Lenovo Z2 Plus launched in India

Lenovo India has started sending invites of the launch of its Z2 Plus smartphone in the country on Thursday. The company is holding a launch event in New Delhi that’s scheduled to begin at 11:30am IST.

The Chinese consumer electronics giant will be launching the Lenovo Zuk Z2 – which was launched in China in May this year – as the Lenovo Z2 Plus in India.

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Detailing the reasons behind the rebranding in the country, Anuj Sharma, Head of Product Marketing, Smartphones, Lenovo MBG India told Gadgets 360, “Once we are getting into a particular price band, we want to make sure consumers know the brand. We want to sell the phone. We are not bringing the device as token flagship as India is still a big market for us. However, Zuk branding will be there on the box, with the text ‘Powered by Zuk’ as a hat tip for the Zuk team.”

The Lenovo Z2 Plus will be launched in two variants in the country – 3GB of RAM with 32GB of inbuilt storage, and 4GB of RAM with 64GB of inbuilt storage. Both variants are dual-SIM, and will support 4G SIM cards in one slot, and 3G SIM cards in the other.

The Z2 Plus won’t run Cyanogen OS – like the Lenovo Zuk Z1 (Review) did – and will instead come with the Google Now Launcher pre-installed. The company says India-specific features will include gesture shortcuts via the fingerprint scanner. It will also bear a dedicated pedometer and come with the company’s new U-Health app.

The Zuk Z2 smartphone launched in China features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with 2.5D curved high-fibre glass. It is powered by a Snapdragon 820 SoC clocked up to 2.15GHz. The smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with EIS, an f/2.2 aperture, and PDAF. An 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture round off the optics on board the Zuk Z2. It packs a 3500mAh battery that supports fast charging – charging up to 80 percent in one hour. The Lenovo Zuk Z2’s connectivity options include offers 4G LTE (with support Indian LTE bands), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.1 BLE, and USB 2.0 Type-C port.

ESA Maps More Than a Billion Stars in Our Galaxy

The Gaia space probe, launched in 2013, has mapped more than a billion stars in the Milky Way, vastly expanding the inventory of known stars in our galaxy, the European Space Agency said Wednesday.

ESA Maps More Than a Billion Stars in Our Galaxy

Released to eagerly waiting astronomers around the world, the initial catalogue of 1.15 billion stars is “both the largest and the most accurate full-sky map ever produced,” said French astronomer Francois Mignard, a member of the 450-strong Gaia consortium.

In a web-cast press conference at the ESA Astronomy Centre in Madrid, scientists unveiled a stunning map of the Milky Way, including stars up to half a million times feinter than those that can be seen with the naked eye.

The images were captured by Gaia’s twin telescopes — scanning the heavens over and over — and a billion-pixel camera, the largest ever put into space.

The resolution is sharp enough to gauge the diameter of a human hair at a distance of 1,000 kilometres (620 miles), said Anthony Brown, head of the Gaia data processing and analysis team.

Gaia maps the position of the Milky Way’s stars in a couple of ways.

Not only does it pinpoint their location, the probe — by scanning each star multiple times — can plot their movement as well.

The data release today includes both kinds of data for some two million stars.

But over the course of Gaia’s five-year mission, that catalogue is set to expand 500-fold.

Orbiting the Sun 1.5 million kilometres (nearly a million miles) beyond Earth’s orbit, the European probe started collected data in July 2014.

No Man’s Sky PR Strategy ‘Wasn’t Great’: Sony Worldwide Studios Boss

Aside from being one of the biggest disappointments of the year, No Man’s Sky was a debacle for fans and the press. Reason being, creator Sean Murray promised a host of features that never quite made it to the final game.

No Man's Sky PR Strategy 'Wasn't Great': Sony Worldwide Studios Boss

For many, No Man’s Sky was nowhere close to what Hello Games founder Sean Murray promised it would be. More so with a massive Reddit post detailing missing features (which was deleted later) albeit archived on other sites such as the aptly named One Man’s Lie.

