Wednesday, October 18, 2017

YouTube Debuts Comedy Video Series in Virtual Reality

YouTube virtual reality video series "The Confessional" debuted on Tuesday, featuring comedians Trevor Noah, Judd Apatow and Howie Mandel, as parent company Google races Facebook Inc to attract viewers to the new medium.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, has boosted funding for virtual reality video producers since it unveiled in October the $79 Daydream View headset, which straps a smartphone display close to a user's eyes for stereoscopic video.

About 500,000 immersive videos are available on YouTube, and the streaming service plans to increase the titles and genres.

"Nearly half the time in VR headsets is spent in the video," Julia Hamilton Trost, partner development manager at Google VR, said in an interview. "We need to give creators tools to make VR content more easily, they also partner with people to push content to the platform as well."

An undisclosed Google grant to production company Felix & Paul Studios in Montreal funded the creation of "The Confessional." In seven, minutes-long episodes over the next few weeks, comedians and YouTube stars including Lilly Singh and Grace Helbig will confess about embarrassing and awkward moments in their lives such as first dates gone wrong.

Felix & Paul Studios proposed the idea to Google a few months ago and filmed at Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy festival in July.

Underscoring the infancy of the medium, Felix & Paul co-founder Paul Raphael said: "The Confessional" marked the first time in four years that the studio felt comfortable cutting between shots in a video without disturbing the immersive experience. Jumps can be jarring to viewers, especially when wearing a virtual reality headset, he said.

Felix & Paul benefits from government tax credits and venture capital, but most of its work is funded by Facebook or Google. Facebook announced in May plans to spend $50 million on virtual reality content, excluding video games, over an undisclosed period.

Google has not specified overall spending for virtual reality. This year, YouTube launched a training program for video makers with at least 10,000 followers that come with a project grant of about $30,000. The streaming service also introduced a new video format for semi-immersive videos, which cost less to create.

Other Google VR partners have included fashion magazine Vogue and the National Football League.
As with other YouTube uploads, virtual reality clips are supported by ads, with revenue split between the company and the uploader.

Dropbox Pushes Paid-user Subscriptions Before launching Expected IPO

The Dropbox Inc introduced a new cloud-based file-sharing option for individual business users and a new feature for marketing and creative workers to share projects, seeking to lure more paying customers ahead of an expected public share sale.

Dropbox Professional is a new tier in the company’s list of paid subscription plans and is intended for independent workers, while the existing Dropbox Business service is priced for teams or companies, said the senior director of product management Robert Baesman.

The new Professional version goes on sale Tuesday for $19.99 a month per user, compared with $12.50 a month for the Business tier, which requires purchasing multiple subscriptions.The new option includes Dropbox Showcase, which lets designers, marketers and other employees organize all their work into a single portfolio with branding, captions, and layouts. Showcase then lets them track whether the client receiving the portfolio looked at it, interacted with it or shared it.

Dropbox could file its initial public offering documents as soon as this year, people familiar with the matter said in July. The San Francisco-based company is a major seller of software for file-sharing and synchronizing, but is trying to boost revenue by providing new programs that help workers create, edit, share and track work projects. It’s a market that will put Dropbox even further into competition with companies like Google and Microsoft Corp.

Donald Trump Celebrates Diwali in Oval Office of the White House

US President Donald Trump celebrated Diwali in Oval Office of the White House along with senior Indian-American members of the administration, including Nikki Haley, Seema Verma, and community leaders.Cabinet ranking Haley is US Ambassador to the UN and Seema Verma is the administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission and Raj Shah his Principle Deputy Press Secretary were among those from his administration. Daughter Ivanka Trump also joined the President in celebration of Diwali celebrations.

Last year Ivanka, who is now a presidential advisor, had visited Hindu temples in Virginia and Florida as part of Diwali. Trump, then as the Republican presidential nominee, had addressed the Indian-American community from a public meeting in New Jersey wherein he lit the traditional diya.

The tradition of Diwali celebration was first started by former President George Bush. During his term it was celebrated mostly in the India Treaty Room of the adjacent executive office building, which is part of the White House Complex. Bush never personally participated in the White House Diwali celebrations.

In the first year of his presidency, his successor Barack Obama lit the ceremonial Diya in the East Rook of the White House. Thereafter he made it a point in celebrating the festival of lights in one way or the year. _PTI

Facebook Launched Food Ordering and Delivery Service in the US

The Facebook on Friday announced a new feature to make it easier for users to order meals from nearby restaurants and service providers without leaving the social network.

A new "order food" feature rolled out for US users lets Facebook users order delivery or takeout from restaurant chains such as Papa John's and Panera, and on-demand services including and DoorDash.

"People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we're making it even easier," read a blog post by Facebook vice president Alex Himel.

"From local spots to national chains, Facebook connects you with old favorites and new discoveries in just a few taps. You can even check out what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you order your food."

Facebook has been testing this feature since last year and is rolling out the service to users in the United States on its desktop, iOS, and Android applications, with new partners.

The move expands Facebook's ability to keep users on its platform, with services such as money-transfer, business services and ride-hailing available from its main application or messaging services.

Salman Khan's Tiger Zinda Hai First Look Poster

Tiger Zinda Hai First Look Poster: Salman Khan's Tiger Zinda Hai is one of the most awaited movies of this year, and the latest poster released by Yash Raj Films is making fans even more restless for its release.

The latest poster shows Salman Khan holding a gun with a tagline that says: "No one hunts like a wounded Tiger"Salman Khan tweeted saying, "Diwali Gift.... pasand aaya? Ab Christmas pe milna... [sic]"

The makers of Tiger Zinda Hai have been sharing some interesting pictures from the sets of the film at regular intervals.

