Google, NIELIT Aim to Train 1 Lakh Android Developers in India

Google, NIELIT Aim to Train 1 Lakh Android Developers in India

The government-run IT institute NIELIT, in collaboration with Internet giant Google, will roll out courses to train 1 lakh students for Android application development for less than Rs. 5,000 per head.

“We will provide free of cost all course material for Android app development to NIELIT, which will then train hundred thousand students,” Google South East Asia and India Vice-President Rajan Anandan said in New Delhi while launching a series of IT initiatives with the Ministry of Electronics and IT.

Google India will equip the National Institute trainers with training modules and content. They in turn will do the outreach by leveraging the 10,000 NIELIT (National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology) centres across the country. Additionally, Google India will provide mobile training labs to reach artisan clusters across India.

“The Ministry of Electronics and IT intends to give impetus to the Prime Minister’s recent call for a ‘New India’. Collaboration with Google will be hugely beneficial in harnessing capabilities of technology for the India growth story,” MeitY Secretary Aruna Sundarajan said.

“We will soon send master trainers for training under Google for app development course. NIELIT should be able to roll out this course, maybe with a token amount of less than Rs. 5,000 per student. We are looking at making Indian youth more employable, fees are not a primary concern,” NIELIT DG Ashwini Kumar Sharma said.

Google and NIELIT will also run digital marketing training programme to train over 100,000 artisans per year across India to help them come online and tap into newer markets through improved visibility on Internet.

“Google will provide free of cost support for digital marketing course. NIELIT should be in position to start course for artisans by the end of May. We may charge a token amount for sustainability of the training for less than Rs. 1,500-2,000 per head,” Sharma said.

Google India and MeitY will undertake programme to enhance the government’s online presence, especially on mobile platforms, to enable citizen engagement and training and capacity building programmes on digital tools.

Google, MeitY and the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) will soon launch ‘Digital Payments Security Alliance’ with focus to create awareness on safe and secure practices and capacity building in digital payments.

Elgato Stream Deck Is a Control Centre for Pro-Livestreamers

Elgato Stream Deck Is a Control Centre for Pro-Livestreamers

Live streaming of video games has become big business in recent years, as anyone who frequents Twitch will tell you. The most popular broadcasters have followings in the order of millions, with some even taking it up as a full-time career. That seems to be the target market for Munich-based Elgato, which has announced Stream Deck, a programmable LCD control centre.

The Stream Deck has a total of 15 LCD keys spread across three rows, which can be configured to do a total of 210 actions – be it adjusting audio, welcoming/ thanking subscribers, displaying your Twitter username in the lower-third, or even bringing up memes on screen. It’s meant to liberate you from relying on keyboard shortcuts, and the daunting prospect of memorising dozens.

Of course, Elgato will provide you with companion software, so you can customise the functions available to you, as you please. You can create custom icons to truly personalise the Stream Deck. It will even allow you to create folders, so you can nest some common actions together.

The Stream Deck connects to your machine over USB, has dimensions of 118 x 84 x 21 mm, and weighs 190g. It’s compatible with both Windows 10 (64-bit), and macOS 10.11.

According to the website, it will be available in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain. Currently, it’s up for pre-order in the US at $149.95, in Australia at AUD 199, in New Zealand at NZD 229.99, and Germany at EUR 149.95.

Elgato says the Stream Deck will start shipping by May, though the New Zealand retailer states a late April launch.

Ducati Diavel Carbon Review : Avant-Garde Allegory

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We still have a thing for the Bimotas and their unconventional designs. But what we have here isn’t a Bimota. Well, not entirely. Vyrus, along with Bimota, were working on the development of Tesi motorcycle before parting ways due to the former’s unfavorable financial situation.

While the companies parted ways, Vyrus, since its return, has developed three products. This one here is one of those three motorcycles, the 986 M2, and it does remind of the Tesi. The biggest resemblance is the hub-center steering front suspension arrangement. The hubsteer features “antidive” which means it does not dive under braking, resulting in weight distribution on both wheels for better stability.

