Samsung Galaxy Note Series Use Banned on Flights: DGCA

Samsung Galaxy Note Series Use Banned on Flights: DGCA

  • The incident happened in a Singapore-Chennai IndiGo flight
  • DGCA to summon officials and ban the use of Galaxy Note series on flights
  • Incident happened as Samsung is busy recalling its Galaxy Note 7 units

A high-end Samsung smartphone caught fire inside a Chennai-bound IndiGo aircraft on Friday, creating a scare among 175 passengers on-board but the plane made a safe landing.

The incident, concerning Samsung Galaxy Note 2 device, prompted the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ask all airlines to ban the use of this series of smartphones inside planes, while the company officials have been summoned by the aviation regulator on Monday.

The fire was reported inside the IndiGo aircraft coming from Singapore at the Chennai airport.

Passengers travelling on 6E-054 flight from Singapore to Chennai noticed the smoke smell in the cabin this morning and immediately alerted the cabin crew on board, IndiGo said.

The crew found the smoke to be coming from the hat-rack of seat 23C after which the pilot alerted the ATC of the situation on board.

“Taking the precautionary measure, the cabin crew on priority relocated all passengers on other seats, and further observed smoke being emitted from a Samsung note 2 which was placed in the baggage (of a passenger) in the overhead bin.

“The crew discharged the fire extinguisher which is as per the Standard Operating Procedures prescribed by the aircraft manufacturer, and quickly transferred the Samsung note 2 into a container filled with water in lavatory,” it said.

The airline said the aircraft made a normal landing and all passengers were deplaned as per normal procedure.

“This equipment (Samsung mobile) will be further examined by the concerned departments. IndiGo has voluntarily informed the DGCA,” the carrier said, while adding that safety was of the utmost priority and at no time it can be compromised.

The watchdog had earlier banned the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 onboard an aircraft following a series of incidents of the smartphone’s battery exploding in various countries.

However, this is the first incident of the Samsung device catching fire onboard in India. No immediate comments was available from Samsung. The regulator would now issue a fresh advisory about these devices, while it has already asked airlines to advise passengers to switch off their Samsung Galaxy Note phones while on-board.


Proposed ‘Textalyzer’ Bill May Give US Cops the Right to Access Cellphones

Proposed 'Textalyzer' Bill May Give US Cops the Right to Access Cellphones

A New York bill that would allow police to use a “textalyzer” device to determine whether drivers have been using their phone at the scene of a car accident is causing concern among some civil liberties groups, who say that it could interfere with people’s cellphone privacy.

The proposed bill, which would make New York the first state to use the textalyzer, according to CBS New York, is heavily supported by the Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORCs) group, an advocacy organization that promotes preventative legal action for texting-related car accidents.

The textalyzer, which gets its name from the breathalyzer that determines a driver’s blood alcohol content, is a roadside device introduced by Cellebrite, an Israeli technology company that specializes in data extraction. The device is a scaled-back version of a more intensive phone-scraping technology created by the company, which promises that the device doesn’t give access to personal conversations or apps. Instead, the textalyzer only determines if the phone was in use at the time of the accident, with the option for a more in-depth crawl should the police officer obtain a warrant to search the driver’s phone.

“I have often heard there is no such thing as a breathalyzer for distracted driving – so we created one,” said DORC co-founder Ben Lieberman in a press statement. “Respecting drivers’ personal privacy, however, is also important, and we are taking meticulous steps to not violate those rights.”

The bill includes language that gives law enforcement “implied consent” to having one’s phone tested at the scene of the crash. Fourth Amendment rights are not violated, they claim, because no actual phone data is being mined by the technology, as reported by Ars Technica.

But some civil liberties groups are skeptical that in practice, use of the textalyzer will be as un-invasive as DORC claims.

“Distracted driving is a serious public safety concern. But this solution is not tailored to the problem,” said Donna Lieberman (no relation to DORC’s Ben Lieberman), executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). “The technology may in fact be scanning through the content of people’s phones and collecting data, even if that is not apparent. And even if you finely tune the technology, there are many cases where people will be fined for lawful activity. There are several ways someone could be using a phone in line with distracted driving laws that could run afoul of this test.”

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), agrees that the technology is ripe for misuse.

