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IT Ministry Plans Converting e-Rozgar Centers to Virtual Special Technology Zones:

The Ministry of IT and Telecom plans to convert e-Rozgar Centers into Virtual Special Technology Zones (STZs). Sources told Media that after the establishment of 5,000 e-Rozgar centers in 2 years, they will be declared as virtual STZs. Sources said that the Special Technology Authority (STZA) is also being taken on board in this project. The e-Rozgar centers will later be converted into STZs and all the companies located here will have the same facilities as the companies and start-ups registered with the Special Technology Zones Authority.

Zong 4G’s ‘Call Global Pay Local’ Offer: The Perfect Connectivity Partner for ICC Cricket World Cup Fans:

Zong 4G, Pakistan’s leading telecom operator, is ready to equip its subscribers with its exciting International Direct Dialing (IDD) package for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, titled “Call Global Pay Local.” This innovative package promises to bring the experience of the ICC Cricket World Cup in India right to your fingertips! As cricket fever sweeps across the nation in anticipation of the ICC World Cup, Zong 4G understands that fans need to stay connected, not just with the game but also with their loved ones. “Call Global Pay Local” is here to make international calls to India both affordable and effortless, ensuring that cricket enthusiasts can share every thrilling moment of the World Cup with their friends and family across borders.

Mobilink Bank Launches “MobilinkHER” Women Returnship Program, Revolutionizing D&I:

Committed to advancing the cause of gender equality and championing workplace diversity, Mobilink Bank launched MobilinkHER, its first Women Returnship Program. This inclusive effort strives to foster Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) by enabling women who have taken a career hiatus of six months or more to re-enter the workforce seamlessly. The initiative reaffirms the Bank’s commitment to promoting equal opportunities for all, underlining its firm belief in the transformative potential of diversity to fuel innovation and propel growth. Mobilink Bank is part of the VEON group, a global digital operator that provides converged connectivity and online services across seven countries. As part of its digital operator strategy, VEON is transforming people’s lives by creating opportunities for increased digital inclusion and by driving economic growth across countries that are home to more than 8% of the world’s population.

Cabinet Set to Constitute Advisory Committee for IMT/5G Spectrum Auction:

Official sources told ProPakistani that the caretaker cabinet would take up the constitution of the advisory committee and TORs for the next auction in the country in the next meeting. According to the ToRs, the committee would assess the availability of spectrum in 700 MHz, 2600 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz bands. Further, it would consider and approve the telecom reforms to induce investment and increase mobile broadband proliferation in the country with the input of concerned stakeholders. Further, the committee would review and approve IMT/5G Policy Guidelines for the timely auction of available spectrum for IMT/5G services in the country.

Hitman: Blood Money is Coming to Phones With Several Upgrades:

IO Interactive and Feral Interactive have revealed that Hitman: Blood Money Reprisal is set to make its debut on Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android platforms later this year. Originally released in 2006 for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, Hitman: Blood Money is getting an enhanced version known as Reprisal. It is going to be an upgraded edition that incorporates fresh features and gameplay enhancements inspired by later entries in the Hitman series.This iteration invites players to explore iconic locales and pursue high-value targets, delivering a “comprehensive reworking of the stealth-action classic” that has been optimized for screens of varying sizes, catering to both larger and smaller displays.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Launched With Much Better Battery Life for the Same Price:

Google has unveiled the new Google Pixel Watch 2, which bears a similar design to its predecessor but introduces significant improvements under the hood. While the hardware may appear similar, the introduction of Wear OS 4 brings substantial visual enhancements. The original Pixel Watch featured the dated Exynos 9110 chipset, which, while providing a responsive user interface, was not particularly power-efficient. In its second iteration, the watch adopts the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1, a 4nm chip, and retains its 2 GB of RAM, which proves more than sufficient for a smartwatch.

WorldCall’s Parent Company Nears NASDAQ Listing:

Worldcall Services (Private) Limited (WSL), the parent company of WorldCall Telecom Limited (PSX: WTL), is shortly expected to complete its listing process at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations Stock Market (NASDAQ). “In continuation of our earlier announcement, we have been informed by Worldcall Services (Pvt) Limited (WSL) that it has achieved a major milestone in NASDAQ listing through a US Entity (“the Company”),” the stock filing stated. It added, “Regulator has completed the review of Registration Statement and Financial Statements filed by the Company with no further requirements and Company has received formal intimation to this effect. The company expects the listing process to be completed shortly”.

Android 14 Lets You Create Unique Wallpapers With a Few Words:

After a number of unexpected delays, Google has officially launched the stable version of Android 14 alongside its latest Pixel phones. As always, the new OS version will be available on Pixel phones at first and will gradually roll out to other OEMs soon. Here are some of the notable features coming with Android 14.Android 14 brings support for 10-bit HDR, enhancing the richness of your photos by capturing more sensor information, resulting in significantly improved image quality.

