NASA no longer interested in International Space Station

Nasa will end the ISS mission soon and would move to he cislunar space — the area of space surrounding the moon — for an ambitious human exploration programme.According to Willian Gerstenmaier , NASA’s chief of human flight “We are going to get out of ISS as quickly as we can. Whether it gets filled in by the private sector or not, NASA’s vision is we’re trying to move out”.

The company plans to make the international obervaory inactive by 2024 , 2028 at the latest. The budget of the programe to phase our the ship has also been increase from 3 to 4 billion dollar.

“NASA cannot afford both a robust space station programme and active human exploration programme in cislunar space,” Gerstenmaier was quoted in an interview to ANI.

Paytm offers free recharge of Rs 30 for people suffering due to Chennai floods.

In a move to help those who are struck in the worst floods in the country , Paytm has decided to do their bit. The company has planned to recharge Rs 30 worth of talktime free of cost for anyone living in Chennai. The southern financial and Tech hub of the country is suffering from the worst floods ever and survival has been difficult for those who have been stuck.

This is the third internet company to do the bit after OLA and Zomata . OLA offered free OLA boats to take out people stuck in the flood affected regions. Zomato offered free meal to people who ordered through the app.

According to a blog from Paytm the company said “If you would like to recharge anyone’s mobile number so that they can remain connected during this tough time, please call us at 18001030033 and share the mobile number. We will recharge it with Rs.30 worth of talk-time, free of cost”.

Gestures like these are a good initiatives by companies  to help those in need.

UC browser is the third most popular app in India.

UC browser is the third most popular app in India after  Facebook and Whats App . According to a report released by Quettra people spent most of their time on Facebook followed by Whats App and UC browser.  The report also stated that Indian spend 5 million hours more than google chrome on their mobile devices. UC browser holds the top notch position in terms of browsers used by India to view mobile site in the country on their devices. It is interesting to note that six of UC browser families UC Browser Mini and UC Browser HD are among the top 10 browsers in the country.

The report confirms Indian audience’s inclination towards mobile sites and the trend confirms that the mobile web is here for stay for the near future.

UC browser is the world’s No-1 third party browser with 16% market share. With the market dominance of this kind the company plans some exiting ventures in growing Economies like India ,China , Indonesia among othe  countries.  UC browser clocked 11.3 million hours per month in India followed by google chrome 6.1 million hours and Opera Mini 4.1 million hours per month.

Paytm will partner with ICICI Bank to launch Prepaid cards.

Mobile commerce company Paytm  is planning a partnership with ICICI bank to launch virtual prepaid cards for its existing users. The partnership would allow its customers add money to their wallet at any ICICI branch. It will be a 16-digit, Paytm-ICICI Bank co-branded, virtual prepaid card that can be used at any retail organisation that accepts Visa, MasterCard and Rupay. It will go a long way towards having our wallet accepted across merchants,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive of Paytm.

The partnership is one of its kind between an online retailer and a full scale bank. Both the companies are optimistic with the lauch and it will be interesting to see how the card suffices the need of current online savy shopper.

Indian banks have understood that they have to be a part of the mobile payments platform, either organically or inorganically, to preserve continuity of business,” said Jayanth Kolla, partner at research and advisory firm Convergence Catalyst.

The biggest advantage for the user will be that with this card they can shop not only on Paytm but also on other ecommerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart. The additional service of loading money into Paytm Wallets at over 4,000 ICICI Bank branches is yet another initiative to popularize the usage of electronic payments in the country, We don’t need to integrate our payments platform with all merchants, and this, in turn, will give universal access to consumers, who can shop at any establishment that accepts, credit, debit and prepaid cards.” said Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director, ICICI Bank.

Airtel to focus on Its Data and voice services , plans to invest Rs 60,000 crore for the improvements.

Bharti Airtel will invest Rs 60,000 crore in next three years to improve its data and voice services. The biggest telco decided to focus its resources more on technology as it will be facing challenges from other Telecom companies including the newly announced Reliance Jio. The company has named the plan as Project Leap and would use the funds to buy new equipments , expand the current broadband network and cover more and more are from its optical fibre network. The move is followed by investment plan announced by Vodafone , which plans to invest 13000 crore and Reliance Jio which has a massive pan of 1 Lakh Crore to invest in technology and infrastructure.

Speaking at a press conference the Company’s CEO of India and South East Asia said “The bulk of the investment will be in building infrastructure as the company has already bought most of the airwaves needed”.

The company has already planned a Capex of Rs 15000 crore by March 2016 and plans to invest in acquiring a few pockets in the 2100 MHz band in a few circles. The bandwidth will be used to offer seamless 3g services to audience while 700 MHz will be used to offer the 4G services . The company also plans to install 70,000 more base stations by March 2016.

Vittal denied reports that the company is investing ahead of Reliance Jio and said that the investment is done in order to refurbish its existing aging infrastructure. According to Vittal “I will not say it is in response to Reliance Jio’s launch but in response to expiry of permits which has led us to buy different configuration of spectrum,” Vittal said. “Competition doesn’t give us sleepless nights, it’s quality of services to our customers which does.”.

