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Microsoft partners with Invest Ottawa to scale public sector startups – BetaKit

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Microsoft and Invest Ottawa announced a joint partnership to support public sector startups in the nation’s capital today.

The partnership will see the two organizations jointly collaborate on programming and support for Ottawa startups, leveraging Invest Ottawa’s Venture Development program and launching the Microsoft for Startups program in the city.

“Ottawa is a burgeoning startup community, and Ottawa is a place where we see a lot of really fascinating startups.”

The partnership is the latest in a string of commitments made in Canada by the global startup program since naming Adam Nanjee as managing director for the country in January of last year. Microsoft for Startups also has partnerships with MaRS and OneEleven in Toronto, Volta in Halifax, Startup Edmonton, and BC Tech in Vancouver (Microsoft for Startups is also the sponsor of BetaKit’s AI Nation series, ed.).

Speaking with BetaKit prior to the announcement, Jeana Jorgensen, general manager, startup and partner experience at Microsoft, expressed a keen interest from the company in startups from the nation’s capital as well as across Canada. Jorgensen also noted that the partnership is the first time in Canada Microsoft has partnered with both a local tech hub and local government to support startups (the global tech giant has similar partnerships in six other regions).

“Ottawa is a burgeoning startup community,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is foster startups wherever folks are. We spend a lot of time in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa is a place where we see a lot of really fascinating startups. But we see the fastest-growing startups [globally] coming out of Canada.”

It’s a sentiment matched by Michael Tremblay, president and CEO of Invest Ottawa, who noted that Ottawa has a similar tech density to San Francisco, with 9.9 percent of the local populace working in the tech sector.

Tremblay is also familiar with the support Microsoft can provide local startups, having worked at the company for 10 years prior to his new role. Beyond technical support and programming, Tremblay pointed out the opportunity to leverage Microsoft’s enterprise sales teams and partner ecosystems.

“This is a natural partnership,” he said. “Microsoft will tap into the ingredients here, and we’ll tap into Microsoft’s global reach.”

Those Invest Ottawa ingredients are unique relative to other tech hubs in Canada, and will provide Microsoft access to the city’s public sector-focused entrepreneurs. Tremblay, public sector VP during his time at Microsoft, highlighted three main markets for Invest Ottawa – connected communities (including autonomous vehicles and IoT), healthtech, and govtech – each of which benefits from the city’s trifecta of academia, industry, and regulators.

“There’s so much opportunity in the public sector,” Jorgensen told BetaKit, noting Microsoft’s ability to support social entrepreneurship through its partner networks and tech stack. Both Jorgensen and Tremblay teased additional social entrepreneurship announcements from the new partnership in the coming weeks, possibly related to International Women’s Day and both organizations’ commitments to diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The announcement coincided with an event hosted at Bayview Yards to celebrate the partnership, a tech hub backed by $38 million in government support from the City of Ottawa, the provincial government, and the federal government through FedDev. Tremblay, also the CEO of Bayview Yards, said the hub was the perfect landing spot for a social entrepreneurship initiative, with Build in Canada, an ISED Lab team, and the Canada School of Public Service all holding space in the building.

Jorgensen agreed, stating the location would help place Ottawa startups a step ahead. “We want to be where those [startup] communities are growing,” she said. “This is another stepping stone in the direction we’re trying to go.”

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4 receive 50,000 bookings in just 12 hours! – HT Tech

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 have received 50,000 bookings in a mere 12 hours. Here is what the company informs.

The recently launched Samsung premium smartphones, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, have garnered more than 50,000 pre- bookings in less than 12 hours, the company informed. The information was provided by Raju Pullan, Senior Vice President and Head of MX sales at Samsung India. The record figures came on Day 1 of the pre-booking opening for foldables on August 16, according to a report by IANS.

“Samsung is targeting to sell 1.5 times more foldable phones this year. We are confident of meeting our target because the new foldable phones come with huge upgrades as compared to last year,” Pullan told IANS. Meanwhile, according to a report by PTI, Samsung also feels the ongoing worries on inflation are unlikely to dent the demand for mobile phones in India, adding that it sees a healthy double-digit growth in volumes this year.

Aditya Babbar, Samsung’s head of product marketing said, “All our internal estimates show that the market will grow at a healthy number and we will outpace at 2x.” In the premium category alone, it is looking at a 1.5-times growth in sales over the last year, he added.

It can be known that Samsung has launched a total of 16 devices across various customer segments this year with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 being the latest. According to a report by PTI, the newly-launched phones in the premium segment will be stocked in 10,000 stores and will be available at 12,000 points to aid the overall sales.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Price

Priced at Rs. 89,999 for the 8GB+128GB variant and Rs. 94,999 for the 8GB+256GB variant, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available in several colour options including Bora Purple, Graphite, and Pink Gold colours.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Price

Priced at Rs. 1,54,999 for the 12GB+256GB variant and Rs. 1,64,999 for the 12GB+512GB variant, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available in Graygreen, Beige and Phantom Black colours.