The 986 M2 uses the basic design of Massimo Tamburini’s Tesi. The motorcycle design is aimed to improve straight-line speed without compromising the handling of the vehicle in fast and sudden changes of direction. It took extensive studies and several hours in the wind tunnel to optimize its forms.

The motorcycle, which features carbon-fibre bodywork, will be available in limited numbers only. It will be available in two options. First will be a completely hand-built model which will be tailored to the customer requirement while the second will be delivered as a kit. Customers will have to install the kit on their own CBR600R motorcycles.

Malware turns PCs into eavesdropping devices

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have demonstrated malware that can turn computers into perpetual eavesdropping devices, even without a microphone.

In the new paper, “SPEAKE(a)R: Turn Speakers to Microphones for Fun and Profit,” the researchers explain and demonstrate how most PCs and laptops today are susceptible to this type of attack. Using SPEAKE(a)R, malware that can covertly transform headphones into a pair of microphones, they show how commonly used technology can be exploited.

“The fact that headphones, earphones and speakers are physically built like microphones and that an audio port’s role in the PC can be reprogrammed from output to input creates a vulnerability that can be abused by hackers,” says Prof. Yuval Elovici, director of the BGU Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC) and member of BGU’s Department of Information Systems Engineering.

“This is the reason people like Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg tape up their mic and webcam,” says Mordechai Guri, lead researcher and head of Research and Development at the CSRC. “You might tape the mic, but would be unlikely to tape the headphones or speakers.”

A typical computer chassis contains a number of audio jacks, either in the front panel, rear panel or both. Each jack is used either for input (line-in), or for output (line-out). The audio chipsets in modern motherboards and sound cards include an option for changing the function of an audio port with software -a type of audio port programming referred to as jack retasking or jack remapping.

Malware can stealthily reconfigure the headphone jack from a line-out jack to a microphone jack, making the connected headphones function as a pair of recording microphones and turning the computer into an eavesdropping device. This works even when the computer doesn’t have a connected microphone, as demonstrated in the SPEAKE(a)R video.

The BGU researchers studied several attack scenarios to evaluate the signal quality of simple off-the-shelf headphones. “We demonstrated is possible to acquire intelligible audio through earphones up to several meters away,” said Dr. Yosef Solewicz, an acoustic researcher at the BGU CSRC.

Potential software countermeasures include completely disabling audio hardware, using an HD audio driver to alert users when microphones are being accessed, and developing and enforcing a strict rejacking policy within the industry. Anti-malware and intrusion detection systems could also be developed to monitor and detect unauthorized speaker-to-mic retasking operations and block them.

Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all populations yet studied, providing clues to healthy lifestyle

The Tsimane people — a forager-horticulturalist population of the Bolivian Amazon — have the lowest reported levels of vascular aging for any population, with coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) being five times less common than in the US, according to a study published in The Lancet and being presented at the American College of Cardiology conference.

The researchers propose that the loss of subsistence diets and lifestyles in contemporary society could be classed as a new risk factor for heart disease. The main risk factors are age, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes.

“Our study shows that the Tsimane indigenous South Americans have the lowest prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis of any population yet studied,” said senior anthropology author, Professor Hillard Kaplan, University of New Mexico, USA. “Their lifestyle suggests that a diet low in saturated fats and high in non-processed fibre-rich carbohydrates, along with wild game and fish, not smoking and being active throughout the day could help prevent hardening in the arteries of the heart. The loss of subsistence diets and lifestyles could be classed as a new risk factor for vascular aging and we believe that components of this way of life could benefit contemporary sedentary populations.”

Although the Tsimane lifestyle is very different from that of contemporary society, certain elements of it are transferable and could help to reduce risk of heart disease.

