OnePlus 6 – Review

One Plus is fairly a new company in the smartphone industry but it seems like an old player given its growing popularity in the market. Just few hours ago, OnePlus raised the curtains over its new flagship smartphone OnePlus 6. The all-new OnePlus 6 is technically the company’s eighth smartphone and aims to challenge some of the big names in the premium smartphone segment. To get the basics first, OnePlus 6 got launched globally at an event in London on May 16 and will be launched in the Indian market at an event in Mumbai scheduled for 3 pm today. The smartphone comes in three colour options — Mirror Black, Midnight Black and Silk White. Alongside with these, there’s also a special Marvel Avengers Limited Edition. We have been using the Mirror Blackvariant of the device. At first glance, OnePlus 6 appears just like its predecessor OnePlus 5T. However, on a closer look one can notice several changes. The overall essence is that of a typical OnePlus handset. Other than that you have an elliptical-shaped fingerprint sensor at the back, new position for the dual rear cameras, change in position of the alert slider to the right (finally!) and of course, the notch on the display (slight cutout on the display). It is yet to be seen how many apps support this notch but at least during the in brief time we had with the device, we did see OnePlus’ own apps not shying away from covering the notch most of the times.  What’s also interesting is the arrival of the glass back panel, something OnePlus is doing for the first time and seems to have done it in a right way. The Mirror Black variant we are using, is the most glossy variant you can get. Although Midnight Black and Silk White versions also have glass back panels, they are designed in a way that they hide the smudges and fingerprints, something users may like. What they won’t like is that despite having a glass back, which improves signal reception, the smartphone lacks wireless charging tech. The OnePlus 6 sticks with its Dash Charging technology. As expected, the smartphone runs Android 8.1 Oreo-based OxygenOS 5.1.2 out of the box and supports Android P beta as well. So you can use all the Oreo goodies in this device along with some new features OxygenOS brings onboard. There’s no major overhaul on the UI front except for some subtle changes. These are visible when you move the alert slider or when you use screen gestures. There are some new gestures that aim to make it easier for you to access the Home Screen faster using screen swipes. You can turn it on from the Settings app and get rid of the on-screen navigation buttons. The gaming mode has also been improved and so has the connectivity speed support. You will also find a new way to search for apps in the app drawer.

But then everything depends on how familiar they become and how fast. Talking about ‘fast’, OnePlus claims it has worked on its UI to make app opening animations and other such changes snappier than before. For end users this won’t matter as it’s just a matter of microseconds. But nonetheless, it makes OnePlus 6 sound good. We are still in the process of testing the UI and the processing speed of the device so we won’t jump to conclusion yet. At 16MP and 20MP, OnePlus 6 keeps the rear camera count same as in OnePlus 5T but the Sony IMX sensors it uses have been upgraded to Sony IMX519 and Sony IM376K. The aperture also stays the same at f/1.7 for the primary camera. As mentioned by the company co-founder Carl Pei at the time of the launch, the ‘flagship killer’ has slow-motion video recording but at 480fps tops instead of 960fps which is seen in other flagships these days. But it has also got the ability to shoot 4K videos at 60fps, while others stay at 30fps.

How incidental exercise and strength training can help you manage diabetes

Experts say that exercise helps in regulating insulin response and sugar levels in blood. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then treat it as a wake-up call to start taking better care of yourself. One beneficial habit to cultivate is regular physical exercise. Exercising makes you feel better overall and cuts down on the risk of certain complications which are associated with diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is metabolic disorder with high glucose levels in blood. It has become the leading cause of serious health problems like kidney failure, blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, foot amputation, heart disease, stroke etc. The disease develops due to a combination of defects in physiology i.e. insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. One of the effective ways of preventing diabetes is exercise. Exercise helps in diabetes control by many ways, like increasing glucose utilisation by cells, making insulin more efficient and thus helping to lose weight. “Aerobic exercises should be done for 30 to 60 minutes in moderate intensity. These are brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing and casual sports – basketball, football, table tennis and badminton etc., at least 5 times a week,” says Dr. Arun Kumar Singh, Endocrinologist and Diabetologist on Lybrate, Delhi. “Incidental exercises are important too. There are everyday activities that involve movement but are not very intensive. Performing routine tasks such as climbing up and down the stairs, vacuuming, walking short distances, washing the car, playing with pets and children, and gardening can also contribute positively to improved fitness,” explains Dr. Singh. However, people with medical conditions such as heart disease, poor vision and limited mobility should discuss about the safety of these activities with their doctor. Strength training is another method which is helpful in controlling diabetes. “A gym environment may not be for everyone. Resistance exercises can be done two-three times a week even at home with the help of stretch bands, hand-held weights or just your own body weight. Some simple strength training techniques include lifting free weights, sit-ups, planks, squats and pushups,” says Dr. Minal Vohra, Medical Advisor, BeatO, Jaipur. She says that these exercises help in regulating insulin response and sugar levels in blood. Besides this, strength training is also a great way to lose weight and manage blood cholesterol.