Despite Sony’s efforts at marketing the game, it couldn’t stop consumers trying to refund it en-masse. Safe to say, the game was a public relations nightmare. And Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida agrees. Speaking to Eurogamer, the President of Sony Worldwide Studios had this to say:

“I understand some of the criticisms especially Sean Murray is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one.

“It wasn’t a great PR strategy, because he didn’t have a PR person helping him, and in the end he is an indie developer. But he says their plan is to continue to develop No Man’s Sky features and such, and I’m looking forward to continuing to play the game.”

RJio’s full-fledged 4G services available to all from today

Consumers across the country can avail Reliance Jio’s services from Tuesday, as the company opens its doors to all potential users having any 4G-enabled handset in an aggressive quest to garner 100 million subscribers.

According to sources, the Jio SIM — which so far was available only at Reliance Digital stores — will now also be offered through multi-brand outlets and mobile phone shops.

“The SIMs will be available at nearly two lakh stores across the country, including locations where SIMs from other vendors are also sold,” sources said.
A major beneficiary of the offer would be users of devices like iPhone, Xiaomi, Motorola and Lenovo who were not a part of the preview offer so far. RJio, which had already roped in 1.5 million users in the test phase, is gunning for 100 million users at the shortest possible time.

Nearly 20 brands including Sony, Sansui, Videocon, LG, Samsung, Micromax, Panasonic, Asus, TCL, Alcatel, HTC, Intex, Vivo, Gionee, Karbonn and Lava were part of the preview offer which provided free 90-day unlimited calls and high-speed mobile broadband trials to 4G smartphone users of these brands.

The offer is now being rebranded as a ‘welcome offer’, which from September 5 will provide unlimited services till up to December 31, after which users have been promised voice calls – both local and STD – as well as roaming free of cost, for life. The data charges are also pegged as low as Rs 50 per GB, compared to Rs 250 a GB prevailing in the market.

The process of procuring the SIM, said sources, will now be simpler with eKYC, which does not require consumers to physically fill out lengthy forms and wait for an equally lengthy verification process.

The form filling and verification is done using Aadhaar data and the customer’s fingerprint and the facility is being rolled out at various locations.
“At the time of taking the SIM, consumers will have to choose plans – pre-paid or postpaid – and they will continue to get free services till December 31, after which tariff plans opted for will become applicable,” sources said.

The company has introduced 10 tariff plans beginning with a one-day plan at Rs 19 for occasional data users going all the way up to Rs 4,999 a month for heavy data users. Reliance is also offering a Jio apps bouquet worth Rs 15,000, complimentary to all active Jio customers up to December 31, 2017.

In the Rs 19 prepaid plan, users will get 100 MB data and 100 SMSes for a day, apart from unlimited free voice calling. The Rs 149 plan, available for both prepaid and postpaid users, will offer 300 MB data and 100 SMSes with a validity of about a month.
Under the Rs 4,999 plan, users will get 75GB of 4G data as well as unlimited 4G access at night for a period of 28 days or one month for prepaid and postpaid users, respectively.

Will Bollywood look beyond star sons and daughters?

This is not a critique of the kinds of movies that the Hindi film industry churns out. It isn’t a review of the style of acting or lack thereof either.
What this is, however, is commentary from an outsider. A well-wisher perhaps, an admirer even, of the reach and fight that Bollywood puts up in a global film market that’s dominated by the all-consuming juggernaut that is Hollywood.

And this commentary follows an opinion formed from hours of waiting at a barber’s and flipping through the pages of many a glossy Bollywood-centric magazine. The covers of which are usually adorned by men who seem to have the same workout regimen and acting coach, and women who have nicer poses than their male counterparts.

If the description below fits perfectly, the loudest of three cheers to an ability to memorize that I’m pretty sure I lack. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I find it difficult to remember the names of people I went to college with. But it’s simply my attempt to draw a vivid picture and nothing more.