While industrial populations are sedentary for more than half of their waking hours (54%), the Tsimane spend only 10% of their daytime being inactive. They live a subsistence lifestyle that involves hunting, gathering, fishing and farming, where men spend an average of 6-7 hours of their day being physically active and women spend 4-6 hours.

Their diet is largely carbohydrate-based (72%) and includes non-processed carbohydrates which are high in fibre such as rice, plantain, manioc, corn, nuts and fruits. Protein constitutes 14% of their diet and comes from animal meat. The diet is very low in fat with fat compromising only 14% of the diet — equivalent to an estimated 38 grams of fat each day, including 11g saturated fat and no trans fats. In addition, smoking was rare in the population.

In the observational study, the researchers visited 85 Tsimane villages between 2014 and 2015. They measured the participants’ risk of heart disease by taking CT scans of the hearts of 705 adults (aged 40-94 years old) to measure the extent of hardening of the coronary arteries, as well as measuring weight, age, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and inflammation.

Based on their CT scan, almost nine in 10 of the Tsimane people (596 of 705 people, 85%) had no risk of heart disease, 89 (13%) had low risk and only 20 people (3%) had moderate or high risk. These findings also continued into old age, where almost two-thirds (65%, 31 of 48) of those aged over 75 years old had almost no risk and 8% (4 of 48) had moderate or high risk. These results are the lowest reported levels of vascular aging of any population recorded to date.

By comparison, a US study of 6814 people (aged 45 to 84) found that only 14% of Americans had a CT scan that suggested no risk of heart disease and half (50%) had a moderate or high risk — a five-fold higher prevalence than in the Tsimane population.

In the Tsimane population, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose were also low, potentially as a result of their lifestyle. The researchers also note that the low risk of coronary atherosclerosis was identified despite there being elevated levels of inflammation in half of the Tsimane population (51%, 360 of 705 people).

“Conventional thinking is that inflammation increases the risk of heart disease,” said Professor Randall Thompson, cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, USA. “However, the inflammation common to the Tsimane was not associated with increased risk of heart disease, and may instead be the result of high rates of infections.”

Because the study is observational it cannot confirm how the Tsimane population is protected from vascular aging, or which part of their lifestyle (diet, physical activity or smoking) is most protective. The researchers suggest it is more likely to be a result of their lifestyle than genetics, because of a gradual increase in cholesterol levels coinciding with a rapidly changing lifestyle.

“Over the last five years, new roads and the introduction of motorised canoes have dramatically increased access to the nearby market town to buy sugar and cooking oil,” said Dr Ben Trumble, Arizona State University, USA. “This is ushering in major economic and nutritional changes for the Tsimane people.”

The researchers did not study whether coronary artery hardening in the Tsimane population impacted on their health, but note that deaths from heart attacks are very uncommon in the population so it is likely that their low levels of atherosclerosis and heart disease are associated. The researchers are investigating this in further research.

“This study suggests that coronary atherosclerosis could be avoided if people adopted some elements of the Tsimane lifestyle, such as keeping their LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar very low, not smoking and being physically active,” said senior cardiology author Dr Gregory S. Thomas, Long Beach Memorial Medical Centre, USA. “Most of the Tsimane are able to live their entire life without developing any coronary atherosclerosis. This has never been seen in any prior research. While difficult to achieve in the industrialized world, we can adopt some aspects of their lifestyle to potentially forestall a condition we thought would eventually effect almost all of us.”

Research spotlights early signs of disease using infrared light: New research

While more research is needed to confirm the findings published in the FASEB Journal, the use of FITR could herald a fast and easy way to spot early signs of infection, cancer, and difficult to diagnose neurological conditions.

The research led by Professors Peter Lay and Georges Grau used Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to detect and characterize the release of sub-micron sized microvesicles.

Produced from the cell membranes of mammals, microvesicles play a role in cell communication and carry a “cargo” of RNA, DNA, proteins, lipids and other biomolecules that they use to dramatically change the biochemistry of other cells.

