Asus ZenFone AR With 8GB of RAM to Launch in India Soon

Asus launched the ZenFone AR smartphone at CES 2017 with 8GB of RAM, as well as support for Google’s Tango augmented reality platform and Daydream virtual reality software. The company has now started teasing the arrival of the Asus ZenFone AR smartphone in India on its social channels.

Asus has announced on Twitter that it is set to launch the “world’s first 8GB RAM phone” soon in India. The company hasn’t confirmed the name of the smartphone, however the Asus ZenFone AR launched in January is the only smartphone that fits the bill. This announcement comes at a time when OnePlus is set to launch the OnePlus 5 – another smartphone that is also pegged to come with an 8GB RAM variant.

The Asus ZenFone AR is designed around machine vision with a camera and sensor setup that provides motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning. The Asus ZenFone AR sports a fingerprint scanner at the front embedded in the home button. It sports a 5.7-inch QHD (1440×2560 pixels) Super AMOLED display which is likely to play major role in virtual reality. Under the hood, Asus ZenFone AR packs the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor that the company claims has been customised for Tango.

Asus ZenFone AR With 8GB of RAM to Launch in India Soon
The Taiwanese company also confirmed that the Asus ZenFone AR features vapour cooling system to avoid overheating. Asus ZenFone AR’s camera sports a 23-megapixel Sony IMX318 module with TriTech+ autofocus system, dual-PDAF, second-gen Laser Focus, and continuous-focus. The rear camera supports 4-axis OIS (optical image stabilisation) as well as 3-axis EIS (electronic image stabilisation) for video recording alongside support for 4K video recording. The company has opted for a 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture and an 85-degree wide angle lens.

The Android 7.0 Nougat-based Asus ZenFone AR will include up to 256GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) configuration; a 3300mAh battery; USB 2.0 Type-C port,

Ebola Vaccine May Soon Become a Reality

An experimental Ebola vaccine has been found to be safe for humans, according to the results of an early clinical trial developed at the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The researchers also found that high antibodies were present in participants six months after immunisation, indicating its potential to protect people from the deadly virus. This VSV (vesicular stomatitis virus)-Ebola vaccine brings new hope.

 

“The results of this trial were positive and very promising,” said May ElSherif from the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology. “All three dose levels of the VSV Ebola vaccine were well-tolerated by participants, and no safety concerns were identified,” added ElSherif. The study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Ebola Vaccine May Soon Become a Reality

The trial involved 40 healthy people aged 18 to 65 years and looked at the safety of the vaccine and the lowest dose required for an immune response after injection with one of three doses. Out of the 40 people, 30 participants received the vaccine and 10 received placebo injections. The researchers found that adverse events were mild to moderate, with only three severe reactions, including headache, diarrhea and fatigue, which were completely resolved. This study shows the importance of further investigation, according to the researchers.

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An experimental Ebola vaccine has been found to be safe for humans; Image credit: Istock

There have been some recent clusters of Ebola cases in Africa and more are expected as survivors may still spread the virus to uninfected people. The research team conducted the clinical trial “as part of a coordinated, international effort to expeditiously evaluate candidate EVD (Ebola virus disease) vaccines and make them available to control the epidemic,” said ElSherif.

 

An upcoming study at two sites in Africa, as well as in Montréal and Ottawa in Canada, will test the safety and protection levels of the VSV-Ebola vaccine in HIV-infected adults and adolescents. The vaccine was earlier found to be effective in preventing EVD in contacts of recently confirmed cases in a major trial.

Soon, tech to detect heart attacks when one is at wheel

Image result for Soon, tech to detect heart attacks when one is at wheel

Scientists are developing a new system that can predict if a car driver is about to have a heart attack, a feature that would help avoid road accidents due to an unexpected cardiac event.

“A large number of traffic incidents are caused by (drivers suffering) medical conditions while driving, specifically cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and myocardial ischemia,” said Kayvan Najarian, from University of Michigan in the US.

To avoid such accidents, the researchers have teamed up with Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota to develop technology that can monitor and analyse the physiology of the driver and predict if they are going to suffer adverse cardiac events. To this end, they are creating a system that can be placed in the vehicle.

“We would like to test hardware we had previously identified, and improve and validate our algorithmic solutions to see what it will take to generate a system that could look at the physiology of a person, provided by high density electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, as well as other medical measurements,” Najarian said.

Researchers are using machine-learning models to analyse data collected from in-hospital and in-vehicle subjects. The team plans to use heart monitors, which are patches placed on a driver’s chest, to analyse physiological data in real time, and hopes to report results in 2020.

 

 

 

Students can opt for fully online degree courses soon

Students and working professionals will soon be able to obtain a degree online and it will be recognised by higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission. The human resource development ministry has decided to allow universities to offer such degrees and is drafting rules, official sources told HT.

Once the rules are in place, institutes will be able to offer online degrees in all fields, except engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and physiotherapy.

Online education

At present, the commission does not recognise any course offered solely through the online mode. A student can get a degree by enrolling in a university and attending classes or through a distancing-learning module. From this year, the government has allowed universities to offer 20% of their course material through the Massive Open

Online Courses (MOOCs) platform called Swayam. But if a student gets a degree through any online course, it’s not recognised. A number of private universities offer online degrees but not many students opt for them as they are not recognised by the UGC.

