select performance improvements, enterprise features, and quality enhancements. Now, the Windows 10 20H1 update, which is slated for a May 2020 roll-out, will be the ninth major refresh since the original release back in July 2015.
It is a part of Microsoft’s decision to split the major Windows 10 feature releases into two parts, a full-fledged update and a secondary update. The May 2020 update will be 2020’s major update following 19H1 in 2019.
Here are 5 features one can expect from the next Windows 10 major update:
New Cortana experience
Cortana has evolved. Users will be able to type queries to Cortana rather than say them out loud. One can resize and move around the Cortana panel on their desktop by dragging the title bar as well. Cortana supports both Windows 10’s light and dark themes as well. Microsoft has also said that it has “updated Cortana with new speech and language models” as well as “significantly improved performance” of the voice assistant.
Faster Windows search
To help users find information, Microsoft has added four quick web searches, including weather, top news, today in history and new movies. To preview the web answers, one has to select the search box to open search home, followed by quick search buttons. Just enter a query into the search box for quick results.
Improved disk usage for Windows Search
Following the inclusion of enhanced search mode in the 19H1 update, Windows 10 20H1 update will find key improvements in areas related to excessive disk and CPU usage, general performance issues, and low perceived value of the indexer.
Microsoft is introducing an algorithm that detects high disk usage and activity to better identify peak usage times and manage the indexer accordingly. They further revealed in their blog that they are making changes for developers to prevent searches of certain repositories and project folders to improve disk usage.
Virtual desktop renaming
Users may get the option to be able to rename their virtual desktops. To get started, one has to open task view by selecting the task view icon in the taskbar or pressings WIN+Tab. Once there, they need to select new desktop followed by desktop name, which will make it editable. One can also right click the desktop thumbnail and a content menu will appear with a rename entry. Write the name you would like and press enter for the change to take effect.
Event creation from taskbar
Users will be able to create an event straight from the calender flyout on the taskbar following the 20H1 update. Select the date and time at the lower right corner of the taskbar to open the calendar flyout and pick their desired date and start typing in the text box. This will see inline options to set time and location.
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