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PAKISTAN NEWS:
Mobile banking transactions cross Rs 1 trillion for the first time:

The use of mobile banking witnessed tremendous growth in Pakistan as the quarterly transaction value crossed the mark of Rs. 1 trillion for the first time in Pakistan. This is being attributed to zero bank charges and levies on most common services. According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the volume of mobile banking transactions reached 44 million (up 147 percent), valuing Rs. 1.12 trillion (up 192 percent) during the second quarter of 2020-21 compared to 17.8 million transactions, valuing Rs. 382.5 billion in the same quarter last year.

PTA starts registration of social media companies for removal of unlawful online content:

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has started the registration of social media companies under the “Removal and blocking of unlawful online content (procedure, oversight, and safeguards) Rules, 2020. Social Media Companies in Pakistan, having half a million or more users, will be required to register for each application/service they offer. Platforms with more than half a million Pakistani users will have to get registered with the PTA and establish a registered office in the country within nine months of the implementation of the rules.

Samsung’s entire product lineup till August 2021 leaks online:

Samsung has just hosted a launch event for the much-awaited Galaxy A-series. Right at the heels of the event, the famous tipster Evan Blass has leaked the company’s product roadmap ranging from April to August. The leaked timeline starts from the already held Galaxy Awesome unpacked event on 17th March, moving on to four other unpacked events slated to be hosted until August. According to the leak, the next unpacked event will be hosted on 14th April. It will signpost the unveiling of a number of computing devices including the Galaxy Chromebook and the Galaxy Book laptop PCs.

PUBG mobile to celebrate 23rd March with exciting new updates:

PUBG MOBILE is rolling out a fresh wave of updates, content, and special events marking its third anniversary on 21st March 2021. Gamers can expect exciting in-game updates such as music-themed gameplay, new firearms, vehicles, and even the unfolding of a brand new Metro Royale chapter as content update 1.3 is rolled out. What’s more, PUBG MOBILE will also be releasing its first CG movie titled ‘The Growth,’ along with the update to really set the ball rolling for a grand celebration. Capturing the journey of common PUBG MOBILE players who take the game by storm, the movie is available in-game as well as on the PUBG MOBILE Pakistan YouTube Channel.

KP govt to build hydro-electric ‘mining farms’ for cryptocurrencies:

As accorded under the newly formed Crypto Advisory Committee, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is now planning to set up two hydroelectric-powered ‘mining farms’ to exploit the global cryptocurrency market. Advisor to the Chief Minister on Science & Technology and Information Technology, Zia Ullah Bangash, quoted as a saying to Reuters about the new project, further suggesting that the country intends to regulate cryptocurrencies as soon as possible.

Apple may launch new iPads in April with M1-like chips:

Apple’s next generation of iPads have been seen in rumors plenty of times now and their launch may be closer than we think. This is if the latest report coming from “people with knowledge of the matter” is to be believed. Apple is expected to unveil new iPad Pro models in April this year and we may also see the revamped iPad Minis. These iPad Minis are rumored to have smaller bezels than the iPad Air so they may join the Pros.

Xiaomi Mi 11 pro will also have second display on the back:

Earlier leaks on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra speculated that the phone will have a secondary display on the back right next to the camera setup. Fresh reports on the Mi 11 lineup suggest that the Pro model may share the same feature. Some of the Mi 11 Pro’s internal components were photographed and shared online and if the leak is to be believed, the Mi 11 Pro may also have a secondary display. The Mi 11 Ultra and Pro are rumored to use Samsung’s large 108MP GN2 sensor as its main camera. This sensor is sized at 1/1.12″ and it has 50 million 1.4 µm pixels with support for 4-in-1 binning for enhanced low light performance. The periscope zoom is expected to advertise a 120x zoom similar to the Galaxy S20’s Space Zoom.

OnePlus 9 will have a 1-120hz adaptive refresh rate display:

We already know that the OnePlus 9 will feature 120Hz displays, but company CEO Pete Lau has now revealed that it will have support adaptive refresh rate as well. This will allow the phone to dial the refresh rate all the way down to 1Hz based on the on-screen content to save battery. These LTPO AMOLED displays will also have support for other features such as an Always-On display which shows a static screen for notifications, time and date, battery percentage, etc. The company has already revealed that these displays will be 1440p with support for 10-bit colors.

Cryptocurrencies rise as global market cap nears $2 trillion:

After a mottled recovery of Wednesday night, cryptocurrencies across the board surged after more investors poured their money into the digital currency game. The global market cap increased by 4.65 percent in less than 24 hours, sitting comfortably at $1.79 trillion. This surge in asset prices has allowed digital currencies to make more progress as compared to gold’s market cap. It’s worth mentioning that as of 17th March 2021, the value of all crypto-assets is 25 percent of gold’s total market cap. Leading that charge is bitcoin, which gained 4.9 percent, and is currently valued north of $58,000.