UP govt issues notice to six ex-CMs to vacate official bungalows in 15 days

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday issued notices to six former state chief ministers to vacate official bungalows in compliance with the Supreme Court orders. The six chief ministers includes Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The notices have been sent by the Estate Department and have asked the former chief ministers to vacate the bungalows in 15 days. Those served notices also include Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Akhilesh Yadav and Kalyan Singh. Earlier this month, the apex court had said that former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office, observing that a chief minister was at par with a common man once his or her term ends. The Supreme Court quashed the law passed by the Uttar Pradesh government granting permanent residential accommodation to former chief ministers of the state. While striking down the law, the apex xourt said that Section 4(3) of Uttar Pradesh ministers (salaries, allowances and miscellaneous provisions) Act, 2016 was unconstitutional. The law was passed in August 2016, by the then Akhilesh Yadav-led state government.

Indian economy projected to grow 7.6% in 2018-19: UN

India’s economy is projected to grow 7.6 per cent in fiscal year 2018-19, remaining the fastest growing economy in the world, as robust private consumption and benefits from past reforms help the country’s GDP gain momentum but sustained recovery in private investment remains a crucial challenge, according to a UN report.
The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2018, launched here today, said GDP growth in India is expected to climb to 7.5 and 7.6 per cent in fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively. This is a substantial recovery from the 6.7 per cent growth India registered in fiscal year 2017. “Among the major economies, growth in India is gaining momentum, underpinned by robust private consumption, a slightly more supportive fiscal stance and benefits from past reforms,” the report said. It added that although capital spending has shown signs of revival, a more widespread and sustained recovery in private investment remains a crucial challenge in India. In China, growth is expected to remain solid, supported by robust consumer spending and supportive fiscal policies. Amid ongoing structural reforms, growth in the Chinese economy is projected to gradually moderate from 6.9 per cent in 2017 to 6.5 per cent in 2018 and 6.3 per cent in 2019. While ongoing efforts to address financial vulnerabilities will contribute to more sustainable medium-term growth, the authorities face the policy challenge of ensuring that associated deleveraging does not derail growth in the short term.
The report added that growth in the world economy is surpassing expectations and global GDP is now expected to expand by more than three per cent this year and in 2019, reflecting strong growth in developed countries and broadly favourable investment conditions. However rising trade tensions, heightened uncertainty over monetary policy, increasing debt levels and greater geopolitical tensions can potentially thwart progress, according to the report. World economic growth is now forecast to reach 3.2 per cent both in 2018 and 2019, an upward revision by 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points, respectively. This revised outlook reflects further improvement in the growth forecast for developed economies due to accelerating wage growth, broadly favourable investment conditions, and the short-term impact of a fiscal stimulus package in the US. World trade growth has also accelerated, reflecting a widespread increase in global demand. Many commodity-exporting countries will also benefit from the higher level of energy and metal prices. While the modest rise in global commodity prices will exert some upward pressure on inflation in many countries, the report notes that inflationary pressures remain contained across most developed and developing regions, the report said. Speaking at the launch, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Developmentand Chief Economist Elliott Harris said the upward revision in the global economic forecast reflected in the report is positive news for the prospects of making tangible progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, but cautioned that “there is a strong need not to become complacent in response to upward trending headline figures”. “The report underscores that the risks have increased as well and highlights the need to urgently address a number of policy challenges, including threats to the multilateral trading system, high inequality and the renewed rise in carbon emissions,” he added. The macroeconomic outlook in South Asia remains favourable, amid robust domestic demand, strong infrastructure investment and moderately accommodative monetary policies. GDP growth in the region is expected to strengthen to 6.6 per cent in 2018 and 6.8 per cent in 2019, following an expansion of 6.0 per cent in 2017. Regional inflation is anticipated to remain stable and at relatively low levels. This positive outlook provides an enabling environment for most countries in the region to make further progress in addressing the vast development challenges across economic, social and environmental dimensions. “Deeper reforms, such as strengthening fiscal accounts and tackling the region’s large infrastructure gaps, are also needed to boost productivity gains and unleash the region’s growth potential. 