“I think a law that essentially requires you to hand over your phone to a cop in a roadside situation without a warrant is a non-starter. I know that the supporters of this law talk about how it is designed to keep police away from these sensitive areas of your life. But really, that’s ridiculous. They’re human and they stray or make errors in judgment,” he said.

Both Lieberman and Tien also mentioned that police officers looking to investigate a driver’s phone use can obtain call and texting records with time stamps from phone companies.

“There are existing legal channels for law enforcement to access a phone or phone records if they have grounds to suspect distracted driving has occurred, rather than field-testing every fender bender,” said Donna Lieberman.

But textalyzer advocate Ben Lieberman says that in practice, most phone records are never investigated after a car crash. He would know, he said. He got involved with DORC and supporting distracted driving laws after the death of his 19-year-old son in a texting-while-driving incident. After the crash, law enforcement officials did not attempt to obtain phone records until Lieberman himself pursued a search warrant through a civil suit. “It’s unrealistic to think that you can get a warrant for every crash,” said Ben Lieberman, adding that a warrant is required in order to get records from a phone company.

He emphasized that the bill, which has been dubbed “Evan’s Law” after his son, takes careful consideration not to violate privacy rights and that the textalyzer can be used right in front of the driver. “The technology and protocol will protect rights or else it won’t work. The last thing I want to do is be responsible for violating anybody’s rights. I also don’t want to bury another child,” he said.

Verizon Seen to Bet on Armstrong, M&A Savvy in Yahoo Bid

Verizon Seen to Bet on Armstrong, M&A Savvy in Yahoo Bid

Verizon Communications Inc is the clear favourite in the upcoming bidding for Yahoo Inc’s core Internet business, according to Wall Street analysts, in large part because the telecommunications company’s efforts to become a force in Internet content have gone relatively well under the leadership of AOL Inc Chief Executive Tim Armstrong.

Verizon acquired AOL last June for $4.4 billion (roughly Rs. 29,299 crores) – its first big foray into the advertising-supported Internet business – and it is not yet clear how well the unit is performing financially. Subsequent moves, including the takeover of much of Microsoft Corp’s advertising technology business, a deal to buy Millennial Media for about $250 million (roughly Rs. 1,664 crores) and the recent launch of the mobile video service go90, are also too recent to assess.

Yet analysts have given the big phone company high marks for allowing AOL to operate independently and folding in other recent acquisitions without much drama. And they said Armstrong seems to be driving Verizon’s recent moves in go90 and recent acquisitions.

“The management puts a lot of faith in Armstrong,” BTIG analyst Walt Piecyk said.

That faith derives in part from the belief that Armstrong did a good job at left-for-dead AOL, especially in assembling a strong set of products to deliver targeted digital ads to customers.

Combining AOL and Yahoo, an idea that has come up many times over the years, could instantly make Yahoo a major player in Internet advertising, with Armstrong – one of the world’s top ad executives – at the helm, analysts said.

Armstrong “has good M&A experience, and a pretty solid ad tech stack,” B. Riley & Co analyst Sameet Sinha said.

Verizon’s hands-off approach that has worked with AOL, though, might not be suitable if the far-bigger Yahoo were taken over. With Yahoo’s struggling business, “the luxury of autonomy is simply not there,” Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner said.

Verizon, AOL and Yahoo declined to comment.

Start the bidding
Verizon showed interest in Yahoo’s core business as early as December, when Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the company would “see if there is a strategic fit” for Yahoo’s holdings, which include mail, news, sports and advertising technology.

Yahoo, under pressure from activist investors, launched an auction of its core business in February after it shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The first round of bidding is slated for next week, and Verizon plans to make a bid, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

Verizon is already working on increasing revenue through its ad-supported mobile video service go90, targeted at millennials and built on video streaming technology acquired from Intel Corp in 2014.

The app, which launched in October, offers videos from Comedy Central and Vice, among others, as well as basketball and football games.

However, analysts cautioned that even a combined Yahoo-AOL would lack the unique data, such as user interests and tastes, that powers its rivals in online ads, chiefly Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc.

Armstrong, who made his name leading sales at Google, is highly regarded in the advertising community – in contrast to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, another former Google high-flyer, who has been struggling to revive Yahoo. Mayer would likely leave after a Verizon-Yahoo deal, analysts said.