Elon Musk’s Latest Experiment Causes Mass Confusion on Twitter:

On Wednesday, Elon Musk’s platform X (formerly Twitter) underwent a visual overhaul, removing headlines from article links. Coincidentally, on the same day, Reuters published a report revealing significant monthly losses in ad revenue since Musk’s acquisition of the platform last year. Citing third-party data sources, Reuters reported that X, previously known as Twitter, has experienced year-over-year monthly declines in ad revenue of no less than 55% each month since Musk assumed control in October of the previous year. The report also indicated that ad revenue in August had fallen by 60% compared to the previous year.

Samsung’s New T9 Portable SSD Can Transfer 4GB Data in Just 2 Seconds:

Samsung’s new Portable SSD T9 marks the company’s inaugural product featuring a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interface. This enables the external drive to achieve impressive sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,000MB/s, effectively doubling the performance of the prior T7 drive, which utilized a Gen 2×1 interface. In order to maintain peak performance, Samsung has integrated its “Dynamic Thermal Guard” technology into the drive. This technology works to minimize any potential slowdowns caused by thermal throttling, though such instances are likely to be infrequent given the drive’s blazing speed. To put it in perspective, the drive is so fast that it can transfer a 4GB file in a mere two seconds.

Syria war: At least 100 reported dead in drone attack on graduation ceremony:

A drone attack on a Syrian military academy in the western city of Homs has killed at least 100 people, a monitoring group says. The explosive-laden drones targeted a graduation ceremony attended by cadets’ families, and women and children were among the dead. The army blamed “terrorist groups backed by known international forces”. There was no immediate claim from the rebels and jihadists battling the government in the country’s civil war. The drone attack is believed to have been launched from opposition-held areas north-west of Homs. Later, first responders from the White Helmets reported that five civilians had been killed in intense government artillery and missile strikes on several cities, towns and villages in the opposition stronghold of Idlib province. Syria’s state news agency, Sana, quoted a statement from the General Command of the Armed Forces as saying that several drones carrying explosives targeted the Homs military academy just after the afternoon graduation ceremony had ended.

Five arrested after phones stolen from students:

Five people have been arrested after phones were stolen from students in Nottingham who were approached on nights out. Nottinghamshire Police said the students were told of investment opportunities such as cryptocurrency schemes. They were then advised to hand over their devices so they could be added to social media groups, the force said, but the person then walked off with their phones. A police spokesperson said when students tried to stop the thefts, the suspect was joined by several accomplices who threatened their victims with violence. The five arrested, aged 17 to 21, were held on suspicion of robbery in connection with some of the reports.

The extreme robot arm that can chop up a ship:

A huge robotic arm, wielding a waterjet powerful enough to slice through steel, swings into action. It is chopping up the hull of a large ship. The structure, which withstood the power of the sea for decades, yields easily to the cutting jet. Before long, the robot has sliced out a big rectangle of steel. Its task complete, the machine silently moves on to the next section. “You can have robots starting at the bow and the stern, and two points in the middle, and working towards each other,” says Bryce Lawrence, operations director at Leviathan. The firm, based in Germany, plans to use a team of robots to dismantle huge ships so that the steel can be recycled.

AI facial recognition: Campaigners and MPs call for ban:

Police and private companies should “immediately stop” the use of facial recognition surveillance, says a group of politicians and privacy campaigners. They have raised concerns around human rights, potential for discrimination and “the lack of a democratic mandate”. It comes after the government announced plans for police to access passport photos to help catch criminals. The Home Office said facial recognition had “a sound legal basis” and had already led to criminals being caught. A spokesperson added that the technology could also aid police in searching for missing or vulnerable people, and free up officers to “be out on the beat” and to carry out complex investigations. Live facial recognition cameras scan faces of the public in specific locations and compare these with people on “watch lists” who may be wanted by police or the courts in association with crimes. Police forces using the technology in the UK inform citizens in advance about when and where it will be deployed, and display physical notices alerting those entering areas where it is active to the presence of cameras. But this week, policing minister Chris Philp said he wanted officers to be able to access a wider range of databases for images besides those on its national database, which is limited to those who have been arrested.

Labour faces multi-million pound bill in ex-Jeremy Corbyn staff court case:

Labour could face a multi-million pound legal bill as a result of a bitter internal feud dating back to the Jeremy Corbyn era. Labour has accused Mr Corbyn’s former chief of staff Karie Murphy, his former communications director Seumas Milne and three other ex-staff of leaking a controversial document just after Sir Keir Starmer became leader in April 2020. Documents submitted to the High Court this week reveal the party’s legal pursuit has cost almost £1.4m so far. And the party’s lawyers were estimating that a further £868,000 could be spent on the case, which had yet to come to full trial.