Actor X, the son of former star Actor M and Actress Y who had been a promising star in the making till she gave up her career to marry Actor M and raise Actor X and his siblings, is excited because his debut film is a starring role alongside another debutante actress.

Let’s call her Actress B, and lo and behold, she also happens to be the daughter of a Bollywood couple, a father who was a known for his ‘negative roles’ and a mother who gave up her dancing career to be a good wife and mother.

But wait, that’s not the best part of this new generation starring twosome. The icing on the cake is that they are being ‘launched’ by a director whose father was a producer and at one point or the other worked with one or all of the starring twosome’s parents.

This and similar permutations repeat themselves in the mundane writing and interviews cliched to the brim that fight for space with even more inane and repetitive poses of the crème de la crème of Bollywood.

As an observer, I notice a theme. That most of Bollywood’s talent seem to be the sons, daughters, nephews, and nieces of anyone with any degree of recognition or pull in the film industry. And that they all state that a)Bollywood motion pictures is a constituent of their blood, and b)they have to work extra hard to prove that they belong on their own merit. (Footnote- I suck as a thespian of any worth, but I will keep appearing in movies because why the hell not, till something works)

My argument is this. If Bollywood is this premier Indian institution, this great machine of the representation of India and its numerous cultures, shouldn’t the stake holders look for talent and ideas from all over the country?

I’m a believer in the free market, and Bollywood studios are private entities are free to do whatever they like. But if you must for a moment, consider this suggestion.
There are amazing actors and actresses all over this country, in Ghaziabad, in Kerala, in Jammu and Kashmir, in Bhopal, even in Arunachal Pradesh or Mizoram, who will never get their shots because someone else happens to be the son of a mediocre actor whose uncle set up a film studio years ago.
What has Bollywood got to lose, really? There are so many stories that it can tell, so many different representations of culture and religion that it can portray.

Suriya, director Vignesh Shivan to team up for next

Tamil actor Suriya, who is currently busy with Tamil actioner S3, also known as Singam 3, will team up with Naanum Rowdydhaan director Vignesh Shivan for a yet-untitled film.


“Happy to associate with Suriya and Vignesh Shivan for our next project. Anirudh Ravichander has been roped in to compose the tunes,” read a statement from Studio Green, who will be bankrolling the project.

The Tamil film, which happens to be Suriya’s 35th film, is expected to go on the floors next month.
According to a source close to the film’s unit, the makers are most likely to rope in Keerthy Suresh or Nayanthara as the leading lady.
Suriya’s home banner 2D Entertainment will co-produce the film.

Michael Clarke flies young Nepalese spinner to Australia to train at his academy

The young leg-spinner from Nepal Sandeep Lamichhane is currently staying with a local family as he prepares to play for Michael Clarke’s club.

Sandeep Lamichhane,16, from Nepal impressed Michael Clarke recently during his coaching spell in Hong Kong. The former Australian captain was impressed with the leg-spinner’s outstanding potential and that promted him to allow Lamichhane to train at his academy at Sydney and play for his club.

Sandeep Lamichhane

“It is a really exciting opportunity to have such a talented Nepalese cricketer travel this distance to come and test his skills and improve his game at my academy. Sandeep is a fantastic young man who enjoys his cricket and is extremely passionate about the game,” said Clarke, who sponsored the boy to get him to Australia.

Lamichhane who has already represented Nepal under-19s is staying in Sydney with a local family as he prepares for the upcoming season where he is going to play for Pup’s club Western Sydney.

“Thank you very much @MClarke23 for your kind words and for inviting me to Australia. Looking forward to give my best,” Lamichhane tweeted on Tuesday.

Manchester City eyeing nothing less than a win in Manchester derby: David Silva

Table-topper Manchester City sit marginally above Manchester United on goal difference after both sides won their first three league games but the Citizen swill miss Sergio Aguero for the crucial clash on Saturday.

Nothing less than victory will do for Manchester City in Saturday’s feisty Premier League derby against Manchester United, playmaker David Silva has said.