Verizon is not especially interested in Yahoo’s massive stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan Corp, which are worth far more than its core internet business, the sources said.

That could leave an opening for a bidder such as Softbank Group, Yahoo’s partner in Yahoo Japan, which might be able to devise a way to minimize the tax bill that would come with any sale of the Asia investments.

“(Yahoo) is ultimately Verizon’s to lose,” said Robert Peck, Internet analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. “They’re the leading candidate in this effort and can afford to pay the most because of cost synergies and scale.”

Other players weighing joint or solo bids are media company Time Inc and several private equity firms including Blackstone Group LP and KKR & Co LP, according to sources. The owner of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper also said this week it is in talks with potential partners to mount a joint bid.

Micromax Opens Manufacturing Facility in Hyderabad

Micromax Opens Manufacturing Facility in Hyderabad

Mobile phone manufacturer Micromax on Thursday opened its new manufacturing facility which will have the capacity to manufacture one million mobile phones per month.

The unit, which opened at Fab City in Hyderabad, currently employs 700 people and will increase the number to 1,000 in next two months.

Spread over His 19 acres, this is the second manufacturing plant of Bhagati Products Ltd. in India.

The company made an initial investment in the unit which also has provision for expansion to manufacture LED TV and other electronic equipment in the future.

At the company’s Guts to Change event in Gurgaon on Wednesday, Vikas Jain, Co-Founder, MicromaxInformatics said, “We are committed to make Micromax as a clear leader in smart devices in the coming year. Therefore, we would be looking at further consolidation into newer product categories (LED TV and tablets) to bring in newer set of consumers into the Micromax brand and transform into a complete consumer electronics company. One of our key focus areas in this journey will be to 100 percent make in India. With an already functional plant at Rudrapur, we are now looking at adding 3 more plants with an investment of Rs. 300 crores as well as creating job opportunities for over 10,000 people by 2017.”

Sprint Pulls Ad Featuring White Woman Calling T-Mobile ‘Ghetto’

Sprint Pulls Ad Featuring White Woman Calling T-Mobile 'Ghetto'

Sprint’s long been embroiled in a battle with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, going so far as unveil a promotion last November offering to halve new customers bills until 2018 while also covering up to $650 (roughly Rs. 42,900) in termination fees, The Post reported.

That deal went over a great deal better than the company’s latest ad, which features Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure asking a customer what she thinks of Sprint’s competitors, specifically T-Mobile.

“I’m going to tell you a carrier name, and I want you to basically tell me what comes to your mind,” Claure says in the video, while the screen displays the words “Real questions. Honest answers.”

“T-Mobile,” Claure continues. “When I say ‘T-Mobile’ to you, just a couple of words?”

The customer, a white woman, immediately replies, “Oh my God, the first word that came to my mind was,” before pausing. “Ghetto!”

“That sounds, like, terrible,” she follows up. “I don’t know . . . People who have T-Mobile are just, like,” she takes a long pause, as if carefully planning her next words. “Why do you have T-Mobile?”

Then the short ad ends with the Sprint logo fanning out as the screen fades to black.

At 1:01 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, Claure tweeted the video at T-Mobile with the caption, “Sometimes the truth hurts” followed by a tweet stating “Not meant to offend anyone.”

Twitter wasn’t nearly as excited as Claure seemed in his tweet though, and users began expressing their displeasure with the use of the word “ghetto.”

One user tweeted, “‘Ghetto?’ Wow. Not vaguely racist at all.” Another user called it a “classless ad” and took pleasure in watching it on a T-Mobile device.

Eventually, at 7:32 p.m., Claure announced that he had pulled the video, citing “bad judgment on our part.” He tweeted, “My job is to listen to consumers. Our point was to share customer views. Bad judgment on our part. Apologies. Taking the video down.”

That tweet also became racially charged as one user told Claure he was being “disrespectful to all of us low-middle class Latinos.” Claure responded, “That I won’t take. I am as Latino as you are so don’t try to pull that card.”

Sprint’s ad lands in an ever-growing graveyard of ads that have come under fire on social media for being racist or sexist and sometimes both at once.

Just last week, Gap pulled an ad featuring a young white girl resting her arm on the head on a young black girl and leaning on her, The Post reported. A debate raged on Twitter over the ad until the Gap apologized in a statement to Fortune.