Microvesicles are involved in normal physiology but are released into the bloodstream at higher levels during the acute and early development phase of many diseases. They are also potent vectors and mediators of disease, so detecting changes in their number and biochemistry could be helpful for spotting mechanisms of early diseases development.

The researchers used FTIR to monitor microvesicle-biomolecular changes in white blood cells, known as monocytes, they stimulated with a component of deadly bacteria called lipopolysaccharide, comparing the changes to those in healthy, uninfected white blood cells.

Lipopolysaccahride from various bacteria can reach the blood and cause septic shock, a life-threatening complication of sepsis where the body’s infection-response can injure tissues and organs.

“We found a threefold increase in the number of microvesicles from white blood cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide that points to a pathophysiological role for these microvesicles in bacterial infection and its subsequent immune response,” said study co-author Georges Grau at the University of Sydney’s Vascular Immunology Unit and Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases.

“We also saw clear biomolecular changes — more lipids and proteins — in microvesicles produced by white blood cells stimulated by lipopolysaccharides, compared to those produced by resting white blood cells.”

The researchers also discovered that most of the “cargo” of RNA, DNA, lipids and proteins released by the white blood cells were contained within these microvesicles.

“This is very important since there is an enormous research effort looking at circulating RNA, DNA and proteins in blood as diagnostics of diseases and our results indicate that they are mostly carried in these microvesicles,” said senior author, Professor Peter Lay at the University’s School of Chemistry and Vibrational Spectroscopy Core Facility.

“In many respects, the microvesicles released under bacterial stimulation during an infectious episode are like viruses whereby the altered lipid content and increases and proteins appear designed to invade and change the biochemistry of target cells by releasing their DNA and RNA.

“This use of FTIR spectroscopy to analyse microvesicles provides a new way characterize the biomolecular differences in this model of septic shock-induced white blood cell-microvesicle and could easily be applied to other models of microvesicle release, notably in a range of inflammatory diseases.”

Ducati Diavel Carbon Review : Avant-Garde Allegory

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I could start the review with a cliché of description by comparing the Diavel with the devil. But it would probably be the billionth time that someone would have done that. So let’s get to the point. This one here can be a death machine in the hands of the naive but a seasoned rider can ride it like a warhorse charging through the battlefield. The Diavel is probably one of those select machines that can be termed as the Toruk or the Last Shadow in the motoring universe. It’s wild, unusual, intimidating, even, and yet so desirable. It’s made to deliver the adrenaline rush only the fiercest V-twins ever could, and boy does this one do just that.

I could start the review with a cliché of description by comparing the Diavel with the devil. But it would probably be the billionth time that someone would have done that. So let’s get to the point. This one here can be a death machine in the hands of the naive but a seasoned rider can ride it like a warhorse charging through the battlefield. The Diavel is probably one of those select machines that can be termed as the Toruk or the Last Shadow in the motoring universe. It’s wild, unusual, intimidating, even, and yet so desirable. It’s made to deliver the adrenaline rush only the fiercest V-twins ever could, and boy does this one do just that.

2: The motorcycle, with its LED headlight, the inspiring two-piece instrument cluster and the massive 17-litre fuel tank looks absolutely menacing. The throne like sit-in saddle, the massive pipes coming out from the engine and the slash cut exhaust canisters add tons of character to this machine. And yet, it is appealing enough to be loved by every living soul on the planet, even the ones who do not understand motorcycling. What we had for the test was the Carbon edition that’d burn a bigger hole in your pocket. For the extra moolah, though, you get a carbon-fibre fuel tank, pillion seat cowl and front fender, which helps the motorcycle shed some crucial amount of weight. Then there are those Marchesini forged wheels that further aid in weight reduction, offering better power to weight ratio. The single sided swingarm makes it a proper exotic. The dual tail light with integrated turn indicators gives the rear a near perfect design which is uncluttered and should make anyone you overtake on the highway realize that something special just passed him. Adding to its cruiser like character is that massive 240 section Pirelli Diablo Rosso II rear tyre which gives the motorcycle solid stability on straight line as well as around the corners.