David Silva

Silva, who scored both goals in Spain’s friendly win over Belgium last week and two more against Liechtenstein in their World Cup qualifier on Monday, has featured in all of City’s league games this season under manager Pep Guardiola.

Table-topper City sit marginally above United on goal difference after both sides won their first three league games.

“It’s going to be a very beautiful game. The two teams arrive to this game having taken good results and after making wholesale changes in every sense,” the 30-year-old told Spanish radio station Cope.

“We’ve started the season very well and it should be a great game. But we won’t be playing for a draw. We will go out to win the match.”

City have won three times and drew one in their last five top flight meetings with United at Old Trafford.

“It’s a ground where in the last few years things have gone okay for us. We know they are a very difficult rival – but we won’t settle for a draw,” Silva added.

Healthy Kitchen Staples for Fast, Cheap Meals

Shopping for groceries can be overwhelming—you’ve got crowds to dodge and a budget to keep in mind, not to mention the candy aisle calling your name. But that trip to the supermarket “is one of the most important things you’ll do all week,” says Cynthia Sass, RD, Health’s contributing nutrition editor, because the foods you put in your shopping cart can make or break your healthy-eating goals.

And while there are plenty of trendy new health products on grocery store shelves—from pea protein chips to donkey milk—when you’re trying to eat healthy and save, members of Reddit’s r/Eat Cheap and Healthy forum know how important it is to stock up on basics. Whether you’re in need of a quick pantry dinner recipe or creative new ways to use up your zucchini stockpile, this community of budget-conscious cooks has answers. Here, 15 ingredients that r/Eat Cheap and Healthy users always keep in their kitchens, plus suggestions for incorporating these foods into easy meals.

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Frozen veggies

“Throw your favorite frozen veggies in a pan, cube some extra firm tofu and throw it into the pan, add stir fry sauce to your liking (my favorite is House of Tsang’s), and heat until everything is warm. Optional is to serve it with a bag of that $1 frozen brown rice, and garnish it all with fresh green onion, sesame seeds, and Sriracha. If you want to get super fancy, throw in some matchstick carrots and shredded cabbage.”

Eggs

“Eggs. Lots of eggs. Make an omelet. Make a frittata. Throw in veggies. Throw in frozen ham steak. Mix an egg in instant ramen. Hard boil them and make egg salad.”

Pesto

“Pesto has saved me from a life of just getting pizza whenever I’m home from work tired. It’s so easy. I keep pesto sauce, penne, bell peppers, and tinned sweetcorn always stocked. Add a load of black pepper, chili flakes, and some garlic granules perhaps. Takes as long as it takes to cook penne and is super easy.”

Tortillas

“Wraps are my godsend because you can throw whatever in them and it’s great, they are calorific but you can stuff them with healthy things.”

Tomatoes

“They can become pasta sauce, Shakshuka, a sandwich, a salad. Very versatile depending on how much effort you want to put into the meal.”

Tuna

“I like the pre-flavored and portioned tuna packets. They go on sale for $1 and I stock up. Eat straight from the pouch or mix in a salad or pasta.”

Frozen fruit

“I snack on frozen mango chunks and frozen blueberries all the time in the morning or when it’s hot. No preparation needed. But you can make smoothies too! They thaw out relatively fast so you could put some in your yogurt or oatmeal.”

Rice

“Take some rice, I use minute brown rice, and [microwave] it. Add a can of kidney beans, add a can of collard greens, add some Creole seasoning, mix it together and [microwave] it for a minute or two. Literally takes five minutes. I have a couple variations on seasonings I like (vegetables here are either canned or frozen): Rice + Black Beans + Sweet potato + Chili seasoning, Rice + Black beans + Corn + Lime juice + Taco seasoning, Rice + Green peas + cauliflower + Carrots + Curry powder. You could throw any of these in a tortillas as well.”