“As a brand with a proud 46-year history of championing diversity and inclusivity, we appreciate the conversation that has taken place and are sorry to anyone we’ve offended,” Gap spokeswoman Debbie Felix said.

Last December, Coca-Cola pulled an ad in which a group of young, white people brings bottles of the famous drink and a Christmas tree to a small town in Mexico to the resident’s delight. One Twitter user accused it of “out-of-touch racism,” calling the ad “genius colonialist branding.”

In 2013, Mountain Dew pulled an ad in which a battered woman had to identify her aggressor from a lineup that included four black men and a goat, which author Boyce Watkins called “arguably the most racist commercial in history,” according to AdWeek. In 2012, white actor Ashton Kutcher donned brownface to portray an Indian character named Raj in order to sell Popchips, Vulture reported. And yes, it was pulled. The year before that, Nivea pulled a print campaign featuring a clean-shaven black man holding what was meant to be his “former” head, which was bearded and topped with an afro, AdvertisingAge reported.

In an interview with AdWeek concerning Mountain Dew’s “Felicia the Goat” ad, Larry Woodard, CEO of Graham Stanley Advertising, suggested one reason these ads are released (and later need to be pulled) is because advertisers often don’t perform due diligence when considering their target audience.

“Many times when companies make mistakes, they’ve tried to take the path of least resistance or a simpler path and, sometimes inadvertently skip important steps,” Woodard said.

While these ads are pulled, many of them create online controversy (and the natural viewership accompanying it) simply for existing, as proven by the aforementioned Mountain Dew ad. Shock rapper Tyler, the Creator produced the campaign, Business Insider reported. As media began descending upon the pulled ad, featuring stories about it, Tyler tweeted, “I MADE IT ON CNN!!! HELL YAH.”

On his blog, author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” and Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger called controversy a “proverbial double-edged sword,” opining that controversy can help or harm a brand’s sales, depending on that brand’s projected image.

“When it comes to sales, the effect of controversy depends a lot on the type of brand being discussed,” he wrote.

For Mountain Dew, “having a moderately controversial ad isn’t a terrible idea. It gets people talking, and the brand gets to play both sides. They can publicly apologize and pull the ad, appealing to their tamer customers, but the ad lives on in perpetuity online, so their teen fans can still find it. And the fact that the ad was pulled suddenly makes it seem even cooler.”

But for more traditional brands like (dealing with a controversial billboard), “the downsides of controversy may outweigh the benefits,” Berger wrote. “J.C. Penney isn’t looking to be edgy. The brand wants to seem mainstream and middle-of-the-road. So while moderate controversy might get the brand some free press, it’s not clear that press is what they want in the long run.”

Google Maps for Android, iOS Now Offers Traffic Alerts in India

Google Maps for Android, iOS Now Offers Traffic Alerts in India

Google has announced that Maps for Android and iOS in India will now show traffic alerts to users once navigation mode is switched on.

The updated Maps app will offer a spoken alert about upcoming traffic conditions upon entering a destination on the app, meant to help users identify the route they want to take to their destination. While on the road, users will get a heads up about any congestion in the route, and how long it can take. The Maps app will also suggest alternate routes, including giving explanations for why one is recommended.

In a blog post, Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps claimed that the latest Maps update will help users reach quickly to their destination avoiding jams. With the new update, Maps will also inform the users how long they will be stuck in a jam. “Google Maps can help you find the most ideal route to your destination with the least delays,” said Gupta.

The feature will be available to both Android as well as iOS users and will show traffic alerts only when the navigation mode

The traffic alerts feature was first rolled in the US back in May last year, and is now being expanded to more markets including India.

Notably, Google Maps has rolled out a host of features targeted for users in India including real-time traffic information which was rolled out for 12 cities in India last year.

Recently, Google Maps for Android received an update bumping up the version from 9.22 to 9.23. The update added new Navigation notification, which received visual overhaul.

You Can Now Make Your iPhone SE Look Like The iPhone 6S

iPhone SE

The new iPhone SE may come with many parts of the iPhone 6S, although the handset has the same design as the iPhone 5S.

The guys over at Computer Bild decided that they wanted to make their iPhone SE look like the iPhone 6S, so they purchased some fake Apple parts and set about modding the handset, as they point out, if you do this it totally invalidates your Apple warranty.

iPhone SE

It took the guys from Computer Bild a few hours to give their iPhone SE a similar looks to the iPhone 6S, it was apparently a complicated process which involved removing every single part from the SE to put in the new case.