While some of the photos show Salman and Katrina Kaif's chemistry, others give a hint of the high-octane action sequences.

Several other photos from the movie have also been shared so far. Some of the stills were from fans after they apparently got leaked.See the new poster here. Doesn't Salman look deadly?

Garuda Vega Movie Trailer Released By BalaKrishna

Garuda Vega Movie Trailer: PSV Garuda Vega starring Dr.Rajasekhar as a counter-terrorism fighter is gearing up for a theatrical release 'Garuda Vega' has been directed by the critically-acclaimed director Praveen Sattaru.Some crazy, high-end action sequences featuring heavy-duty trucks, gigantic cranes, flipping cars and crushing vans have been used in the film's crucial episodes.

As a key member of an NIA team, Rajsekhar's character epitomizes the challenges of work-life balance.His wife is played by Pooja Kumar of 'Vishwaroopam' fame.Kishore ('Kabali' fame) as George is the film's menacing villain.Nasser, a demanding boss, plays the head of NIA operations and is based in Hyderabad.Ravi Varma holds the forte with research and technical support.Charan Deep wouldn't refrain from smashing the noses as the team's muscleman.

Garuda Vega Movie Trailer

Adith Eswaran of 'Katha' and 'Tungabadra' fame is playing a character that is on par with the main lead's. Shraddha Das is playing a TV journalist. Sunny Leone comes as a special attraction with a massy dance number.

Adarsh, Shatru, and Ravi Raj are playing trained assassins.Srinivas Avasarala in a funny avatar will tickle the funny bone, while Ali is a psychologist (a bizarre one at that).'30 Years Industry' Prudvi, for a change, is a nymphomaniac.Shayaji Shinde and Posani are rival politicians.

Diwali 2017: Puja vidhi, Samagri, Muhurat Time & Samagri

Diwali/Deepawali is an auspicious festival in Hindu religion celebrated by every Hindu all around the globe. This year Diwali festival falls on 19th October on Thursday in India. It observed on Amavasya of Kartik month of Krishan paksha according to Hindu calendar. 

diwali is marked as the day when Lord Rama return to their kingdom Ayodhya along with mata sita and bother lakshmana after 14 years of agyatwas. People welcome Lord Rama with rangoli and lights and celebrate the day by exchanging gifts and sweets. Devotees also worship goddess Lakshmi with Lord Ganesha on Diwali festival and believe to get a blessing of goddess Lakshmi.

Diwali Puja Preparations and Samagri

For the preparation of Diwali festival, Hindus clean and decorate their house with flowers, Rangoli, and lights. People are required to keep a Kalash with a unpeeled coconut in the temple. Making rangoli at the entrance of the house and office is considered as auspicious on Diwali.

Keep Roli (red sindur), Moli (red thread), dhup, dubda, Kapoor (camphor), lotus flower, supari, cardamom, clove, paan leaf, rice, sugar, sweet, and Ganga jal in thali for puja.

Diwali/Lakshmi Puja Muhurat

Date for Diwali/Lakshmi puja – 19 October 2017
Diwali/Lakshmi Puja Muhurta – 7:11 PM to 8:15 PM
Duration – 1 Hour 4 Mins
Pradosh Kaal = 5:43 PM to 8:15 PM
Vrishabha Kaal = 7:11 PM to 9:05 PM

Google Chrome for Windows Gets Antivirus Feature

The Google is rolling out few basic antivirus features that will help in preventing malicious tools and browser extensions changing your default settings. Google is rolling out new features to Chrome for Windows that will alert the user in case of any suspicious behavior.

First on the list is Google Chrome will now detect if any browser settings have been changed without user’s consent and will offer to revert to the way things were before. There are few installers out there that will ask to change homepage or default search engine or the ones that do it without any interference. In such instances, Google Chrome will observe these and the next time you open the browser; it will ask you to revert back to the original settings.
You can also reset your profile settings at any time by visiting chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings.

Next, Google Chrome for Windows will now have an Antivirus of some sorts built-in which will prompt users to remove any suspicious or harmful program from your PC and will alert you to uninstall the program. Google has worked with ESET to utilize its detection engine for this feature to work. But the company was quick to clarify that this isn’t a traditional antivirus feature. However, this new feature might replace the Cleanup desktop feature which also has similar functionality.
Though new additions mean that Chrome for Windows users might have a safer and cleaner browsing experience, it needs to be seen how Google is going to handle the additional RAM usage used in the constant scan for any suspicions. The rollout with new features has already begun for Windows users.

WhatsApp adds Live Location Sharing for Android and iOS

WhatsApp is rolling out a new live location sharing feature on both Android and iOS today. You could choose to share your real-time location for 15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours with your loved ones in chat message with a single person or a group.

I always dislike giving directions to people over the phone and have always relied on WhatsApp location sharing feature to keep it simple. This new update makes location sharing even more seamless.

The feature will be rolling out in the coming weeks to users on Android or iOS. And for those who are conscious about sharing your location, the company claims the data is encrypted from end to end. WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook is by far the most popular mobile messaging app with over a billion users and I see this feature becoming popular very soon.

Such a feature could be a big win for law enforcement agencies worldwide to track down individuals who are in trouble. Women will surely appreciate this feature as crimes against women drove the government to mandate a panic button on smartphones in India to ensure women safety.

The telegram has had this feature for quite some time and looks like WhatsApp is picking up one more feature from Telegram. Google Maps has also had the ability to share your location with family and friends.

What’s your most wanted feature on WhatsApp? I’d like the ability to use the same mobile number on multiple devices! But then that is what Telegram is for.