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PAKISTAN NEWS:
PTCL, Avaya partner to enable blended work environment with launch of avaya spaces:

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and Avaya Holdings Corp have signed a partnership agreement where PTCL will launch Avaya Spaces, the all-in-one workstream collaboration app for the digital workplace, for the first time in Pakistan. The partnership will enable organizations to implement a blended and flexible environment for their employees. In collaboration with PTCL, Avaya will provide free, full-feature access for a limited time to customers in Pakistan. Avaya Spaces is an all-in-one video meeting and workstream collaboration platform for the digital workplace that changes the way work gets done in nearly 100 countries.

Realme v15 5g goes official with amoled, 64mp camera and 50w charging:

Realme’s first phone of 2021 goes by the name of V15 5G, which is an upper mid-range device costing only $230. It will go for sale in China next week but should roll out to the global market in the upcoming weeks, likely with a different name.The display is built around a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution and is sourced from Samsung. It has a cornered punch-hole cutout for the front camera and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Samsung launches its first smartphone of 2021:

Samsung has launched its first entry-level Smartphone of 2021 dubbed the Samsung Galaxy M02s in India. It comes with a huge battery and triple sensor rear camera setup.The smartphone comes with a Galaxy S20-like camera bump and a geometric design at the back. It is built around a 6.5-inch LCD with HD+ (720p) resolution, 270 PPI pixel density, and an 81.8% screen-to-body ratio.

Huawei HICAR & BAIC Blue Valley partner up to develop smart car:

While the last few months had been a testing period for Huawei as it witnessed a sharp decline in its Smartphone business due to the sanctions imposed on it by the government of the United States of America, the China-based tech-firm continues to venture undeterred into multiple unfamiliar territories.A recent news report revealed that Huawei is planning to partner with BAIC Blue Valley to develop a new smart car in the first half of 2021.

Apple patents a macbook wireless charging dock:

Recently, Patently Apple revealed that the iPhone maker has applied for 40 patent cases in two papers. According to the publication, Apple is considering incorporating wireless charging coils into its MacBooks. The coils will work two ways, which means it will be used to charge the MacBook as well as to charge other devices using the MacBook. This idea is most likely another trick up Apple’s sleeve to create an entire ecosystem of products. The diagrams in the documentation show a MacBook charging an Apple watch and an iPhone which hints at how Apple wants to make its products inter-dependent so that they are more efficient when they work together.

Huawei Mate X2 launch postponed once again:

Ever since Samsung introduced successor devices to the original Galaxy Fold, Huawei fans have been hoping to see a follow-up Mate X device too. The Huawei Mate X2 was reportedly going to launch this month but has been delayed yet again according to a new leak. The leak comes from the notable tipster  Teme, who claims that the launch has been moved forward from January, though there is no information on when it is going to happen now.The tweet does not mention any reasons for the delay either, but it likely has to do with Huawei’s current lack of chipset supply. The Huawei P50 series is set to debut soon and with the limited amount of Kirin 9000 flagship chips available, the company may be weighing its options as to which device should release first.

US bans eight Chinese apps for spying:

Surprisingly, the Trump government signed an order banning eight Chinese apps on account of being a threat to national security. According to the order, the apps might capture sensitive user data from the device they are installed on and since the users can be US Federal employees, the government doesn’t want to take any chances. These applications will not be available on the Google Play Store and App Store in the US after 45 days. The government believes that the parent companies of these applications have ties with the Chinese government and could be extracting sensitive data. This is pretty much similar to what TikTok and Huawei have been accused of.

Xiaomimi 11 lite leak leaves little to the imagination:

Xiaomi launched the base model of its flagship series, Mi 11, last week. The Pro version will most likely break covers in February. However, a recent leak suggests that the company is also working on a Lite version of the smartphone. The scoop comes from a Vietnamese YouTuber, which is an unusual source. However, considering the Youtuber’s track record, the information sounds authentic.The images accompanying the leak revealed that the handset will have a design similar to the recently launched Mi 11. The only difference is that instead of two-tone rear cameras, the Mi 11 Lite will come with a single tone camera module.

Samsung offers new Lineupneo QLED and micro Led TVs:

Just a few days ahead of CES 2021, Samsung has announced its new lineup of Micro LED and Neo QLED TVs and more details will likely surface at the upcoming event.The company has introduced what it’s calling Neo QLEDs, which is a combination of a new backlighting technology and a new image processor. These TVs will come to Samsung’s flagship 8K (QN900A) and 4K (QN90A) models.The new Mini LED technology at work here uses much smaller individual LEDs to light up the display panel. This allows for much smaller local dimming zones, better brightness, and better contrast as well. Samsung has not revealed how many zones the new TVs have, only that they are better than the company’s previous QLED TVs.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
Elon musk becomes world’s richest person as wealth tops $185bn:

Elon Musk has become the world’s richest person, as his net worth crossed $185bn (£136bn).The Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur was pushed into the top slot after Tesla’s share price increased on Thursday.He takes the top spot from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who had held it since 2017. Mr Musk’s electric car company Tesla has surged in value this year, and hit a market value of $700bn (£516bn) for the first time on Wednesday.That makes the car company worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM and Ford combined.