The ministry has now started preparing draft regulations for online programmes that will allow universities and higher educational institutes to offer degrees by conducting exams online; students will not have to attend classes physically. The draft came up for discussion before the UGC and the HRD ministry recently.

“World over online degrees and courses are offered by institutes and they have gained respectability. Students will not be required to attend classes but will take e-tutorials to help them understand the concepts. Institutes will have to apply to the UGC for approval and degrees by such institutes will be recognised,” said a senior official.

To qualify, a university would have to be NAAC-accredited with a minimum score of 3.25 on a four-point scale to ensure quality.

According to the official, the online platform will be integrated with Aadhaar to verify the identity of learners at the time of application as well as through the duration of the programme, including examinations. “The programmes can be designed for conventional learners, as well as working professionals depending on what the institute is looking for,” the official said.

Apart from the actual programme delivery, components such as the counselling process, online application processing and fee payment will also be provide online.

 

Students can opt for fully online degree courses soon

Students and working professionals will soon be able to obtain a degree online and it will be recognised by higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission. The human resource development ministry has decided to allow universities to offer such degrees and is drafting rules, official sources told HT.

Once the rules are in place, institutes will be able to offer online degrees in all fields, except engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and physiotherapy.

At present, the commission does not recognise any course offered solely through the online mode. A student can get a degree by enrolling in a university and attending classes or through a distancing-learning module. From this year, the government has allowed universities to offer 20% of their course material through the Massive Open

Online education

Online Courses (MOOCs) platform called Swayam. But if a student gets a degree through any online course, it’s not recognised. A number of private universities offer online degrees but not many students opt for them as they are not recognised by the UGC.

The ministry has now started preparing draft regulations for online programmes that will allow universities and higher educational institutes to offer degrees by conducting exams online; students will not have to attend classes physically. The draft came up for discussion before the UGC and the HRD ministry recently.

“World over online degrees and courses are offered by institutes and they have gained respectability. Students will not be required to attend classes but will take e-tutorials to help them understand the concepts. Institutes will have to apply to the UGC for approval and degrees by such institutes will be recognised,” said a senior official.

To qualify, a university would have to be NAAC-accredited with a minimum score of 3.25 on a four-point scale to ensure quality.

According to the official, the online platform will be integrated with Aadhaar to verify the identity of learners at the time of application as well as through the duration of the programme, including examinations. “The programmes can be designed for conventional learners, as well as working professionals depending on what the institute is looking for,” the official said.

Apart from the actual programme delivery, components such as the counselling process, online application processing and fee payment will also be provide online.

 

12 Defaulters Identified By RBI To Be Named Soon: Finance Ministry

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry today said names of the 12 big defaulters identified by the RBI for initiation of bankruptcy proceedings will soon be made public.

The RBI yesterday said it has identified 12 large loan defaulters who account for 25 per cent of the total NPAs in the banking sector and those will be referred to respective banks for filing insolvency proceedings. These cases will be accorded priority by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

The Finance Ministry further said that NCLT was being strengthened to fast track bankruptcy proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

RBI has identified 12 large loan defaulters who account for 25 per cent of the total NPAs.

“You have got 12 cases that have been identified, the names will be shortly announced, and they account for as much as 25 per cent of the bad assets,” Finance Ministry’s Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal said.

Each of the defaulters identified by RBI owes over Rs. 5,000 crore to banks.

The banking sector is saddled with non-performing assets (NPAs) of over Rs. 8 lakh crore, of which Rs. 6 lakh crore is with public sector banks (PSBs).

Sanyal told news channel CNBC TV18 that if a bankruptcy process has been set in motion, it does not mean that “we are just going to take all of this tomorrow morning and sell it off and auction it off”.

The IBC provides for 180 days for completion of insolvency process which can be extended by another 90 days in special cases.

Economic Affairs Secretary Tapan Ray said most of the regulations of IBC are in place since December and the required infrastructure is ready to handle cases.

“NCLT is prepared, we are further strengthening the NCLT with induction of more judicial and technical members. So they will be able to handle these cases,” Ray said.

For cases under IBC, the NCLT is the adjudicating authority. The NCLT was set up on June 1, 2016. It has 10 benches in India.

Commenting on RBI’s action, UCO Bank MD and CEO Ravikrishan Takkar said that there may not be much left for promoters in all the bigger NPA accounts. “In all the bigger accounts there may not be much left for the promoters. My balance sheet won’t be affected.”

United Bank of India MD Pawan Kumar Bajaj said, “In some cases if you see that the total net worth is eroded in those cases bigger hair cuts would be there.”

RBI action follows government promulgating an ordinance to fast track resolution of non-performing assets.

The Finance Ministry’s economic advisor also said that resolution of bad loans would also help government to arrive at a more appropriate amount required by PSU banks towards their capitalisation.

Replying to queries on mergers among PSU banks, Sanyal said there will be some consolidation, but “that is being done on commercial basis and are on advanced basis”.

“Merging bad bank with a good bank as a way of getting a large good bank is no more valid way of thinking as you may get a large bad bank. So it will be done on a completely different basis,” Sanyal said.