Ignite Approves Launch of New Funds for Pakistani Startups and Innovators:
The 91st meeting of the Board of Ignite National Technology Fund approved the annual budget for 2022-23 and the revamped Research and Innovation Framework presented by the management. The proposed framework supports all of the stages of innovation, from R&D on the scientific underpinnings of breakthrough technologies to concept validation and demonstration of breakthrough technologies and innovations to meet real-world needs. The evaluation of proposals will be conducted using a structure of high‐level scientific panels comprising industry and academic experts.
Forget Battery Drainage as 120W Fast-Charging Phone is Now in Your Reach:
Phone battery drainage has been a real problem for people in their everyday lives; carrying around the charger everywhere you go and having to charge your phone every now and then is more than exhausting. Today, having a phone that’s an essential part of your everyday life but can’t last a day without charging is simply out of question. So, besides loading handsets with innovative and power-hungry features, phone makers are seriously focusing on making smartphones more power-efficient and capable of handling heavy use.
Pakistan’s IT Exports Register Over 29% Growth:
IT and IT services exports surged to $1.948 billion at a growth rate of 29.26 percent during July-March financial year 2021-22, in comparison to $1.5 billion in the same period last year, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22 released on Thursday. These exports include telecommunication, computer, and information services. During the first nine months of FY22, the government provided 100 percent tax credit on export income from IT and IT-enabled services until 30th June 2025. The sector was also given a 100 percent tax credit on profits and gains derived by the IT startups for the tax year in which a startup is certified by Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), and for the next two years.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Goes on Sale in Pakistan:
Oppo F21 Pro 5G is now officially available for purchase across Pakistan, both online and in stores. With its attractive design, 5G capability, 6nm processor, camera capabilities, and unique mega lens and mega portrait features, the Oppo F21 Pro 5G is being very well received. Powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 695 5G Mobile Platform built on a 6nm process, and a slim and sleek design along with good battery life, Oppo F21 Pro 5G ensures an exceptional user experience.
Pakistani YouTubers Get More Views from Foreign Countries:
For the first time ever, YouTube hosted a virtual Pakistan creator roundtable with four renowned Pakistani YouTubers including Ducky Bhai, Something Haute, Sistrology, and Street Food PK. The event was attended by several media personalities as well as the Country Director of Pakistan at Google, Farhan S. Qureshi. He revealed that over 55% of views on Pakistani YouTube channels come from outside the country.
Telecom Sector Contributed Over Rs. 163 Billion in Taxes in July-March FY22: Economic Survey:
The telecom sector contributed Rs. 163.3 billion to the national exchequer in terms of taxes, regulatory fees, initial and annual license fees, activation tax, and other taxes during July-March, fiscal year 2021-22. The Economic Advisor’s Wing of the Finance Division revealed in the Economic Survey 2021-22 that telecom sector revenue during July-March fiscal year 2022 recoded at Rs. 423 billion as it has emerged as one of the vibrant sectors of Pakistan’s economy. Increasing revenues, growing investment and enhanced contributions to the national exchequer are hallmarks of the sector for many years now, it said.
Foodpanda Collaborates with Sindh Food Authority to Train HomeChefs:
In an effort to improve food packaging and follow hygiene standards during food preparation, foodpanda has partnered with the Sindh Food Authority (SFA) to train its HomeChefs regarding enhanced safety protocols and government SOPs. The training session was conducted with the objective to encourage and promote a food safety culture and train the HomeChefs on basic hygiene and safe food preparation.
Apple to Launch Its Biggest iPad Pro with Massive Storage This Year:
Now that the M2 MacBook launch is out of the way, it’s time to look toward Apple’s next-in-line launches. One of Apple’s major upcoming announcements is going to be the iPad Pro 12, which is expected to be larger than ever this year with massive base memory. The report comes from a notable Apple tipster Majin Buu who claims that Apple is working on a 14.1-inch iPad with an M2 chip. He also says that it will have a base memory configuration of 512GB/16GB, which is a lot higher than last year’s 128GB/8GB. The highest memory variant will go up to whopping 4TB storage with 32GB RAM.
Govt to Make Rs. 30 Billion From Auction of 3G/4G Spectrum:
The government is expecting to raise around Rs. 30 billion from the auction of an additional spectrum of 3G/4G called Top Up. Well-placed sources told ProPakistani that around 15 MHz of spectrum is available to be presented for Top Up, and once the cellular companies’ demand is tabled, the government will make the final decision. Sources revealed that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) has sought spectrum demand for additional spectrum from telecom operators within two weeks.
Here is An Early Look at the Galaxy S23 Ultra [Video]:
We are still more than half a year away from the Galaxy S23 series, but that doesn’t stop the rumor mill from leaking early information. A new concept video shared by YouTuber Technizo shows what the Galaxy S23 Ultra could look like next year. According to the concept video, the S23 Ultra will have a completely redesigned main camera cutout with two large sensors in the corner and two smaller ones alongside. This camera setup is labeled “200MP”, which goes in line with previous rumors. This is because Samsung has recently unveiled a brand new 200MP HM1 ISOCELL camera sensor, but it is yet to be seen on a smartphone.
YouTube Hosts First Creator Roundtable with Pakistani Content Creators:
Marking a historic first, the popular video-streaming platform, YouTube, hosted a virtual Pakistan creator roundtable. The event was attended by media persons and the brains behind the four renowned Pakistani YouTube channels: Ducky Bhai, Something Haute, Sistrology, and Street Food PK. The discussion began with the Country Director of Pakistan at Google, Farhan S. Qureshi, sharing valuable insights with content creators and the media.