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Apple iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro Surprise Early Release Leaked In New Report – Forbes

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The next Apple special event is just days away, if the latest report is correct, and will take place on Wednesday, September 7.

That’s according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, who has just reported the date he believes is correct. To be fair, he wasn’t the first to predict this date. Last week, Max Weinbach floated the idea that the event would be on September 7, not September 13 as had been previously mooted. This meant that the likely release date for the next iPhones, not to mention a range of three Apple Watch models and perhaps the next AirPods Pro, could also be brought forward.

The possibility that the event could take place in the week commencing September 5 had been discounted, because the release is routinely a week later. And anyway, Monday, September 5 is a holiday, so flying in staff and press from around the world on a holiday for an event on Tuesday, September 6, seemed unlikely.

Unless, that is, the event is virtual rather than in person. Gurman believes the event is being recorded, so a virtual event is likely.

Moving the event date (virtual or in-person) to a Wednesday, though not unprecedented, is unusual. But holding an in-person event on Wednesday, September 7 would solve the problem of relocating staff and guests on a public holiday.

But a virtual event? I get the thinking behind this, and after all, Apple is very cautious about how it holds its events when Covid is not that far in the rearview mirror.

Even so, I think Gurman is wrong when he says, “The company intends to stream the event online — rather than holding an in-person gathering — continuing an approach it adopted at the start of the pandemic.”

In June, Apple staged a highly successful hybrid event, with a pre-recorded keynote played out on a huge video screen in Apple Park to hundreds of developers, selected guests, and press.

If that was possible then, why not hold a hybrid event now with a smaller guest list, as no devs would be likely to be invited?

That event began with a live appearance from Tim Cook and Craig Federighi introducing the keynote broadcast and it worked well. My guess, and it’s no more than that, is that this is the format that Apple will follow this September when it announces its new iPhones and more.

Of course, we won’t know until invites go out, and until the second they do, Apple can instead opt for a virtual-only event, something I think it would only consider if there’s a sudden spike in Covid transmissions in California. If that happens, then it has its pre-recorded keynote up its sleeve.

So, what does all this mean?

Whether the event is live or virtual, assuming it happens on Wednesday, September 7 at 10AM Pacific, then the shiny new iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods Pro will go on sale on Friday, September 16, I believe.

Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.

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Oppo's ColorOS 13 update has a built-in pixelation feature for message screenshots – The Verge

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Oppo is launching its ColorOS 13 update today, and has detailed the features that are on the way for its devices as they’re upgraded to its flavor of Android 13. Oppo — which like Vivo, OnePlus, and other Chinese brands is controlled by the tech giant BBK Electronics — says the update will be arriving first on the Find X5 and Find X5 Pro this month, ahead of its release on around 33 additional models in the Find, Reno, A, F, and K ranges before the end of the year.

One of the smaller features worth calling out is a neat pixelation feature that’ll be available for screenshots in WhatsApp and Messenger chats. A new “Pixelate” option appears in the editing window, which can be tapped to automatically blur out the contact’s name and profile picture (as shown in the animation above). You can also use the tool to manually blur out the contents of messages. It could be a helpful little feature if you want to quickly share a message exchange without revealing every detail.

As you’d expect, ColorOS 13 includes many of the standard features that Google has built into this year’s Android update such as enhanced privacy settings or the ability to mirror Google Messages on a paired Chromebook. There are also some obvious similarities with Oppo sub-brand OnePlus’ recently announced OxygenOS 13 update, which runs on the same underlying codebase as ColorOS. The two updates share the same always-on display widget designs, including one for Spotify with built-in playback controls, as well as similar design tweaks that include home screen widgets and resizable folders.

But there are also some new features for ColorOS 13 that have yet to be announced for OxygenOS. For example, Oppo has announced a new “Multi-Screen Connect” screen-mirroring feature which will allow up to three windows from a phone to be displayed on a connected Windows PC. That includes two background apps alongside one direct mirror of a phone’s display. The connectivity also simplifies the transfer of files between a smartphone and Windows, according to Oppo’s announcement.

Another small-yet-potentially-handy feature is something Oppo is calling “Meeting Assistant,” which is designed to improve the reliability of calls made via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet by prioritizing their traffic data over other apps. It also reduces the size of incoming notifications in an attempt to make them less distracting while on a call.

Under the hood upgrades claimed for ColorOS 13 include the debut of what Oppo is calling the “Dynamic Computing Engine,” which it says will increase battery life and allow more apps to be kept open in the background.

The launch of ColorOS 13 comes just days after the official release of Android 13 for Pixel devices, making Oppo one of the first third-party Android manufacturers to start rolling out the latest version of Google’s operating system. Check out Oppo’s graphic below to see its projected timeline for the update to be available across its range of handsets.

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