Paytm Said to Seek RBI Licence to Start Money Market Fund

Paytm has applied for a licence to set up a money market mutual fund that will enable the company to expand its financial offerings to consumers.

According to sources, Paytm has applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start the fund in the coming months, a move that will enable the company to increase revenues from financial services.

When contacted, Paytm declined to comment.

The primary objective of a money market fund is to invest in short-term securities.

The Alibaba and SoftBank-backed company had, last month, started its payments bank operations in the country and aims to garner 500 million customers by 2020.

Paytm Said to Seek RBI Licence to Start Money Market Fund

The company has earmarked an initial investment of Rs. 400 crores to build its banking network over two years.

 

Also, it launched ‘Digital Gold’ in April this year to allow its over 200 million users to buy and sell gold through its platform.

At the time of launch, Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had said it was “the first step in Paytm’s journey in wealth management”.

Paytm seems to be drawing inspiration from its investor, Alipay that set up Yu’e Bao in 2013 that allows Alipay customers to convert the money in their accounts into units of a money market fund, offering them higher interest rates.

According to reports, Yu’e Bao had over $165 billion (roughly Rs. 1,06,565 crores) under management, making it one of the biggest money market funds in the world.

OnePlus 5 Said to Manipulate Benchmarks; OnePlus Responds

OnePlus 5 is now official, and on paper the smartphone looks spectacular. It packs the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, and much more. The smartphone’s initial reviews are also in, and most of them laud the fast performance of the OnePlus 5. However, a fresh investigative report claims that OnePlus has again used unethical methods to fool benchmark apps and has indulged in manipulating benchmark scores for its latest smartphone. However, this time, it’s more “blatant” and “consciously introduced.”

This manipulation of benchmark scores was noticed by XDA Developers, and in its report states that the OnePlus 5 “resorts to the kind of obvious, calculated cheating mechanisms we saw in flagships in the early days of Android, an approach that is clearly intended to maximise scores in the most misleading fashion.” As soon as the smartphone detects a benchmark app, the minimum frequency of the little cluster rockets to the maximum frequency i.e. 1.9GHz. With this technique, OnePlus achieved some of the highest scores on GeekBench 4. The other benchmark apps it affects include AnTuTu, Androbench, GeekBench 4, GFXBench, Quadrant, Nenamark 2, and Vellamo.

OnePlus 5 Said to Manipulate Benchmarks; OnePlus Responds

Without the cheating mechanism, the report claims that only 24.4 percent of results gave the 1.9GHz maximum frequency in the small cores, whereas when the manipulation was enabled, the number jumped to a whopping 95 percent of results. In February this year, OnePlus and Meizu were reported to be cheating on their benchmark scores by tweaking the CPU to an artificial clock speed, and once OnePlus was intimated, it promised to issue a fix in the next OxygenOS update.

When XDA contacted OnePlus this time around, the company’s spokesperson said, “People use benchmark apps in order to ascertain the performance of their device, and we want users to see the true performance of the OnePlus 5. Therefore, we have allowed benchmark apps to run in a state similar to daily usage, including the running of resource intensive apps and games. Additionally, when launching apps the OnePlus 5 runs at a similar state in order to increase the speed in which apps open. We are not overclocking the device, rather we are displaying the performance potential of the OnePlus 5.”

This statement is contradictory to what the report claims, “benchmark cheating puts the device into a state which is explicitly not how the device will run in day to day usage, and it is representing performance that you will not see in other apps that aren’t specifically targetted by such boosts.”

The fact that OnePlus has been caught the second time manipulating benchmark scores is disappointing. Benchmark scores are used by journalists and professionals to ascertain the performance of a smartphone for comparisons. Creating an artificial environment for boosting performance is not expected from any smartphone company, and the fact that OnePlus has indulged in it twice needs to be discussed.

We expect OnePlus to rectify this mistake via a software update soon. Furthermore, this manipulation was found in review units sent to journalists ahead of launch, and it may not be the case in consumer units.

 

OnePlus 5 Said to Manipulate Benchmarks; OnePlus Responds

OnePlus 5 is now official, and on paper the smartphone looks spectacular. It packs the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, and much more. The smartphone’s initial reviews are also in, and most of them laud the fast performance of the OnePlus 5. However, a fresh investigative report claims that OnePlus has again used unethical methods to fool benchmark apps and has indulged in manipulating benchmark scores for its latest smartphone. However, this time, it’s more “blatant” and “consciously introduced.”

This manipulation of benchmark scores was noticed by XDA Developers, and in its report states that the OnePlus 5 “resorts to the kind of obvious, calculated cheating mechanisms we saw in flagships in the early days of Android, an approach that is clearly intended to maximise scores in the most misleading fashion.” As soon as the smartphone detects a benchmark app, the minimum frequency of the little cluster rockets to the maximum frequency i.e. 1.9GHz. With this technique, OnePlus achieved some of the highest scores on GeekBench 4. The other benchmark apps it affects include AnTuTu, Androbench, GeekBench 4, GFXBench, Quadrant, Nenamark 2, and Vellamo.

OnePlus 5 Said to Manipulate Benchmarks; OnePlus Responds

Without the cheating mechanism, the report claims that only 24.4 percent of results gave the 1.9GHz maximum frequency in the small cores, whereas when the manipulation was enabled, the number jumped to a whopping 95 percent of results. In February this year, OnePlus and Meizu were reported to be cheating on their benchmark scores by tweaking the CPU to an artificial clock speed, and once OnePlus was intimated, it promised to issue a fix in the next OxygenOS update.