Oatmeal

“Don’t buy instant: it’s incredibly not worth the cost. If you can afford the expense I would buy the cheapest per ounce container you can find of just plain rolled oats, or steel cut if you prefer. It’ll probably be big, but it doesn’t go bad. I strongly recommend overnight oats. Not because they’re tasty (I’m ambivalent on the subject) but because having a breakfast that you can reach for and instantly eat in the morning is beyond luxurious.”

Potatoes

“Potatoes, potatoes, and potatoes. Doesn’t get cheaper or more nutrient dense.”

Cabbage

“Cabbage is always a great choice—purple is especially full of antioxidants, and I’ve never seen either variety at more than 80 cents a pound. … Cook [them] with potatoes and you’ve got a delicious, healthy, cheap and super filling meal.”

Ginger

“[It’s] a cheap way to add a lot of flavor, especially if you’re going to be doing rice dishes; a 50 cent piece of ginger will last several meals, in my experience.”

Avocados

“Put them on toast, use them in smoothies. Make guacamole. Eat it plain.”

Chicken breasts

“Put some chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and some salsa into a slow cooker for a few hours… makes juicy taco meat for the week. Buy some shredded cheese, avocado and other toppings. Good in tortillas, nachos, Quesadillas mixed in Spanish rice, all kinds of stuff.” —Brrblues

Beans

“Scrambled eggs, beans, and greens are my go-to cheap and easy, healthy dinner. If you cook the beans from scratch at the beginning of the week, it’s cheaper than canned (and less sodium if you’re watching that), but even canned beans are pretty cheap. Kidney beans, chickpeas, navy beans, pinto beans, refried beans, choose whatever you like. Greens can be raw salad greens, cooked greens (collards, Swiss chard, kale, spinach), or other sautéed or steamed veggies. Add some hot sauce or salsa for a little zip. The variety from week to week keeps things from getting too boring.”

India May Get 5G Networks With the Rest of the World: Telecom Secretary

India stands a chance to get 5G technology with the rest of the world as the country enters an era of Internet of Things (IoT), Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

“…We got 2G 25 years after the rest of the world, at least after the developed world. We got 3G more than a decade after it became ubiquitous in US, Europe. 4G may be, five years after its global launch. In 5G, we have the chance of being there with the rest of the world,” Deepak said.

He added that the probable simultaneous launch of 5G in India along with the rest of the world could be from bridging the gap that had prevailed and the country might as well take a step forward and acquire a leadership position in certain areas as it enters into an era of Internet of Things with connected devices and machines.

India May Get 5G Networks With the Rest of the World: Telecom Secretary

Deepak was speaking after inaugurating the first edition of ‘IoT India Congress’ that aims to bring together key stakeholders across the value chain and verticals to collaborate.

“The IoT, which is estimated to have…something like 50 billion connected devices in the next 5-6 years, will unleash a business opportunity for India, at least of USD 15 billion,” he said.

In a recorded video address to the Congress, Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, IoT is important because connected devices are going to become the order of the day.

“IoT is important more for the poor, for the farmers, for healthcare, for education sectors, to make the quality of life better…,” the Minister said. Deepak said a very ‘vibrant’ IoT ecosystem would be seen in India very soon.

The Department of Telecom has come out with a machine- to-machine (M2M) roadmap which seeks to synergise regulators, bodies involved in development of standards, manufacturers and perspective users so that associated industries could benefit.

Pointing out the initiatives like Telecommunications Standards Development Society India and others by the Department of Telecom, he said “Leveraging technology is an objective which pervades the whole of government. The Department of IT has developed an IoT policy which is in the draft stage and under consultation…”

Stating that there is lot of work in progress like KYC norms for SIM embedded M2M devices, 13 digits numbering scheme for IoT – for SIM embedded M2M devices, he said, “The Department of Telecom has requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for recommendations in the area of quality of service standards of international roaming system and requirement of additional spectrum for an IoT ecosystem in India.

“As soon as the recommendations are received we hope to come out with specific decisions…” he said.