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Center of Gaming and Animation to be Established Soon: IT Ministry:

The Ministry of IT and Telecom has decided to establish the Center of Excellence for Gaming and Animation (CEGA) in Karachi and Lahore. Ignite National Technology Fund has sought expressions of interest from companies for setting up the Center of Excellence for Gaming and Animation (CEGA). According to a document available with ProPakistani, the locations of the Centers will be NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi and National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP) Lahore. The area for the center at NED UET is 11,000 square feet approximately and at NASTP Lahore is 14,500 square feet approximately.

Scam Alert: Don’t Trust This SMS About Fake Delivery Packages:

There is a new type of SMS scam going on that baits people with a warning of blocked shipments and lures them into clicking on a fraudulent link. Multiple users have been targeted by this new scam and one of the affected users reported it on Twitter. The Twitter user shared screenshots of the deceptive SMS text as well as the fake website it leads to. Here is what it looks like. Notice how the fraudulent SMS claims that the shipment has been put on hold due to a missing house number. This already shows that the message is completely fake. If your delivery details are missing while ordering a package, online stores typically warn you and don’t complete the order. Daraz, for instance, says that your address is incomplete. Moreover, if there is an issue with your order, Daraz will email or message you directly instead of using a random mobile number.

Honor X50i+ Launched as One of The Lightest Phones of 2023:

Honor unveiled its latest smartphone on Monday, the X50i+, featuring a 108 MP main camera, a lightweight design, and an attractive price point. Honor X50i+ centers around a 6.7″ AMOLED display boasting 1080p resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling. Notably, the phone sports an 8MP selfie camera housed within an oval cutout—a unique touch by Honor, creating a distinctive appearance. Remarkably thin at just 6.78mm and weighing a mere 166 grams, the X50i+ stands out as one of the lightest smartphones released in 2023.

Election Commision is Making a Digital App For International Users:

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is working on a digital app for international users as preparations are underway for the general elections. Sources told the Media that the commission has ordered the issuance of cards for international observers for the timely provision of relevant information through a digital information app. This app will include special features including the ability to print Accreditation Cards in the final stages. Users can also apply for visas through the online service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through this app.

Over 100 Digital Loan Apps Have Been Blacklisted in Pakistan:

On Monday, Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti announced that the government had officially blacklisted 111 online applications providing interest-based loans. This statement was made in conclusion to a discussion initiated by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, addressing the proliferation of such apps in the country. Minister Bugti highlighted that the Cyber Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had taken action by confiscating Rs 1.8 billion related to interest-based transactions. The FIA has initiated legal proceedings against individuals operating these mobile apps, and their cases are currently awaiting resolution in the courts, stated the Minister. He emphasized that swift actions were taken by the government as soon as the matter surfaced, particularly targeting apps that were not registered with the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) of Pakistan.

Vivo Watch 3 Launched With BlueOS and 16 Day Battery Life:

Vivo Watch 3 has arrived alongside the flagship X100 phones, debuting the company’s all-new BlueOS for wearables. Available in a singular size, the Vivo Watch 3 comes in two distinct designs and colors, offering two band styles with varying materials. The watch boasts a 46.1mm-wide body, weighing just 36g, and showcases a 1.43-inch 466 x 466px AMOLED display with an always-on feature. The round watch case presents a curved, borderless glass on top. The leather strap variant of the Vivo Watch 3 includes twin lugs, while the alternative version is lug-less and comes with silicone straps.

Vivo X100 Launched With MediaTek’s Most Powerful Chip Yet:

Vivo’s flagship X100 series has just become official in China, introducing two new phones: the X100 and the X100 Pro. These devices also mark the debut of MediaTek’s Dimensity 9300 chipset and boast impressive camera capabilities, particularly with the X100 Pro featuring a Zeiss APO 100mm equivalent periscope lens. Both X100 models sport curved 6.78-inch 8T LTPO AMOLED displays, offering a resolution of 1260p, 10-bit colors, and a versatile 1-120Hz variable refresh rate. The displays can reach a peak brightness of 3,000 nits and incorporate 2,160Hz PWM dimming for enhanced eye protection. As mentioned earlier, the two phones are powered by MediaTek’s new flagship SoC, the Dimensity 9300 which brings hardware-level ray tracing as well as generative AI capabilities. This can be paired with up to a sizable 16 GB of LPDDR5T RAM and 1 GB UFS 4.0 memory.