OnePlus Bullets Wireless headphones launched in India, priced at Rs 3,999

OnePlus launched the OnePlus 6 smartphone in London. OnePlus also surprised with the launch of a new audio product – Bullets Wireless headphones. OnePlus Bullets Wireless headphones is priced at Rs 3,999, and comes in black colour. OnePlus Bullets Wireless Headphones come with the company’s Dash Charge technology. It is compatible with any USB Type-C charger. OnePlus says that a full charge of the headphones gives up to eight hours of music playback. The company also claims that its Bullets Wireless headphones can offer up to five hours of music playback with just 10 minutes of charge. OnePlus Bullets Wireless headphones come with Google Assistant through which users can switch between music, and also make calls. You can also use Google Assistant to ask for directions and navigation to different places. The wireless headphones also come with ‘Magnetic Control’ feature which pauses your music when the Bullets clip together magnetically. You can resume your music by simply separating them. The wireless headphones feature Qualcomm’s aptX technology to offer the best audio quality. It also comes with the ‘Energy Tube’ which minimises distortion. There are 9.2mm drivers as well for a richer bass output. OnePlus Bullets Wireless headphones are also water resistant, and comes with Bluetooth 4.1 for connectivity.

BMW admits mistake in diesel emissions scandal

BMW chief executive officer Harald Krueger and board chairman Norbert Reithofer have admitted the Munich-based company made a mistake in the development of exhaust clearing systems for diesel vehicles. Speaking during BMW’s annual general meeting on Thursday, Krueger said the firm “made a mistake some years ago”, which resulted in the accidental installation of inappropriate motor software in 11,700 BMW vehicles, Xinhua news agency reported. The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) subsequently ordered a recall of affected BMW diesel cars affected in 2018. Reithofer emphasized, however, that it was a “manual, human mistake” which had not led to a false depiction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission levels. “It had nothing to do with a purposeful manipulation of motor use and exhaust clearing systems,” he told investors. BMW is currently awaiting permission from regulatory authorities to correct the software flaw. Krueger criticized the behavior of a few car makers which were found guilty of purposeful emission cheating practices and had damaged the reputation of the German automotive industry as a whole. While BMW offered customers software upgrades for diesel vehicles with the motor type “Euro 5” from 2011 onwards, the company does not believe that more costly hardware upgrades demanded in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal are a technically sensible solution. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has recently sided with local car makers on the subject of hardware upgrades, arguing that time and financial resources would be better spent on the development of the mobility technologies of the future. Krueger said BMW was already the leading producer of electric vehicles in Europe and planned to sell 140,000 battery-powered and hybrid models in the course of 2018. Additionally, BMW will release an electric car for its British Mini brand in 2019 and an electric BMW “X3” by 2020. The CEO urged Europe to assume a pioneering role in e-mobility to prevent it being left behind in the production of new technologies by competitors in the United States and China. BMW hopes to lead by example in structural reforms of the German automotive industry and will present an “iNext vision vehicle” in the course of the year. Krueger said the iNext combined “all key technologies of future mobility” as a fully electric and partially self-driving car with high safety standards. The iNext is scheduled to become available for sale to customers in 2021.

NDMC announces e-auction of three premium hotels in Lutyen’s Delhi

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has announced the e-auction of three of its premium hotels in Lutyen’s Delhi, including the five-star property Taj Mansingh, for a period of 33 years. The other two hotels are — The Connaught and Hotel Asian International. The civic body held a pre-bid meeting for the three properties last week and the submission period of bids is from May 15-June 7.  “The auction of the three properties has been pending for quite a while. We have announced the launch of e-auction for all three of them and are inviting bids. The e-auction will be conducted through MSTC Ltd, a central PSU, and SBI Capital Market Limited will be the transaction advisor for the auction,” a senior NDMC official told . Taj Mansingh was earlier given to Tata Groups Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) on a lease for 33 years, which ended in 2011. The company was since given nine temporary extensions. However, the civic body could not auction the property then as it was tied up in a legal battle with IHCL, which has been operating the hotel property since 1978.
The NDMC had last year decided to auction Hotel Connaught and re-auction Asian Hotel, after they were sealed by it in 2015 due to non-payment of license fees dues.