Regulator sues Musk to force testimony in X probe:

Financial regulators in the US are suing Elon Musk after the billionaire said he would no longer cooperate with its investigation into his purchase of Twitter, now known as X. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asked a federal court to order him to comply with their request that he sit for a third session of testimony about the deal. The move to sue followed receipt of a letter from a lawyer for Mr Musk, which said he refused to appear as requested. It accused the SEC of “harassment”. “Unchecked government action is dangerous and the record here is troubling. Mr Musk declines to acquiesce in the Commission’s incursions and therefore refuses to appear as you demand,” lawyer Alex Spiro wrote.

Castle Hill Hospital’s virtual reality kit used to help patients recover:

An East Yorkshire hospital is believed to be the first in the country to use a virtual reality (VR) treadmill to help people recover from brain injuries. The equipment at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham aimed to “transform” the way patients exercised, a hospital spokesperson said. The VR technology simulated real-life challenges such as shopping trips or mountain treks, according to doctors. Dr Abayomi Salawu described it as a “ground-breaking addition”. Patients using the treadmill could walk, jog, or run in any direction, challenging themselves at their own pace, hospital bosses said. With advanced motion sensors and responsive control systems, it could adapt to users’ own movements, giving “an unparalleled level of freedom and fluidity”, they added.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage: Why Arabic is at the heart of the new game:

Assassin’s Creed Mirage is released this week – and reviews have called it a return to the series’ roots. But there’s also been one major change. For this edition, set in 9th Century Baghdad, developers Ubisoft have recorded the game’s performances in Arabic. Previous games in the long-running stealth franchise have taken place in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, but the heroes have always been voiced by English-speaking actors by default. Players can still choose to play the game with English dialogue, but its makers hope they’ll choose the more “authentic” Arabic. It was what fans heard when the game’s first global trailer dropped in late August, and a move that’s been welcomed by fans like Ameer, who grew up in Baghdad. He says hearing Arabic in games isn’t a first, but “it’s usually with a terrorist saying something that people recognise as Arabic”. Engineering student Ameer, 20, says he was impressed by the trailer, when fans got to hear the Arabic dialogue spoken by main character Basim and get a glimpse of the game’s world.

Electric car sales to private buyers fall sharply:

Sales of new electric cars to private buyers fell sharply in September compared with the same period a year ago, latest figures show. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said sales to private buyers fell by 14%, but overall registrations of electric cars rose almost 19%. The growth was entirely driven by company fleet buyers. The car market as a whole showed strong growth in September, but sales are still below pre-pandemic levels. Overall, new car registrations grew by 21% last month compared with the same period in 2022. September is a good opportunity to gauge the health of the sector, as the issuing of new number plates significantly boosts sales. It was the 14th consecutive month of growth. The industry has been recovering from the impact of the Covid pandemic, as well as the subsequent shortage of parts – particularly semiconductors – which affected production and the availability of some models. As with electric cars, the growth in the car market has been driven by company fleets renewing their stock, with registrations up 40%. Sales to private buyers grew 5%, but the market as a whole remains significantly smaller than it was before the Covid crisis.

Amazon and Microsoft to face cloud computing competition probe:

The UK’s cloud computing market is to face a competition probe over concerns it is being dominated by Amazon and Microsoft. Media watchdog Ofcom said the two make up 70-80% of the sector in the UK, while closest rival Google has 5-10%. Ofcom had said in April it was worried a lack of competition made it difficult for businesses to switch providers. It has referred the sector to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to look into the issue. Amazon and Microsoft both told the Media they would work with the CMA as it conducts its investigation. However, Amazon said it felt Ofcom’s concernswere “based on a fundamental misconception” of the sector. Cloud computing broadly refers to the storage of data online that can be accessed anywhere at any time. It has become an essential bit of infrastructure for both businesses and individuals, and is how millions of people store large amounts of data, use software remotely, stream music and videos and play games. It is sometimes described as using “other people’s computers”, vast networks of powerful machines stored in massive data centres around the world, and many of those belong to either Amazon or Microsoft. The services are used by businesses across the UK, and Ofcom estimated that in 2022 the cloud services market in the UK was worth up to £7.5bn. “Many businesses now completely rely on cloud services, making effective competition in this market essential,” said CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell. “Strong competition ensures a level playing field so that market power doesn’t end up in the hands of a few players – unlocking the full potential of these rapidly evolving digital markets so that people, businesses, and the UK economy can get the maximum benefits. “The CMA’s independent inquiry group will now carry out an investigation to determine whether competition in this market is working well and if not, what action should be taken to address any issues it finds.” The CMA said it would conclude its investigation by April 2025. The body has the power to force companies to change practices, block purchases or even sell off parts of their businesses if it feels there is a legitimate threat to the market. “All credit to Ofcom for addressing the anti-competitive issues such as data egress fees, technical and commercial lock-ins that have damaged and distorted the UK’s growing cloud infrastructure market for too long,” said Nicky Stewart, former head of ICT at the Cabinet Office. “It’s imperative that the CMA thoroughly investigates all the deep-seated issues in this critical market which underpins so much of our nation’s digital infrastructure – and that includes anti-competitive licensing.”