Apple sales cross $1 Billion in India.

In a report submitted to registrar of the company’s filing , the company has crossed $1 billion in sales in India .The company increased its sales by 44% and reached a whopping 6,472,89 crore in the year ended in March this year.

As decided at the time of Incubation in India , the company did not take any dividend from the sale made . Apple INC US owns 99% of the company in India while 1% is owned by Apple Europe .Apple has  been promoting its devices here in India and releasing them closer to the launch date in India. India has been a country of great interest for Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. It can been seen that the company sold more than 1.7 million phones in India between October 2014 and September 2015.

The company also plans to open the iconic apple stores in India with partnership with Chroma. The manufacturing vendor of the company Foxconn is in plans to create a manufacturing base in India . With the soaring sale of the device the company might expedite its plans.

 

Zite to shut down on December 7,will operate through flipboard

Personal new magazine Zite has planned to cease its operations. All data on the platform will be migrated on flip board by December 7th.All the Zite users have started receiving emails pertaining to the closure of the website. To migrate you simply have to login to your Zite app and then click on the migrate option in order to migrate to Flipboard.

The move was expected as flipboard stated implementing the Zite features like feed fine tuning .It also added  Zite’s  topic engine to improve recommendations and more.The company also added the interest graph that was used by Zite for its customers.

Zite was initially founded as a tool to deliver personalized news to readers on i-pad. The biggest USP was the personalization algorithm which gave it an edge over its competitors like Gravity , my66Sense. The company was initially acquired by CNN before flipboard got involved and decided to cease its operation

Facebook launches a new feature for nonprofits , dedicated pages to attract more donors.

In  an attempt to help the non profits , facebook’s Social good team launched fundraisers pages with more intuitive donate buttons. These pages can be used by non profits for various social cause and the donors can pay them on the platforms itself. Facebook also plans to launch special ads for the fundraisers so that the  pages are more visible to the dedicated audience.

The page will consist of the ‘goal bar ‘ which will let the people know as to how much the money the fundraiser plans to raise and how much have been achieved so far. The page would also allow the users to connect further by either providing their emails or contact numbers.

The company did a pilot on the feature by providing special fundraiser pages for three non profits Mercy Corps, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and World Wildlife Fund. More than 30 social projects including the Red Cross society and UNICEF have been short listed for the pilot.

Its interesting to note that facebook tends to monetize on these pages by charging a small fees by 2016.Not all non profits will be allowed to use the feature as the company plans to verify the credibility of the organization by checking the certification and other details.

The feature was introduced In a blog post by Facebook’s VP of product management Naomi Gleit . She said that ” People raise money for disaster relief, they search for missing children and they bring attention to the issues they care about, We’ve seen from our community that when people take action, lives are changed. We know we can do more to enable these connections.”

The launch comes at time when the world is reeling under worst terrorist situation. This is the second social initiative by the company in recent times while the earlier being the disaster checkout button where the user can check out in a disaster torn area whether they are safe or not. The company with 1 billion daily active user has planned a series of initiative for the society including the Amber Alert project for missing children across the globe.

 

 

Ola, now worth $5billion,raises 500 million

Indian Taxi app unicorn Ola, has raised 500 million from a series of new and existing investors.The series F funding was lead by investor Baillie Gifford and existing investors like Tiger Global,Falcon edge, Softbank group and DST global.With this amount Ola has raised a total of $1.4billion from investors.The company plans to use the money to further accelerate in the existing markets and penetrate in more cities and town.The company’s app has already crossed more than 1 million in downloads and has recieved more than 1 billion bookings so far.The company is present in more than 100 cities across India.

The funding comes at an intersting time when the global market leader Uber, has planned to invest $1billion to tap the growing Indian internet population.Uber targets only high end customers in the country and is present only in 22 cities.
“As we pursue our mission to build mobility for a billion people, we are excited about bringing onboard partners who can help us get there faster,” Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola said in a statement. “We will continue to build for the local market through innovative solutions like Ola Share, Ola Prime and Ola Money, as we grow the mobile ecosystem in India.”

According to Uber it plans to surpass its total ridership in US.The basic difference between the two services was that OLA allowed cash payement to its customers while uber only focused on the in app payments.Both the companies have come to common terms if we talk about payments.OLA recently launched its in app wallet named OLA money which allows customers to makepayments in app.

WordPress introduces a new High speed Editor

Favourite content management system launced a new high speed editor for its publishers.The new editor is fast and responsive and allow users to create posts from both mobile and web.The new editors also allow writers to run both individual and multiple posts.The most promising feature is that it allows users to drag and drop photos,music files and documents.A lot of work has been towards improving the scheduling of post with a new post calendar.

The fetaured are introduced keeping the growing mobile audience in mind.It will be interesting to see how user accomodate to these new features as wordpress always kept its backend classic.