Xiaomi black shark 4 to come with improved cooling:

The Xiaomi Black Shark 4 is confirmed to launch and we’re getting more information drip-fed to us via teasers. The official Weibo page for Black Shark has shared a new video that outlines the handset’s physical shoulder buttons and the rear panel design. Furthermore, we got to see a handful of new posters for the Black Shark 4, which revealed additional features and give a better look at the rear panel design. These posters confirm that the gaming phone will be fueled by the Snapdragon 888 SoC and an improved cooling system that will reduce CPU temperature by up to 18C.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
Nevada smart city: a millionaire’s plan:

A radical experiment is being considered in the US state of Nevada. It would allow new local governments to be formed on land owned by tech firms. Jeffrey Berns, the cryptocurrency millionaire who proposed the idea, is convinced of its revolutionary potential. The challenge now is changing the minds of sceptics who are not. For some, one man’s utopia is their dystopia. Loosely translated from Ancient Greek, utopia means “nowhere”. A place that doesn’t exist. For now, this is an apt description of the place Mr Berns and his software company, Blockchains, believe could become somewhere extraordinary.

The ‘insane’ money in trading collectible cards:

“It’s hard to put a value on it… but I would say my collection is worth around a quarter of a million dollars.” Dani Sanchez, known to her fans as SuperDuperDani, is showing me two first-edition Charizard cards. She’s a Pokémon YouTuber in Los Angeles, and every week thousands of people watch her unbox multi-packs of these colourful collectibles. To many millennials, the first Pokémon craze of the late 90s and early 2000s is a defining part of their youth. Pictures of these Japanese anime monsters were traded in schools across the world and what started as a video game ended up appearing in movies, Happy Meals and cereal boxes.

Peloton: child killed in ‘tragic’ treadmill accident:

Peloton has warned parents to keep children away from its treadmills after the death of a child. Boss John Foley called it ‘tragic accident’ — one of a ‘small handful’ of incidents in which children have been hurt on the firm’s exercise equipment. He did not disclose further details about what happened. In February, a 3-year-old suffered severe head injuries after getting trapped under a Peloton treadmill, but will make a full recovery.

Super Nintendo world opens in Japan:

A theme park dedicated to Nintendo’s famous Super Mario World has opened in Japan, nearly a year after it was originally due to welcome guests.

Super Nintendo World — which cost about $0.5bn ($0.36bn) to build — was meant to open last summer but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Initially only Japanese visitors can go amid international travel bans. For Nintendo, it represents part of a move from games firm to entertainment company.

Taiwan: Dozens change name to ‘salmon’ to get sushi deal:

Dozens of people in Taiwan have changed their names to “salmon” to take advantage of a restaurant’s sushi promotion deal. Officials have issued a plea asking people to stop visiting government offices to request the name change, according to local media. The restaurant offered an all-you-can-eat sushi meal to anyone with the name Gui Yu or “salmon” on their ID card. Unimpressed officials said the rush was wasting government time. The offer began on Tuesday when sushi restaurant chain Akindo Sushiro said anyone with the Chinese characters in their name could get free food for themselves and five friends.

BT’s Openreach to build full-fibre internet ‘like fury’:

BT has said it will ‘build like fury’ to roll out full-fibre internet connections after new rules announced by the UK’s telecoms regulator. Ofcom has decided not to impose price caps on full-fibre connections provided by the firm’s Openreach subsidiary. This gives the company the certainty it had been looking for ahead of a planned £12bn investment.

However, the decision lays Ofcom open to criticism that is has given a near-monopoly operator a generous deal. That could mean more expensive internet connections for the public than might have been the case.

US ratchets up pressure on Chinese telecom firms:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking to strip three Chinese telecom firms of their US operating licenses. China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks and ComNet had failed to explain their links to Beijing, the FCC said. The US communications watchdog has long argued those links could pose a national security risk.

Backlash grows against cut to electric car grants:

The government is to cut grants aimed at encouraging people to buy electric vehicles in a move that has been criticised by the motor industry. The Department for Transport will reduce the grant from £3,000 to £2,500 and restrict it to cars under £35,000.But Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said it is “the wrong move at the wrong time”.

It said the decision goes against the government’s zero emissions ambitions.”This sends the wrong message to the consumer, especially private customers, and to an industry challenged to meet the government’s ambition to be a world leader in the transition to zero emission mobility,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

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