Whatsapp and facebook to share users’ data outside Europe and UK:

WhatsApp is forcing users to agree to sharing information with Facebook if they want to keep using the service. The company warns users in a pop-up notice that they “need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp – or delete their accounts. But Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, said European and UK users would not see the same data-sharing changes, although they will need to accept new terms.The exception has been welcomed by some as a victory for EU privacy regulators.The deadline in both regions to accept the change is 8 February, after which “you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp”, the company said in the pop-up alert to users.

Facial recognition identifies people wearing masks:

Japanese company NEC, which develops facial-recognition systems, has launched one that can identify people even when they are wearing masks. It hones in on parts of the face that are not covered up, such as the eyes, to verify their identity.Verification takes less than one second, with an accuracy rate of more than 99.9%, NEC says. The Met Police uses NEC’s NeoFace Live Facial Recognition to compare faces in a crowd with those on a watchlist. Other clients include Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines.And NEC is trialling the system for automated payments at a shop in its Tokyo headquarters.

Nvidia takeover of chip designer arm investigated:

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced an investigation into a $40bn (£29.5bn) takeover of UK computer chip designer Arm Holdings.US graphics chip specialist Nvidia agreed the deal to buy the company from Japan’s Softbank Group in September last year.Britain’s competition watchdog has been scrutinizing the sale, with the two companies expecting some action.Arm technology is at the heart of most smartphones and other devices.Its designs underpin processors made by Apple, Samsung, Sony and Huawei. The CMA has invited “interested third parties” to comment on the impact the merger could have on competition in the UK.

Fears schools will be overwhelmed by laptopless pupils:

There are concerns some schools in lockdown could be inundated with pupils without laptops after a change to the vulnerable pupil list.Pupils are learning remotely in England after schools were closed on Tuesday to all but children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable. But those without laptops or space to study are now eligible to attend school, under government guidance.Heads’ union, NAHT, said the move could reduce the effect of the shutdown. Schools were ordered to close to most pupils as a way of limiting the spread of the virus.

AI draws dog-walking baby radish in a Tutu:

Avocado-shaped armchairs, radishes in tutus and cats in sunglasses are among some surreal works of art created by an artificial-intelligence system. Dall-E was trained to generate images from short text-based descriptions, using 12 billion images and their captions sourced from the internet. Creator OpenAI previously produced a text generator that turns short phrases into stories, poems and articles.Experts said the results of its latest innovation were impressive, if patchy.

Amazon buys its first planes to expand air network:

Amazon has bought its first fleet of planes, as it expands its growing air freight network. The additional 11 Boeing 767-300 planes would “support Amazon’s growing customer base”, it said.Amazon’s first air operation launched in 2016, but previous planes have been leased.Experts say buying its own aircraft will allow Amazon become a credible competitor in logistics.”It is significant that Amazon has purchased the aircraft, as opposed to leasing carriers, as it should lead to lower overall lifetime costs, greater control over the speed, reliability and quality of service, and accelerate its aim of cementing the brand as a genuine player in the competitive world of air freight,” said Michelle Mooney, a reporter at Logistics Manager.

US intelligence task force accuses Russia of cyber-hack:

US intelligence agencies have said they believe Russia was behind the “serious” cyber compromise revealed in December.President Trump had previously suggested China might have been behind the hack, although other members of his administration had pointed the finger at Moscow.In a joint statement, the intelligence bodies say they currently believe fewer than 10 US government agencies saw their data compromised, although other organizations outside of government were also affected.They say work is still going on to understand the scope of the incident, which appears to have been aimed at gathering intelligence and which they say is “ongoing” a month after details first emerged.

Cyber attack: hackers post hackney council’s ‘stolen documents’:

A cyber criminal group has posted what it claims are documents stolen from Hackney Council in a ransomware attack. The publication on the dark web of the personal details of council staff and residents follows “a serious cyber-attack” on the council in October.Experts said the data was “limited” and “not visible through search engines”.Officials continue to work with the UK National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency to investigate the hack, the council said.

Facebook, instagram, and twitter ban Donald Trump’s account:

Following the attacks at the White House made in support of the pro-Trump mob, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have suspended Donald Trump’s accounts after he encouraged the attacks on various social media. The networks have already removed posts and Tweets that severely violated the websites’ policies.Twitter suspended Trump’s social media account for 12 hours, whereas Facebook and Instagram banned him for 24 hours.The decision came after a mob of pro-Trump protestors, some of which were even armed, forced their way into the US Capitol just when the Congress was about to certify the results of the November 2020 elections. Likely in hopes to delay the process.

Game maker Roblox’s value rockets seven-fold:

The company behind children’s online gaming platform Roblox has seen its value rocket during the pandemic. Roblox raised $520m (£394m) in private capital which valued the firm at $29.5bn, a seven-fold increase since February 2020.Roblox said it would also push ahead with a US share listing, having delayed the move last year. The company said it will use the fresh funds to build its community and become more of a social platform. Roblox was first released in 2006, but has seen dramatic growth during the Covid-19 pandemic as children who were forced to stay home spent more time playing games.

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