3: Then there is the feature list. On top of the list is the key fob. We’ve had motorcycles that use a key fob but this one was rather different. You don’t have any physical buttons on the key fob to lock or unlock the motorcycle. The keyfob features a proximity sensor and a key which is used to open the fuel lid or remove the saddle. Once in vicinity, all you have to do is push down the slider that doubles up as the engine kill switch. One little push and the security system unlocks the handlebar and turns the power on. Slide the engine kill switch upwards and you’d find the ignition button. To shut down, push the slider down for a few seconds to turn off the motorcycle. Another long push would lock the handlebar.

4: Two-level instrument cluster is another feature that’s aimed at de-cluttering the information and providing crucial data on the primary screen. The upper part of the instrument cluster is formed by an LCD screen which displays all the ride related data while the lower color TFT screen holds the less important details. In the primary display, you get the clock, speedometer, engine temperature and the tachometer. Right above the primary display are the tell-tale indicators. The secondary, fuel tank mounted display features fuel gauge, odometer, two trip meters, power output level, riding mode, traction control, gear indicator, average fuel consumption, range to empty, average speed, trip time and air temperature. You can also control various settings related to riding modes, traction control, ABS level through the secondary display.

5: Then there is the electronic wizardry that’s aimed to keep you safe and alive. The motorcycle comes equipped with different riding modes and power modes to suit your requirements or riding skills. There are three riding modes – City, Touring and Sport – which are tuned for different throttle response, power output and traction control levels. You can tailor them for your requirements too where you can either select between full power, limited power, throttle response level and traction control setting. Bosch ABS keeps things under control under hard braking.

6: Colossal Firepower! The 1198cc Testastretta 11° L-Twin, liquid cooled engine is capable of creating mayhem that would toss you off the bike’s back if you’re not careful. The engine is tuned to deliver 162 hp of power at 9,250 rpm and 130 Nm of torque at 8,000 revs. The throttle is sensitive and the Diavel would lunge forward furiously with any aggressive inputs. You can always tailor the response using the onboard electronics.

7: The engine, as aforementioned, can be used in three modes – Road, Touring and Sport. In Road mode, you’d get only 100 hp of power and the throttle response would be set on ‘Low’ so you can putter around town with more than ample power while still saving fuel. Touring mode gives you access to all the 162 ponies and the throttle response is set to mid so that you can cruise on the highway with occasional bursts of power. These two are probably the best modes to stay in if you have recently graduated to the litre-class and above segment because the Sport mode is where things get devil-icious. Ride anywhere above 3,000 rotations and the Diavel will haul you without any complains. It gets pretty rough below the 3,000 revs mark. Things get properly manic when you twist that throttle in Sport mode. As the revs climb above 6,000 mark, the Diavel turns into a monster with an angry loud growl emanating from the slash-cut exhaust. It revs all the way to 10,000 clicks at which it is capable of achieving its maximum speed of 270 kph. It’s almost unbelievable the effortless way in which the engine propels the bike’s 239 kg kerb weight.

8: You’d want to have some really potent brakes on that 239 kg piece of mass. Performing the task are twin 320 mm semi-floating discs with radial Brembo Monobloc 4-piston callipers upfront and 265 mm disc with 2-piston floating calliper at the rear and they are absolutely incredible to say the least. It took a while getting used to the sharp feedback from those Brembo Moboblocs on day one but things got fairly easy thereafter. It’d stop in a blink and you’d probably be looking in the rear view mirror to see if a drogue parachute was unfurled behind you. Lord bless the sharp and responsive ABS on the motorcycle as without those, the Diavel would probably toss you off its back like an angry bull. The system isn’t too intrusive to play a spoilsport and you get a sharp feedback from the brakes to every input. You can have some more fun by tuning it down further for an even sharper feedback.