Importers Demand Withdrawal of ‘Cruel’ Policy on Smartphone Industry:
The Mobile Phone Importers and Manufacturers Association (MPIMA), in a letter to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, has demanded the cancelation of 100 percent cash margin and prior permission from the central bank on import LCs (letters of credit). They also asked to increase the R&D allowance to 8-10 percent and issue SRO for New Duty Drawback Scheme on local mobile phone manufacturing. In this letter, it is stated that the Government of Pakistan recently made amendments to its Import Policy to curb the pressure on the forex reserves of the Country. These amendments, in their present form, have a detrimental effect on the Mobile Device Manufacturing Industry.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Tipped to Launch in August:
Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 will be the next big announcements from Samsung. We already know what these phones will look like and what hardware they will offer, but we were yet to see any rumors about a launch date. That changes today with the latest report from Jon Prosser, a notable tipster with an impressive track record for leaks. Prosser says that Samsung will host its next Galaxy Unpacked event on August 10 where we will get to see the new foldables as well as the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.
YouTube accused of failing to tackle fake Elon Musk livestream scams:
YouTube is being criticised for failing to tackle a network of cyber-criminals streaming fake Elon Musk videos to scam viewers. The criminals are hijacking YouTube accounts and using the videos to promote bogus cryptocurrency giveaways. The Media found dozens of these streams being watched by tens of thousands of people over four days this month. On Tuesday, Elon Musk said YouTube was not tackling “scam ads”. YouTube says it removes channels that are reported.
Black Lives Matter: Ex-Pembroke councillor censured over Facebook posts:
A former councillor has been censured for publishing a Facebook posts that were “likely to be considered racist”. Pembrokeshire council found Paul Dowson breached the authority’s code of conduct by putting comments about Black Lives Matter online. He deleted his account shortly after the comments were published on 8 June 2020 and denied being racist or sharing the post.
Ministry of Defence acquires government’s first quantum computer:
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has acquired the government’s first quantum computer. Quantum computers can make very complex calculations extremely quickly and their creators say they can solve the problems regular computers cannot. The MoD will work with British company Orca Computing to explore applications for quantum technology in defence. Stephen Till, of the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), called it a “milestone moment”.
At least 1,400 rural phone boxes protected from closing:
Ofcom has brought in new rules to protect rural phone boxes from closure. The UK telecoms regulator said it will stop British Telecom (BT) from closing down phone boxes in areas with poor mobile signals if they are needed by local communities. Ofcom estimates there are at least 1,400 phone boxes in areas without good mobile coverage. This is lower than its original estimate that 5,000 phone boxes would be protected by new rules. But it is unclear how many phone boxes will be protected for other reasons. Ofcom said it would also protect boxes in areas with high frequencies of accidents or suicides, or where calls are being made to services like Childline. It said 25,000 calls were made to Childline in the year to May 2020, and 20,000 to Samaritans.
UK will not copy EU demand for common charging cable:
The UK government says it is not “currently considering” copying European Union plans for a common charging cable. The EU has provisionally agreed all new portable electronic devices must, by autumn 2024, use a USB Type-C charger, a move it says will benefit consumers. Critics say it will stifle innovation. Under the current post-Brexit arrangements, the regulation would apply to Northern Ireland, according to EU and UK officials.
Tove Styrke is sick of the streaming song formula:
Technology has always dictated the way pop music sounds. Hit songs are short and direct simply because, in the early days of vinyl and shellac discs, the music could last no longer than the time it took the needle to cross the gap between the edge of the record and the label in the middle. The advent of magnetic tape allowed bands to record individual instruments and layer them up, prompting the fantastical sound collages of the Beatles and the Beach Boys. CDs meant that artists could break the 44-minute vinyl time limit – for better and, more often, for worse.
Apple announces buy now pay later, among iOS 16 plans:
Apple is planning a buy now pay later (BNPL) service as part of its new operating system, iOS 16. Apple Pay Later will allow users in the US to spread the cost of a purchase into four payments over six weeks, without paying interest or fees. It forms part of a range of new iPhone features, including the ability to edit iMessages and a feature intended to help people in abusive relationships. The features were unveiled at WWDC, the firm’s annual developers’ conference.
No irony flying to Canada for climate talk, says Bristol mayor:
The mayor of Bristol said there was “no irony” in his decision to fly 4,600 miles (7402 km) to attend a conference and give a talk on the climate crisis. Marvin Rees was criticised by climate campaigners who said his trip to Canada to deliver a 14-minute TEDx lecture seemed to be at odds with his message. Mr Rees told a briefing on Wednesday he was invited to shape global thinking. Virtual attendance “Wasn’t on the table”, he said and added “have you seen any Ted conferences run by Zoom?” Campaign group Flight Free UK criticised his decision to fly there due to the huge amount of carbon dioxide emitted from long-haul flights, particularly given the “ironic” topic of his talk on the need to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.
Is it the end for the lush lawns of Los Angeles?:
“The era of the lush lawn is over,” declares Lynne Toby, a pensioner who has lived in Los Angeles for 40 years.Ms Toby’s attitude toward grass lawns has changed over the years. She wanted a lawn when her son was young and playing sport. But once he stopped, she let it die. This was partly for practical reasons – as a lawn requires a great deal of maintenance. But the decision was also related to her interest in conserving water, amidst the persistent drought conditions in Los Angeles, California. Her husband still likes the idea of a traditional lawn and picket fence, but Ms Toby is considering replacing the lawn altogether.