Royal Enfield wants to replicate its India story in other markets

Royal Enfield will grow and replicate its India success globally by becoming the leader in every market it enters.
The company has just added Argentina to its tally of global markets and plans to get into third party contract assembly once its presence in big volume markets like Indonesia and Thailand reach critical mass. “We crossed 8,20,000 units in overall sales in FY18 and plan to hit 9,50,000 units in overall production this fiscal,’’ said Lal. Critical to that near million production target is the capacity addition from phase 2 of the company’s Vallam Vadagal plant near Chennai. “We will invest Rs 800 crore in the Vallam Vadagal phase 2 capacity expansion as well as in the Chennai technology centre and in product development this year,’’ said Lal. “The second phase of the Vallam Vadagal plant will start production towards Q2 or Q3 of next fiscal which will help with the switchover to BS6 as well. When it reaches peak capacity it will add 25,000-30,000 units a month or around 3,50,000 units a year to our overall capacity,’’ he added. As for exports, the company — which sold 19,000 units, up 26% in FY18 — is looking to consolidate its presence where it already has a foothold looking at growing its footprint from just 1-2 stores to 30-50 stores in the long term. It will also consider local assembly but through contract manufacturing. “In markets like Thailand and Indonesia, the first step is to have market companies for marketing and distribution and the idea is that this should be followed by local assembly,” said Lal. “Our preference is to contract manufacture rather than to set up our own assembly to avail of tax benefits,” he said. The company is also getting into pre-owned motorcycle stores and plans to open 10 this year with a nationwide distribution format in place in the next few years. Eicher took a Rs 187 crore write off on account of the closure of its joint venture with American auto major Polaris. This has sharply dented its profitability both in the fourth quarter as well as the overall year. “After Polaris, we are going to be 100% focussed on motorcycles only,” said Lal categorically.

BlackBerry all set to launch it’s next phone on June 7

BlackBerry is officially introducing its next-in-line BlackBerry Key2 smartphone at an event scheduled for June 7, 2018, in New York City. The BlackBerry Key2 is a successor to last year’s BlackBerry KeyOne that boasts premium build, Android OS out-of-the-box, and the standard BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard. The upcoming smartphone has been spotted previously on Chinese regulatory site TENAA. Based on its listing there, it is said to feature a dual-camera setup at the back, while retaining the physical keyboard.It is further said to feature a 4.5-inch display, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 3,360mAh battery, and Android 8.1 Oreo running out-of-the-box.

“Cyber security a gold mine for jobs” – IBM India

Global technology major IBM has said there is a massive shortage of cyber security professionals in the country, urging young graduates to look this segment, which is a high-margin segment for companies, as a lucrative career option.
The company, which looks at India both as a market as well as a talent pool to serve the global markets on cyber security, said a whopping 3 million cyber security professionals are required in the country but the supply is not even 1 lakh now, Kartik Shahahni, integrated security leader for IBM India and South Asia, told PTI here. “Can I find people, yes I can. But can I find enough number of people? There is obviously an opportunity for more number of people than we actually have now,” Ananda K Vaideeswaran, director and global integrated leader, chipped in saying. Shahahni explained that security solutions currently contributes in “double-digit percentages” to IBM India’s revenue at present, whereas its share of the total staff is much smaller. Stating that the cyber security professionals are “more productive” as it is a margin accretive vertical, he said, “the amount of revenue a security professional can bring to us is far higher than the amount of revenue a non-security professional can.” The comments come amid rising concerns about the information technology sector from a workforce intake perspective. As more and more tasks get automated with the advent of newer technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, fewer number of people are required by the USD 160-billion domestic IT sector to do the same work compared to the past when the industry was one of the leading job creators absorbing millions annually. The IBM executives declined to give a clear answer whether cyber security can emerge as a much-needed succour from an employability perspective, but explained that different skillsets and approaches are required for grabbing such jobs. Vaideeswaran said there is a need for changes from the school and graduation level to the post-graduate level, which will help the industry get the right kind of people. For those who do look at cyber security, there is a need to look beyond ethical hacking, he said, adding this branch represents only 5 per cent of the security needs. “Not enough youngsters look at cyber security as a job opportunity. That is probably an area where we can do a lot as an industry,” he said. He said IBM has been working with universities and tech schools to get the necessary manpower for its the business, and also works with the Data Security Council of India and industry lobby Nasscom on the same front.