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The Tech Weekender: India bans 118 Chinese apps, Edward Snowden vindicated, PM Modi's Twitter account hacked, and more

In case you missed them, here are the biggest developments from the world of tech from the week ending September 5.

September 06, 2020 / 01:49 PM IST
The Indian government recently added 118 more Chinese apps to the list of banned apps in the country. The government said that these apps are engaged in activities that are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order". The latest list of banned apps includes PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite, Ludo All-Star, WeChat Work, Baidu, and several other popular apps. In total, the number of Chines apps banned in India has gone up to 224.
The Indian government recently added 118 more Chinese apps to the list of banned apps in the country. The government said that these apps are engaged in activities that are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order". The latest list of banned apps includes PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite, Ludo All-Star, WeChat Work, Baidu, and several other popular apps. In total, the number of Chinese apps banned in India has gone up to 224.
Seven years ago, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance programme and had been a fugitive ever since. He was forced to flee the country and faces espionage charges in the US to this day. However, a ruling handed down by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said that the NSA broke the law with the warrantless collection of phone metadata or bulk records of call history of millions of Americans. The court observed that collecting this information of American citizens violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. After the ruling, Edward Snowden said that it was a vindication of his decision to blow the whistle on the NSA's programme.
Seven years ago, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance programme and had been a fugitive ever since. He was forced to flee the country and faces espionage charges in the US to this day. However, a ruling handed down by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said that the NSA broke the law with the warrantless collection of phone metadata or bulk records of call history of millions of Americans. The court observed that collecting this information of American citizens violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. After the ruling, Edward Snowden said that it was a vindication of his decision to blow the whistle on the NSA's programme.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar launched a new mobile shooter in India titled Fearless And United Guard (FAU-G) in the wake of the latest Chinese app ban. FAU-G was unveiled as an alternative to PUBG Mobile, which was one of the apps banned in the country. The actor said that not only will FAU-G support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat but also help the family of martyrs. Twenty percent of the game's net proceeds will be donated to the 'Bharat Ke Veer Trust' set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar launched a new mobile shooter in India titled Fearless And United Guard (FAU-G) in the wake of the latest Chinese app ban. FAU-G was unveiled as an alternative to PUBG Mobile, which was one of the apps banned in the country. The actor said that not only will FAU-G support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat but also help the family of martyrs. Twenty percent of the game's net proceeds will be donated to the 'Bharat Ke Veer Trust' set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Facebook has come under scrutiny after its handling of hate speech on its platform in India. Under pressure from a Parliamentary committee, the social media network banned BJP MLA T Raja Singh from Facebook and Instagram for violating its policy around content promoting violence and hate. The pressure on Facebook mounted after a report in the Wall Street Journal cited that that Facebook's policy on hate speech was at odds with Indian politics.
Facebook has come under scrutiny after its handling of hate speech on its platform in India. Under pressure from a Parliamentary committee, the social media network banned BJP MLA T Raja Singh from Facebook and Instagram for violating its policy around content promoting violence and hate. The pressure on Facebook mounted after a report in the Wall Street Journal cited that that Facebook's policy on hate speech was at odds with Indian politics.
The Mobile World Congress 2020 was one of the first big events of the year that was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, six months on, IFA Berlin 2020 kicked off as scheduled. The IFA consumer electronic fair in Berlin was massively scaled back from the regular "240,000 visitors and 6,000 media representatives from 80 countries". IFA staged a hybrid event with a combination of online and in-person events.
The Mobile World Congress 2020 was one of the first big events of the year that was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, six months on, IFA Berlin 2020 kicked off as scheduled. The IFA consumer electronic fair in Berlin was massively scaled back from the regular "240,000 visitors and 6,000 media representatives from 80 countries". IFA staged a hybrid event with a combination of online and in-person events.
Realme launched five smartphones this week in India and China. The mid-range Realme 7 series succeeds the Realme 6 series in India, while the Realme X7 series and Realme V3 are new 5G handsets that debuted in China. The Realme 7 and Realme 7 Pro debut in India's sub-15K and sub-20K segment and bring decent improvements over their predecessors. The Realme X7 Pro launched in China as the company's flagship offering with a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chipset, a 64 MP quad-camera setup, a 120Hz OLED display, and superfast 65W charging support. The Realme X7 is a more affordable 5G phone with a Mediatek Dimensity 800U, while the Realme V3 is an ultra-affordable phone with a Dimensity 720 5G SoC.