When XDA contacted OnePlus this time around, the company’s spokesperson said, “People use benchmark apps in order to ascertain the performance of their device, and we want users to see the true performance of the OnePlus 5. Therefore, we have allowed benchmark apps to run in a state similar to daily usage, including the running of resource intensive apps and games. Additionally, when launching apps the OnePlus 5 runs at a similar state in order to increase the speed in which apps open. We are not overclocking the device, rather we are displaying the performance potential of the OnePlus 5.”

 

This statement is contradictory to what the report claims, “benchmark cheating puts the device into a state which is explicitly not how the device will run in day to day usage, and it is representing performance that you will not see in other apps that aren’t specifically targetted by such boosts.”

The fact that OnePlus has been caught the second time manipulating benchmark scores is disappointing. Benchmark scores are used by journalists and professionals to ascertain the performance of a smartphone for comparisons. Creating an artificial environment for boosting performance is not expected from any smartphone company, and the fact that OnePlus has indulged in it twice needs to be discussed.

We expect OnePlus to rectify this mistake via a software update soon. Furthermore, this manipulation was found in review units sent to journalists ahead of launch, and it may not be the case in consumer units.

 

Facebook Said to Have Received Nod to Set up Indonesia Unit

Facebook Inc has received an in-principle approval to set up a domestic unit in Indonesia, said a senior government source from the Southeast Asian nation, home to the social networking giant’s fourth-largest user base.

Indonesia has been pushing multinational technology firms to be locally incorporated, arguing that companies such as Alphabet Inc’s Google set up small business entities to provide “auxiliary” services and get away with minimal taxation, while booking most of their revenue from the country elsewhere.

In fact, Google has been locked in a months-long dispute over allegations by Indonesia’s government that the search giant had not made enough annual payments. The outcome of this is expected to indicate how the government may pursue others such as Facebook and Twitter Inc for taxes.

Facebook Said to Have Received Nod to Set up Indonesia Unit

Facebook is now in the process of establishing a local unit in the country, said the senior government source, who has direct knowledge of the matter but declined to be identified as the information was not public. The social media giant currently operates in Indonesia through an office in central Jakarta.

Indonesia had 69 million monthly active Facebook users as of the first quarter of 2014, placing the country fourth globally after the United States, India and Brazil, according to data from the company.

Facebook did not respond to requests for comment and has not provided an update on the number of its users in Indonesia.

The office that Facebook opened in Indonesia three years ago allows it to work with advertisers as well as small and medium businesses “that need an education on how to market their products”, a Facebook executive told local media at the time.

But according to an official at Indonesia’s communications ministry, “Facebook only appoints people in Jakarta when the need arises, no more than that. Whether they have a permanent office here or not, we don’t even know.”

Indonesia is eager to ramp up tax collection to narrow its budget deficit and fund an ambitious infrastructure programme. Other governments around the world are also seeking to clamp down on what they see as corporate tax avoidance.

Last week, the communications minister said Google’s Asia Pacific headquarters had agreed on future tax payments in Indonesia. But he declined to comment on whether they had resolved their dispute over taxes for past years.

It was also unclear if Google would set up a domestic unit that is separate from its existing local entity, PT Google Indonesia, which tax officials allege simply acts as a sales service provider.

Indonesia’s tax office estimates the total advertising revenue for the industry in the country at around $830 million (roughly Rs. 5,347 crores), with Google and Facebook accounting for around 70 percent.

However, Google has pointed to a joint study by the firm and Singapore state investor Temasek that estimated the size of Indonesia’s digital advertising market at $300 million (roughly Rs. 1,933 crores) for 2015.

 

Google Hires Apple Chip Architect Manu Gulati, Said to Work on Custom SoCs for Pixel Phones

With the introduction of the Pixel phone last year, Google made it clear to its rivals that it was bringing its focus to hardware. Popular for mastering software, the company outsourced the making of its Nexus phones to companies like HTC and LG, but all that changed with the Pixel last year. Now, Google’s latest hire indicates that the company is going all in with homegrown products. Google has reportedly hired Apple’s chip architect Manu Gulati to head its own custom chip ambitions, and has even posted several job postings that indicate Google is on a steady road to building its own custom SoC, just like Apple.

Variety reports that after working at Apple for nearly eight years developing custom chips for many of Apple’s products, Gulati has decided to make the switch to Google. He recently updated his LinkedIn profile to indicate that he now works at Google. Gulati holds 27 years of expertise in the industry, and has worked with companies like AMD and Broadcom in the past.

Google Hires Apple Chip Architect Manu Gulati, Said to Work on Custom SoCs for Pixel Phones

Apple’s custom chips give its products a competitive advantage over Android flagships that largely rely on Qualcomm to produce silicon for their devices, and are known for their industry-leading performance on most benchmarks.

Gulati’s name figures on as many as 15 chip-related patents that Apple has filed in the past – some of these patents are said to be application specific, while others are related to chip architecture. One of these is around Apple Pay and hardware-based security that protects your fingerprint on the iPhone. With his level of knowledge and skill, hiring Gulati is a big advantage for Google and a loss for Apple.

Google, like most other Android smartphone makers, relies on Qualcomm for chips for its mobile devices, and Google division Nest uses chips from Texas Instruments. But all of this could change soon, and Google could introduce a custom chip of its own.