9: The seat height is another plus point for the Diaval. At 770mm, it’s one of the most accessible motorcycles out there, even for folks who are vertically challenged. Moving it around is remarkably easy as you place both your feet firmly on the ground. But does that become an issue while tackling speedbumps? The motorcycle didn’t bottom out even once through the three day test but we did have to tackle those extra tall speedbumps carefully. The saddle itself is fairly comfortable too on long hauls thanks to the generous cushioning and ergonomic design. You sit in the seat with the recess acting as an aid preventing you from sliding back when accelerating hard.

10: How does it handle? Riding a 239 kg motorcycle with a 1,580 mm wheelbase and a 240 section rear wheel, we had our speculations about the Diavel’s characteristics around the corners and we weren’t completely wrong. You’d need to put in an extra effort to lean the motorcycle into a corner. But let’s face it, you can’t demand a supersport handling capabilities from a power cruiser and this one isn’t supposed to behave like a Panigale. The Diavel is meant to be rock solid on straights, though it does need you to put in some extra effort while making it keep its line around tighter bends. It’s probably the best motorcycle to make someone understand countersteering, wherein you have to push the inside handlebar to make the bike turn. It has a tendency to go wide so you have to have certain skills to make it turn as desired at fast speeds. The suspension settings, which can be tailored at the twist of the knob, are easy to adjust as per the rider’s requirements too so everyone can have a perfect tune.

We loved the Diavel, but as they say, nothing is perfect. So here is a list of a few things which could have been better:

  • The gearshifts could’ve been smoother. The gearbox feels a tad rough on certain occasions.
  • The lack of wind protection due to the absence of a windscreen while cruising above 120-130 kph can be tiring sometimes. The optional windscreen available as an accessory should help.
  • The suspension setting can be changed at the twist of a knob which makes it simple to adjust it according to rider’s preference. However, anyone can fiddle with the setting as it does not require special equipment to make the adjustments. Beware of your mischievious neighbor, then.
  • Wish to go corner carving? Well, look elsewhere.
  • When compared to other massive cruiser motorcycles out there, the INR 19.14 lakh price tag seems pretty good. However, when compared to the sports tourers such as the Kawasaki ZX-14R or a Suzuki Hayabusa which are meant to be a intercontinental missiles to munch miles like an airliner, this one is a tad on the pricier side.

Can I call myself Toruk Makto or the Rider of Last Shadow? Even after three days with the motorcycle, all I could really do was just scrape a small layer of its performance and there is so much potential that it’d be a crime to unleash it on public roads. The Diavel truly redefines the conventional cruiser tag and shows why it carries the ‘Power’ prefix. This one is for folks who admire design and appreciate art. Those who go by the numbers to ascertain value should probably find themselves something, well, more regulation.

Toddler robots help solve how children learn

Children learn new words using the same method as robots, according to psychologists.

This suggests that early learning is based not on conscious thought but on an automatic ability to associate objects which enables babies to quickly make sense of their environment.

Dr Katie Twomey from Lancaster University, with Dr Jessica Horst from Sussex University, Dr Anthony Morse and Professor Angelo Cangelosi from Plymouth wanted to find out how young children learn new words for the first time. They programmed a humanoid robot called iCub designed to have similar proportions to a three year old child, using simple software which enabled the robot to hear words through a microphone and see with a camera. They trained it to point at new objects to identify them in order to solve the mystery of how young children learn new words.

Dr Twomey said: “We know that two-year-old children can work out the meaning of a new word based on words they already know. That is, our toddler can work out that the new word “giraffe” refers to a new toy, when they can also see two others, called “duck” and “rabbit.” “

It is thought that toddlers achieve this through a strategy known as “mutual exclusivity” where they use a process of elimination to work out that because the brown toy is called “rabbit,” and the yellow toy is called “duck,” then the orange toy must be “giraffe.”

What the researchers found is that the robot learned in exactly the same way when shown several familiar toys and one brand new toy.