Realme launched five smartphones this week in India and China. The mid-range Realme 7 series succeeds the Realme 6 series in India, while the Realme X7 series and Realme V3 are new 5G handsets that debuted in China. The Realme 7 and Realme 7 Pro debuted in India's sub-15K and sub-20K segment and brings decent improvements over their predecessors. The Realme X7 Pro launched in China as the company's flagship offering with a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chipset, a 64 MP quad-camera setup, a 120Hz OLED display, and superfast 65W charging support. The Realme X7 is a more affordable 5G phone with a Mediatek Dimensity 800U, while the Realme V3 is an ultra-affordable phone with a Dimensity 720 5G SoC.
The Twitter account of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hacked this week. The hacker had uploaded a series of tweets asking followers of the PM to donate to a relief fund through cryptocurrency. The tweets asking followers to donate were immediately taken down, and Twitter said it was "actively investigating the situation".
The Twitter account of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hacked this week. The hacker had uploaded a series of tweets asking followers of the PM to donate to a relief fund through cryptocurrency. The tweets asking followers to donate were immediately taken down, and Twitter said it was "actively investigating the situation".
Oppo launched its mid-range F17 series in India this week. The Oppo F17 and F17 Pro are mid-tier phones with AMOLED displays, fast-charging support and a quad-camera setup. The Oppo F17 Pro is priced at Rs 22,990 in India, while the price of the vanilla F17 is yet to be revealed. You can check out the specifications of both phones here.
Oppo launched its mid-range F17 series in India this week. The Oppo F17 and F17 Pro are mid-tier phones with AMOLED displays, fast-charging support and a quad-camera setup. The Oppo F17 Pro is priced at Rs 22,990 in India, while the price of the vanilla F17 is yet to be revealed. You can check out the specifications of both phones here.
Samsung's second-generation foldable smartphone was unveiled in all its glory this week. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 was launched at a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event that took place earlier in the week. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is available in a sole 256GB variant and costs 1,799 Pounds/1,999 EUR/$1,999, while pricing in India will be revealed soon. You can check out the full specs of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 here. Also, read our comparison on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Fold.
Samsung's second-generation foldable smartphone was unveiled in all its glory this week. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 was launched at a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event that took place earlier in the week. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is available in a sole 256GB variant and costs 1,799 Pounds/1,999 EUR/$1,999, while pricing in India will be revealed soon. You can check out the full specs of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 here. Also, read our comparison on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Fold.
Nvidia launched new RTX graphics cards this week with new Ampere architecture. The RTX 3000 series effectively doubles performance over the previous generation, offering the biggest generational leap in performance by Nvidia cards in well-over a decade. According to Nvidia, the RTX 3070 can effectively deliver better performance than the RTX 2080Ti at half the price, while the RTX 3080 offers performance equivalent to two RTX 2080 cards. The top-end RTX 3090 replaces Nvidia's flagship Titan RTX. The RTX 3090 can deliver 60fps while gaming in 8K resolution. The RTX 3070 is priced at Rs 51,000, while the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 are priced at Rs 71,000 and 1,52,000, respectively.
Nvidia launched new RTX graphics cards this week with new Ampere architecture. The RTX 3000 series effectively doubles performance over the previous generation, offering the biggest generational leap in performance by Nvidia cards in well-over a decade. According to Nvidia, the RTX 3070 can effectively deliver better performance than the RTX 2080Ti at half the price, while the RTX 3080 offers performance equivalent to two RTX 2080 cards. The top-end RTX 3090 replaces Nvidia's flagship Titan RTX. The RTX 3090 can deliver 60fps while gaming in 8K resolution. The RTX 3070 is priced at Rs 51,000, while the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 are priced at Rs 71,000 and 1,52,000, respectively.
Intel's first 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs for laptops arrived this week. The new Tiger Lake processors are built on the same 10nm process as the 10th Gen Ice Lake CPUs but use new Willow Core architecture with a new "10nm SuperFin design". The 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors feature new Intel Iris Xe graphics, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6. Intel introduced nine new models in UP3 (Previously referred to as U-series) and UP4 (Previously referred to as Y-series) packages. The company also announced Intel Evo, a new iteration of its Project Athena certification standard. Several OEMs, including Acer, Asus, and MSI, among others, confirmed several notebooks with the new Intel Evo standard and 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs.
Intel's first 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs for laptops arrived this week. The new Tiger Lake processors are built on the same 10nm process as the 10th Gen Ice Lake CPUs but use new Willow Core architecture with a new "10nm SuperFin design". The 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors feature new Intel Iris Xe graphics, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6. Intel introduced nine new models in UP3 (Previously referred to as U-series) and UP4 (Previously referred to as Y-series) packages. The company also announced Intel Evo, a new iteration of its Project Athena certification standard. Several OEMs, including Acer, Asus, and MSI, among others, confirmed several notebooks with the new Intel Evo standard and 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs.
Carlsen Martin

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