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Vivo beats Samsung for 2nd spot in Indian smartphone market

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Samsung, which once led the smartphone market in India, slid to the third position in the quarter that ended in December even as the South Korean giant continues to make major bets on the rare handset market that is still growing.

According to research firm Counterpoint, Chinese firm Vivo surpassed Samsung to become the second biggest smartphone vendor in India in Q4 2019. Xiaomi, with command over 27% of the market, maintained its top stop in the nation for the 10th consecutive quarter.

Vivo’s annual smartphone shipment grew 76% in 2019. The Chinese firm’s aggressive positioning of budget $100 to $150 S series of smartphones in the brick and mortar market and acceptance of e-commerce sales helped it beat Samsung, said Counterpoint analysts. Vivo’s market share jumped 132% between Q4 of 2018 and Q4 of 2019, according to the research firm.

Realme, which spun out of Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, claimed the fifth spot. Oppo assumed the fourth. Realme has taken the Indian market by a storm. The two-year-old firm has replicated Xiaomi’s playbook in the country and so far focused on selling aggressively low-cost Android smartphones online.

The report, released late Friday (local time), also states that India, with 158 million smartphone shipments in 2019, took over the U.S. in annual smartphone shipment for the first time.

India, which was already the world’s second largest smartphone market for total handset install base, is now also the second largest smartphone market for annual shipment of smartphones in a year.

Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at Counterpoint, told TechCrunch that about 150 million to 155 million smartphone units were shipped in the U.S. in 2019.

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Olympics, International Olympic Committee Twitter accounts hacked

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Twitter said on Saturday that an official Twitter account of the Olympics and the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) media Twitter account had been hacked and temporarily locked.

The accounts were hacked through a third-party platform, a spokesperson for the social media platform said in an emailed statement, without giving further details.

READ MORE: Kenney government’s energy ‘war room’ chief apologizes for tweets attacking New York Times

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we locked the compromised accounts and are working closely with our partners to restore them,” the Twitter spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the IOC separately said that the IOC was investigating the potential breach.

Twitter advises Android users to update their app
Twitter advises Android users to update their app

Twitter also said Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona’s account faced a similar incident on Saturday.

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“FC Barcelona will conduct a cybersecurity audit and will review all protocols and links with third party tools, in order to avoid such incidents,” the soccer club said in a tweet after the hack.

READ MORE: Twitter accounts belonging to Facebook hacked

Last month, the official Twitter accounts of several U.S. National Football League (NFL) teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, were hacked a few days ahead of the Super Bowl.

Earlier this month, some of Facebook’s official Twitter accounts were briefly compromised.

The top Canadian Twitter trends of 2019
The top Canadian Twitter trends of 2019

© 2020 Reuters

Source: Global News

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Astronauts get cravings too: International Space Station to receive candy, cheese

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A cargo ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Saturday, carrying candy and cheese to satisfy the astronauts’ cravings.

Northrop Grumman launched its Cygnus capsule from the Virginia seashore. The nearly 4-ton shipment should arrive at the orbiting lab Tuesday. It took three tries over the past week to get the Antares rocket off the pad, with it finally taking flight at 3:21 p.m. — an auspicious 3-2-1.

READ MORE: All-female NASA astronaut team wraps up battery improvements outside ISS

“Awesome launch,” Joel Montalbano, NASA’s deputy space station program manager, said once the capsule reached orbit.

Besides the usual experiments and gear, the capsule holds cheddar and manchego cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, chocolate and three kinds of gummy candy expressly requested by the three station astronauts: Skittles, Hot Tamales, and Mike and Ike’s.

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Record-setting astronaut receives warm welcome home from 4-legged friend
Record-setting astronaut receives warm welcome home from 4-legged friend

Periodic supply runs by Russia, Japan and NASA’s two private shippers, Northrop Grumman and SpaceX, usually provide more than experiments, equipment, clothes and freeze-dried meals. The capsules also bring family care packages, as well as fresh food to offset the run-of-the-mill station grub.

This latest delivery should have arrived well before Valentine’s Day. But last-minute equipment concerns at the Wallops Island launch pad halted last Sunday’s countdown for the Antares rocket, then bad weather moved in. Dangerously high wind scuttled Friday’s attempt.