PTA to Review Cost of Internet Bandwidth in Pakistan:

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is set to evaluate and reassess the pricing structure for wholesale IP bandwidth, commonly referred to as internet bandwidth. Sources told ProPakistani that currently, Pakistan boasts seven submarine cable landing stations, with operators consistently investing in their respective cable networks to meet present and future demands. Consequently, entities like PTCL, TWA, and Cyber Internet are incurring costs in USD to international operators, covering expenses such as O&M charges, IP ports charges, circuit charges, inter-linking charges, and transport of bandwidth within Pakistan.

Zong 4G Celebrates the Success of Lok Mela 2023: A Remarkable Showcase of Cultural Diversity and Harmony:

Zong 4G, Pakistan’s leading telecommunications company, recently partnered with Lok Mela, an 11-day extravaganza that unfolded at Lok Virsa, Islamabad, from November 3 to November 12. As the official connectivity partner for the event, Zong 4G played a pivotal role in fostering cultural unity and celebrating Pakistan’s rich heritage. Embracing the theme of “Peace and Harmony through Cultural Diversity,” Zong 4G actively contributed to the immersive experience of Lok Mela 2023. Lok Mela served as a unifying platform for artisans, performers, and culture enthusiasts nationwide.

Mobilink Bank Carries the Day at VEON’s Ignite Awards Held in Istanbul:

Pakistan’s leading digital microfinance bank, Mobilink Bank, outperformed at VEON’s Ignite Awards held in Istanbul by winning in three of the most highly contested categories, including ‘Double-Digit Growth’, ‘Financial Services’, and ‘Diversity and Inclusion’. The Bank’s recognition at the group level and enviable accomplishments across various categories mirror its steadfast commitment to excellence. 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.

UPaisa Launches ‘Daily Cash Reward Program’ for Active Customers:

Leading digital financial services provider, UPaisa is offering an exciting Daily Cash Reward Program for its active customers on maintaining balance in their accounts. Starting from a minimum daily account balance of Rs. 500 only, the rewards are structured into five slabs with increasing daily rewards. In addition to providing incentives for active account holders, this offer has been designed to generate mutual benefits for customers amid challenging economic conditions. It not only enhances their current balances but also encourages savings for a better future. The Daily Rewards Offer preserves UPaisa’s endeavor to provide additional facilitation to its users. The platform focuses on enhancing user satisfaction through high-quality core products and service delivery, along with a wide range of exclusive features, offers and value-added services.

Meta OKs deleting Threads without losing Instagram:

Changes are being rolled out to the Threads app that will enable users to delete their account while keeping the linked Instagram account. An Instagram account is required to sign up to the Twitter-like app, but users were frustrated that it was impossible to delete Threads alone. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri revealed the change in a post on Threads.

Initially hailed as a “Twitter-killer”, Threads struggled to sustain early record-breaking growth. In October Mark Zuckerberg, the head of parent-company Meta, revealed that three months on from its July launch the app was attracting around 100 million monthly users – down by more than a half. When Threads was first revealed it was seen as a direct challenge to the Elon Musk-owned X, formerly known as Twitter.

Nepal bans TikTok citing disruption to social harmony:

Nepal has banned China’s TikTok because its content “was detrimental to social harmony.” The decision comes days after the country introduced a new rule requiring social media firms to set up liaison offices in the country. TikTok, which has around a billion monthly users, has been banned by several countries including India. Earlier this year, Montana became the first US state to ban it while the UK Parliament banned it from its network. Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rekha Sharma has told the Media Nepali that the platform spread malicious content. She added that “the ban would come into effect immediately and telecom authorities have been directed to implement the decision”. But Gagan Thapa, a senior leader of Nepali Congress, which is part of the coalition government, has questioned the government’s decision to impose a ban on TikTok. He said it was an attempt to curb the freedom of expression and officials should focus on regulating the platform. TikTok has come under scrutiny from authorities around the world over concerns that data could be passed to the Chinese government.