First the most important finding: Only attempt the iPhone conversion if you’re a pro. If you have never opened an iPhone before, you are most likely going to fail. There are a lot of delicate parts on the inside that break easily, when assembled incorrectly. Furthermore, you lose you warranty, so it’s not a good idea to swap the housing on a new phone like the iPhone SE. furthermore, the backplate’s quality is not up the quality standards that Apple customers expect.

You can see a video of the process over at Computer Bild at the link below, as it is complicated it should only be done by people who know what they are doing.

You Will Soon Be Able To Hide Stock Apps On Your iPhone And iPad

iPhone and iPad

Apple’s iPhone and iPad comes with a number of stock applications built in, as the moment there is not way to get rid of those apps from your device even if you don’t use them.

Most people who don’t use many of the apps, myself included end up putting these apps in a folder that they don’t use and now it looks like Apple is making some changes that will allow you to hide the apps.

The guys over at AppAdvice have discovered some new code on every app in Apple’s app store and this code will apparently let you completely hide Apple’s stock apps like the Compass, Stocks, Voice Memo’s and more.

Whilst the apps will apparently not be deleted from your device when the feature is introduced, they will be completely hidden, which means that they wont have to be stored in a folder on your device.

It is not clear as yet when this feature will be introduced, although it looks like Apple may announce it at their Worldwide Developer Conference in June, as soon as we get some more details, we will let you guys know.

Display Mate Says New 9.7 Inch iPad Pro Has The Best Display

9.7 inch iPad Pro

Apple recently launched their new 9.7 inch iPad Pro, the device comes with the same size display as the iPad Air 2, although the display on the device has received a number of upgrades.

Display Mate have tested out the new display on the 9.7 inch iPad Pro and the company has said that the display on the device is the best LCD display that they have tested.

The key element for a great Tablet has always been a truly innovative and top performing display, and the best leading edge Tablets have always flaunted their beautiful high tech displays.

At first glance the iPad Pro 9.7 looks almost indistinguishable from the 2014 iPad Air 2. Actually, the displays are the same size and have the same pixel resolution. But that’s as far as it goes… The iPad Pro 9.7 display is a Truly Impressive major enhancement on the iPad Air 2… and even on the recent iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad mini 4… and even every other mobile LCD display that we have ever tested… and note that I hand out compliments on displays very carefully.

FBI-Apple Court Clash Created Unproductive ‘Emotion’

FBI-Apple Court Clash Created Unproductive 'Emotion': Comey

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday he was glad a court fight in California over access to a locked iPhone had ended because it “was creating an emotion around the issue that was not productive,” likening the emotion and passion around the discussion to the debate over gun control.

Comey told an audience of Catholic University law school students that the FBI was correct to ask a judge to force Apple to help it hack into the phone used by a gunman in the December mass killing in San Bernardino, California.

“That litigation,” he said, “had to be brought, in my view, because that case had to be investigated in a reasonable way.”

But generally speaking, Comey said, lawsuits and court fights won’t resolve the broader collision between privacy and national security. He said he regretted that the San Bernardino case in particular had “created an emotion around the issue that was not productive.”

“We can’t resolve these really important issues that affect our values – technology, innovation, safety and all kinds of other things – in litigation,” he said.

The Justice Department last month told a magistrate judge that it had managed to access the phone of Syed Farook without Apple’s help – though it didn’t say how – effectively ending the case. The FBI is examining the device, but officials have not revealed whether any useful information has been recovered, and they have not said whether they will share with Apple the method they used to break into the phone.

Comey said one “unintended benefit” of the Apple case has been greater public dialogue and engagement about the balance between privacy and security. But he said he hoped “some of the emotion would come down” and that the dialogue was not well-served by “being tweeted about” or being spoken of in absolutes.

“Some of the emotion that I’ve received around this issued remind me sometimes, in the absolutist and slippery slope arguments, reminds me of some of the rhetoric we hear in the gun debate,” he said.

Comey said the debate would continue given that there are “plenty” of cases affected by encryption. The Justice Department last week said that it would continue trying to force Apple to reveal an iPhone’s data in a New York City drug case.