READ MORE: Canada’s newest astronauts finish basic training at NASA in Texas

This was the company’s 13th space station delivery for NASA. The Cygnus capsules get their name from the Swan Constellation.

This particular Cygnus has been christened the SS Robert H. Lawrence in honor of America’s first black astronaut. Lawrence, an Air Force major, was chosen in 1967 as an astronaut for a classified military space program known as the Manned Orbiting Laboratory. He was killed five months later in a plane crash and never flew in space.

NASA-ESA Solar Orbiter launches on historic mission to the sun
NASA-ESA Solar Orbiter launches on historic mission to the sun

The space station is now home for Americans Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan and Russian Oleg Skripochka. Morgan has been up there since July and the two others since September; they’ll remain on board until April. Three other astronauts returned to Earth earlier this month.

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Until astronaut launches resume from Florida — possibly by SpaceX this spring — the station crew will be limited in size to three. NASA astronauts now launch on Russian rockets from Kazakhstan.

Boeing, NASA’s other commercial crew provider, is struggling with software problems in its astronaut capsule. A December test flight was marred by coding errors.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

Source: Global News

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Experts are scanning the stars for ‘technosignatures’ from alien civilisations

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Milky way rising behind Radio Telescope Observatory
The Milky Way rising behind the Radio Telescope Observatory (Getty Images)

Alien hunters are scaling up their efforts in the search for an intelligent civilisation somewhere out in the void of space.

Experts at the SETI Institute, an organisation dedicated to tracking extraterrestrial intelligence, are developing state-of-the-art techniques to detect signatures from space that indicate the possibility of extraterrestrial existence.

These so-called ‘technosignatures’ can range from the chemical composition of a planet’s atmosphere, to laser emissions, to structures orbiting other stars, among others, they said.

Dr Tony Beasley, director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) telescope based in Virginia, US, said: ‘Determining whether we are alone in the universe as technologically capable life is among the most compelling questions in science.’

SETI scientists plan to develop a system that will ‘piggyback’ on the Very Large Array (VLA) telescope based in Mexico and provide data to their technosignature search system.

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Dr Beasley added: ‘As the VLA conducts its usual scientific observations, this new system will allow for an additional and important use for the data we’re already collecting.’

Life forms, whether intelligent or not, can produce detectable indicators such as large amounts of oxygen, smaller amounts of methane, and a variety of other chemicals, the experts said.

Conceptual image of a group of aliens
Aliens may be sending signals through the stars to us (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

MORE: Extraterrestrial life is out there and SETI is busy looking for it

So in addition, scientists are also developing computer models to simulate extraterrestrial environments that can help support future searches for habitable planets and life beyond the solar system.

Victoria Meadows, principal investigator for Nasa’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory at the University of Washington, which studies to detect exoplanetary habitability, said: ‘Upcoming telescopes in space and on the ground will have the capability to observe the atmospheres of Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby cool stars, so it’s important to understand how best to recognise signs of habitability and life on these planets.

‘These computer models will help us determine whether an observed planet is more or less likely to support life.’

Meanwhile, SETI’s Breakthrough Listen Initiative, which launched in 2015 to ‘listen’ for signals of alien life, has released nearly two petabytes of data from the most comprehensive survey yet of radio emissions from the plane of the Milky Way galaxy and the region around its central black hole.

The organisation is now inviting the public to search the data, gathered from various telescopes around the world, and look for signals from intelligent civilisations.

Explorer looking to star on sky at night. Concept astronaut, astronomer, discovery and space study
Are we alone in the universe? (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

MORE: Confirmation of alien life ‘now seems inevitable’ claims researcher

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Yuri Milner, an entrepreneur and founder of the Breakthrough initiative, said: ‘For the whole of human history, we had a limited amount of data to search for life beyond Earth.

‘So, all we could do was speculate.

‘Now, as we are getting a lot of data, we can do real science and, with making this data available to general public, so can anyone who wants to know the answer to this deep question.’

The initiatives and strategies in expanding the search for extraterrestrial life were presented at the the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle.

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Source: Metro News

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