Whitney Wolfe Herd: How the Bumble boss changed the dating scene:

Out of adversity comes opportunity, so the saying goes. For Whitney Wolfe Herd, that meant taking a difficult exit from online dating app firm Tinder – which she sued for sexual harassment – and setting up Bumble, her own rival company with a focus very much on women. Nearly a decade and a billion dollar fortune later, Ms Wolfe Herd announced this week that she is stepping down as Bumble’s boss. But it is a bittersweet moment. In an interview with the Media before she made her announcement, Ms Wolfe Herd lamented that, as a group of young women who came up in tech in the 2010s, not many are left. “It is disappointing to see just how little women have advanced,” she said. I’ve watched the fall of what people call ‘the girl boss era’. That’s tragic.” However, Bumble will still be led by a woman – Lidiane Jones, the former boss of Slack, will take over as chief executive while Ms Wolfe Herd will stay on as executive chair.

Microsoft says Teams and Xbox fixed in UK and Europe:

Microsoft has said problems with accessing its Teams messaging app and XBox gaming platform across the UK and Europe have now been resolved. More than 1,500 people in the UK reported issues with Teams, according to outage tracker Downdetector. A similar number also said there were problems with Xbox Live. It left some who have bought the latest game in the Call of Duty series, released on Friday, unable to pay it but Microsoft said this is now fixed. On X, formerly Twitter, Microsoft said the services were impacted by “an artificial increase in synthetic network traffic”. “We’ve made configuration changes to remediate impact and after monitoring the service, we’ve confirmed the issue is now resolved,” it said. The company previously said it had “identified some anomalies within our network infrastructure”. The problem was unique to customers in the UK and Germany, Microsoft had said earlier on Friday, but on social media, people in Sweden and Poland said they had been unable to access services.

DP World: Australia sites back online after cyber-attack:

One of Australia’s major port operators is back online after a cyber-attack crippled its facilities. Operations at DP World Australia container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth were disrupted from Friday to Monday morning. The firm manages around 40% of goods entering and leaving the country. The outage has not affected the supply of goods to major Australian supermarkets, the BBC understands. DP World Australia, a unit of the Dubai state-owned DP World, said its ports resumed operations at 09:00 local time “following successful tests of key systems overnight”. It added: “The company expects that approximately 5,000 containers will move out of the four Australian terminals today.”

Gaming: Just Dance being made accessible for everyone:

More than 135 million people have played Just Dance – but how accessible is it for everyone? Ubisoft’s video game has 500 unique choreographies that users from around the world follow. Seth, 14, from Vale of Glamorgan, was invited to the company’s Paris studio to test out the latest version. He spoke to designers and choreographers and gave his input on a new routine for people in wheelchairs. Seth, who has a rare muscle wasting condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is a member of the Welsh Youth Parliament.

Meta requires political advertisers to mark when deepfakes used:

Meta will require political advertisers to flag when they have used AI or digital manipulation in adverts on Facebook and Instagram. The social media company already has policies on using deepfakes in place, but says this goes a step further. From January, adverts related to politics, elections or social issues will have to declare any digitally altered image or video. The worldwide policy will be moderated by a mix of human and AI fact checkers. In an announcement, Meta said this would include changing what somebody has said in a video, altering images or footage of real events, and depicting real-looking people who do not exist. Users will be notified when adverts have been marked as being digitally changed. Meta told the Media that it would add this information to the ad but didn’t go into detail on how it would be presented. Advertisers do not have to declare when small changes have been made, such as cropping or colour correction, “unless such changes are consequential or material to the claim, assertion, or issue raised in the ad”.

The Game Awards 2023: Baldur’s Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 top nominations:

The contenders for this year’s Game Awards have been announced, with Baldur’s Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 picking up the most nominations. Dubbed the “Oscars of gaming” by some and the “industry’s longest commercial” by others, the show is a major event. In a year stuffed with critically acclaimed releases, competition for the top awards is likely to be fierce at the ceremony on 7 December. Both frontrunners got eight nominations each, including Game of the Year. Survival horror Alan Wake 2 and fantasy RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 will also face off in the Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Music and Best Performance categories. They’re joined in the Game of the Year race by PS5 exclusive Spider-Man 2, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Super Mario Bros Wonder and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

DP World: Australia sites back online after cyber-attack:

One of Australia’s major port operators is back online after a cyber-attack crippled its facilities. Operations at DP World Australia container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth were disrupted from Friday to Monday morning. The firm manages around 40% of goods entering and leaving the country. The outage has not affected the supply of goods to major Australian supermarkets, the Media understands. DP World Australia, a unit of the Dubai state-owned DP World, said its ports resumed operations at 09:00 local time “following successful tests of key systems overnight”. It added: “The company expects that approximately 5,000 containers will move out of the four Australian terminals today.”

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