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Facebook cancels annual conference as virus fears rattle firms –



Facebook Inc is cancelling its annual developer conference due to fears over the coronavirus, as growing concerns about the economic effects of the global outbreak drove stocks in the United States to tumble for a sixth straight day.

Facebook’s F8 conference, which attracted 5,000 people from around the world last year, was scheduled to be held on May 5 and 6 in San Jose, California.

Also on Thursday, Microsoft Corp said it still plans to hold its own developer conference in Seattle later in May but withdrew from a gaming conference scheduled for next month in San Francisco, joining a host of multinationals in calling off corporate events and grounding employees from travel as a result of the outbreak.

Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of platform partnerships, said that instead of the F8 event the company would organise “a combo of locally hosted events, videos and livestreamed content”.

A Facebook spokesman told Reuters the company has imposed temporary restrictions on business travel for its employees to mainland China, South Korea and Italy, where a significant number of cases have been reported.

Smaller companies are taking action, too. Santa Monica, California-based skincare products seller Beautycounter said on Thursday it cancelled a three-day leadership development conference scheduled for San Francisco’s convention centre next week and will instead hold a one-day online gathering.

Microsoft likewise plans to hold a digital-only event from March 16-18 in place of the Game Developers Conference. Facebook earlier pulled out of the gaming conference and called off its 4,000-participant global marketing conference, also a San Francisco-based event.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported a coronavirus case of unknown origin in northern California, where some of the world’s biggest tech companies are based. It is potentially the first incident of the virus spreading within US communities.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday that the state is monitoring more than 8,400 people for coronavirus symptoms after arrival on commercial flights, but California lacks test kits and is being held back by federal testing rules.

Exhibitor exodus

The South by Southwest music and tech festival, set to be held in Austin, Texas, in March, said in a statement that it has seen “a handful” of cancellations related to the virus, but the event will proceed as planned.

Earlier this month, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the annual telecoms industry gathering in Barcelona, was called off after a mass exodus by exhibitors due to fears over the coronavirus.

AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and International Business Machines Corp earlier withdrew from the RSA cybersecurity conference taking place this week in San Francisco, citing coronavirus concerns.

Job search engine Indeed, which is based in Austin but has offices worldwide, told Reuters on Thursday that it had restricted some international travel, temporarily closed some offices and recommended some people work from home as part of its response to the coronavirus.

“While for the most part it remains business as usual, we’re continually evaluating the crisis and adjusting tactics based on evolving information to keep our workforce safe,” an Indeed spokeswoman said.

Alphabet Inc’s Google said its developer conference is still planned for May 12 to 14, but both Google and Microsoft said they were monitoring coronavirus developments.

Microsoft on Wednesday said it was unlikely to meet its fiscal third-quarter guidance for its Windows and Surface hardware business unit because of hits to the electronics supply chain, echoing similar statements from Apple Inc and HP.

Facebook said earlier this month that it was expecting the outbreak to affect production of its Oculus virtual reality headsets, which are produced in China.

Apple typically holds its developer conference in June, but has not yet made any announcements about dates or the venue. It did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company last week said it would miss revenue targets for the quarter ending in March because of the virus, but Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook sounded an optimistic note on Thursday.

“It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control,” Cook said in an excerpt of an interview released by Fox Business Network on Thursday, adding that iPhone components come from the US as well as China.

Cook told the network that iPhone factories in China have reopened and are in “phase three of the ramp mode” of returning to normal operations.

Chipmaker Intel Corp said this week that it is banning business-related travel to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Italy.

The company also said it is requiring workers returning from those countries to avoid working in its facilities for two weeks after they return, and asked workers who experience coronavirus-like symptoms to seek medical attention and not return to its facilities until they are well.

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Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge Specifications Emerge Online Ahead of Its Launch – LatestLY



Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker, is tipped to launch the 11i Hypercharge smartphone in India soon. The device is said to be launched as a rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro+ that was unveiled along with the Redmi Note 11 and Redmi Note 11 Pro smartphones in China this October. Ahead of its launch, tipster Ishan Agrawal in collaboration with 91Mobiles has leaked a few key specifications of Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge. Redmi Note 11 Pro, Note 11 Pro+ Likely To Be Launched in India as Xiaomi 11i, Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge: Report.