Dr Twomey said: “This new study shows that mutual exclusivity behaviour can be achieved with a very simple “brain” that just learns associations between words and objects. In fact, intelligent as iCub seems, it actually can’t say to itself “I know that the brown toy is a rabbit, and I know that that the yellow toy is a duck, so this new toy must be giraffe,” because its software is too simple.

“This suggests that at least some aspects of early learning are based on an astonishingly powerful association making ability which allows babies and toddlers to rapidly absorb information from the very complicated learning environment.”

Lenovo Z2 Plus launched in India

Lenovo India has started sending invites of the launch of its Z2 Plus smartphone in the country on Thursday. The company is holding a launch event in New Delhi that’s scheduled to begin at 11:30am IST.

The Chinese consumer electronics giant will be launching the Lenovo Zuk Z2 – which was launched in China in May this year – as the Lenovo Z2 Plus in India.

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Detailing the reasons behind the rebranding in the country, Anuj Sharma, Head of Product Marketing, Smartphones, Lenovo MBG India told Gadgets 360, “Once we are getting into a particular price band, we want to make sure consumers know the brand. We want to sell the phone. We are not bringing the device as token flagship as India is still a big market for us. However, Zuk branding will be there on the box, with the text ‘Powered by Zuk’ as a hat tip for the Zuk team.”

The Lenovo Z2 Plus will be launched in two variants in the country – 3GB of RAM with 32GB of inbuilt storage, and 4GB of RAM with 64GB of inbuilt storage. Both variants are dual-SIM, and will support 4G SIM cards in one slot, and 3G SIM cards in the other.

The Z2 Plus won’t run Cyanogen OS – like the Lenovo Zuk Z1 (Review) did – and will instead come with the Google Now Launcher pre-installed. The company says India-specific features will include gesture shortcuts via the fingerprint scanner. It will also bear a dedicated pedometer and come with the company’s new U-Health app.

The Zuk Z2 smartphone launched in China features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with 2.5D curved high-fibre glass. It is powered by a Snapdragon 820 SoC clocked up to 2.15GHz. The smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with EIS, an f/2.2 aperture, and PDAF. An 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture round off the optics on board the Zuk Z2. It packs a 3500mAh battery that supports fast charging – charging up to 80 percent in one hour. The Lenovo Zuk Z2’s connectivity options include offers 4G LTE (with support Indian LTE bands), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.1 BLE, and USB 2.0 Type-C port.

ESA Maps More Than a Billion Stars in Our Galaxy

The Gaia space probe, launched in 2013, has mapped more than a billion stars in the Milky Way, vastly expanding the inventory of known stars in our galaxy, the European Space Agency said Wednesday.

ESA Maps More Than a Billion Stars in Our Galaxy

Released to eagerly waiting astronomers around the world, the initial catalogue of 1.15 billion stars is “both the largest and the most accurate full-sky map ever produced,” said French astronomer Francois Mignard, a member of the 450-strong Gaia consortium.

In a web-cast press conference at the ESA Astronomy Centre in Madrid, scientists unveiled a stunning map of the Milky Way, including stars up to half a million times feinter than those that can be seen with the naked eye.

The images were captured by Gaia’s twin telescopes — scanning the heavens over and over — and a billion-pixel camera, the largest ever put into space.

The resolution is sharp enough to gauge the diameter of a human hair at a distance of 1,000 kilometres (620 miles), said Anthony Brown, head of the Gaia data processing and analysis team.

Gaia maps the position of the Milky Way’s stars in a couple of ways.

Not only does it pinpoint their location, the probe — by scanning each star multiple times — can plot their movement as well.

The data release today includes both kinds of data for some two million stars.

But over the course of Gaia’s five-year mission, that catalogue is set to expand 500-fold.

Orbiting the Sun 1.5 million kilometres (nearly a million miles) beyond Earth’s orbit, the European probe started collected data in July 2014.