According to the tipster, the handset will be launched in India in a single variant i.e. 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage. It will be offered in two colours – Stealth Black and Camo Green. As mentioned earlier, Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge will be a rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro+ phone. So it will carry similar specifications as that of the China model.

The smartphone will feature a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The handset will be powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. For optics, it will sport a 108MP primary camera and come packed with a 4,500mAh battery with 120W fast charging support. Moreover, Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge will get JBL stereo speakers with Doby Atmos and Hi-Res support.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 01, 2021 05:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website

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Nothing reveals new ear (1) black edition TWS buds: Check out the price and features – Firstpost



Swedish entrepreneur Carl Pei’s company Nothing has announced a new black edition of its maiden offering, the ear (1) TWS buds. The lightweight wireless earbuds feature a new smoky finish visible through the distinctive transparent case. The silicone earbuds and the internal casing are finished in matte black.

Priced at Rs 6,999, the Nothing ear (1) black edition buds have the same features as the standard ear (1), including 34 hours of playtime (with the case) and active noise cancellation.

Other features include in-ear detection, Find My Earbud, fast pairing and Clear Voice technology, among others.

The Nothing ear (1) black edition TWS buds will go on sale starting 13 December. Image: Nothing

“Nothing is here to make a positive difference. Our newly carbon-neutral ear (1) is the first step in our journey to sustainability,” said Pei, co-founder and CEO of Nothing.

Those interested can buy the Nothing ear (1) black edition 13 December onwards on Flipkart, with the sale commencing at 12:00 pm. Additionally, individuals will also be able to purchase the much-awaited product with Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Bitcoin (BTC) or Dogecoin (DOGE) on the website. However, this payment option will be available in select countries only, and India isn’t one of them.

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DAZN named Apple TV App of the Year in 2021 App Store Awards – DAZN News US



DAZN has been named the Apple TV App of the Year in the tech giant’s 2021 App Store Awards, which recognises the 15 best apps and games across Apple’s various devices this year.

This year’s best apps and games offered extraordinary experiences across Apple devices, and DAZN joins apps such as Craft, LumaFusion and Toca Life World in receiving distinction in this year’s awards.

“The developers who won App Store Awards in 2021 harnessed their own drive and vision to deliver the best apps and games of the year — sparking the creativity and passion of millions of users around the world,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. 

“From self-taught indie coders to inspiring leaders building global businesses, these standout developers innovated with Apple technology, with many helping to foster the profound sense of togetherness we needed this year.”

For more than a decade, Apple has honored the best apps and games at the end of each year. To acknowledge the impact of the winning developer teams, last year, Apple designers began a tradition of celebration through meticulous craftsmanship with physical App Store awards for each winner. 

Inspired by the signature blue App Store icon, each award reveals the App Store logo set into the 100 percent recycled aluminium used to make Apple products, with the name of the winner engraved on the other side.

“To have been selected as the best app in the world in a year where so many of the world’s leading media and technology companies have been launching their OTT video services and apps for the first time is an incredible testament to the innovation and skill of our product, technology, operations and partnership teams,” said Ben King, DAZN’s Chief Subscription Officer.

Apple 2021 App Store awards – winners


  • Apple TV App of the Year: DAZN, from DAZN Group
  • iPhone App of the Year: Toca Life World, from Toca Boca
  • iPad App of the Year: LumaFusion, from LumaTouch
  • Mac App of the Year: Craft, from Luki Labs Limited
  • Apple Watch App of the Year: Carrot Weather, from Grailr


  • iPhone Game of the Year: “League of Legends: Wild Rift,” from Riot Games
  • iPad Game of the Year: “MARVEL Future Revolution,” from Netmarble Corporation
  • Mac Game of the Year: “Myst,” from Cyan
  • Apple TV Game of the Year: “Space Marshals 3,” from Pixelbite
  • Apple Arcade Game of the Year: “Fantasian,” from Mistwalker
  • Trend of the Year: Connection (Among Us!” From Innersloth; Bumble, from Bumble Inc.; Canva, from Canva; EatOkra, from Anthony Edwards Jr. and Janique Edwards; Peanut, from Peanut App Limited)

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