LG Watch Urbane Luxe 23-Karat Gold-Plated Smartwatch

If you ever craved for a luxury Android Wear smartwatch, LG has got something for you. The South Korean technology conglomerate on Monday announced a special limited edition variant of its smartwatch, called the LG Watch Urbane Luxe. Featuring a 23-karat gold-plated body, the smartwatch will retail for approximately $1,200 (roughly Rs. 79,500), and has been made in collaboration with US-based Reeds Jewelers. Rest of the technical specifications remains the same as the Watch Urbane which was announced at Mobile World Congress in February.

The Android Wear-powered LG Watch Urbane Luxe comes with strap made of alligator leather, and is being housed in a “piano-gloss lacquer case.” The 23-karat gold plated body offers more sturdiness than the 24-karat gold used in jewellery, and is also heavier than the 18-karat gold used in traditional luxury watches, LG noted. In addition, the watch sports a deployment clasp, based on the technology invented by Louis Cartier in 1910.

“Wearable devices shouldn’t be thought of as an extension of one’s smartphone but an extension of oneself,” said Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications for LG Mobile Communications Company. “This blending of craftsmanship and technology is a natural evolution of the smartwatch, which is becoming more of a lifestyle accessory than a piece of hardware. We think this is a good direction for wearables and we want to encourage this transformation.”

The LG Watch Urbane Luxe is now available for pre-order in the United States via the Reeds Jewelers website, and will go on sale at the end of October. LG says each of the 500 limited edition smartwatches will be engraved with its own serial number. The company announced that it would soon make it available in other regions as well. The watch will be on demonstration at IFA 2015 trade show event which kick starts on September 4.

Moto 360 Smartwatch Successor

Motorola’s upcoming 360 smartwatch has once again been spotted in a new batch of leaked images showing the wearable device in its full glory. The company has also been tipped to launch the new Moto 360 in two size variants.

One of the most reliable tipsters on the Internet, Evan has posted a press render of two differently-sized Moto 360 smartwatches, indicating it will indeed launch in two case and band options. The new smartwatch from Motorola has also received slight redesign with the crown button moving up to a 2 o’clock position. The external lugs are also seen on the new Moto 360 smartwatch. The new press render corroborates previous leaked images.

In other news, a Lenovo’s Vice-President Smartphone Business Lead of Asia Pacific, Dillon Ye, was recently spotted (via Detik) wearing the next-generation Moto 360 smartwatch during a launch event in Indonesia. On being asked about the new Moto 360 smartwatch launch, Ye claimed that the company plans to launch it by year-end.

Earlier this month, a listing on the Brazil’s Anatel, a federal telecom regulation website, tipped that Motorola could have more than one next-generation Moto 360 watch to launch. The Moto 360S variant was spotted with 270mAh battery, while the Moto 360L was seen sporting 375mAh battery. As compared, the existing Moto 360 model features a 320mAh battery. This however indicates that the ‘S’ and ‘L’ might stand for small and large based on the battery capacities of the listed models.

Two of the biggest visible cosmetic change spotted in leaked images until now has been the presence of the side crown moved up from the 3 o’clock position to the 2 o’clock position and the watch now featuring external lugs.

Metal Gear Solid V on PC Is a 28GB Download Even if You Buy It on Disc

Previously, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PC was scheduled for a September 15 release date. However series publisher Konami pushed that up to September 1 to ensure PC gamers can enjoy the latest instalment in the stealth series at the same time as those on console. What was even more surprising was that the physical edition of the game on PC would be out at the same time.

Nonetheless, all is not what it seems. The game released last week, ahead of its official September 1 date (also known as a street date break) and PC owners discovered that even if you buy Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on disc, you will still have to download the entire game. Reason being, the disc just comes with a paltry 8.7MB of data that’s just a Steam installer.

Considering that the game itself is 28GB and has no preload option, this makes the PC version feel a little more a rushed afterthought than a day one priority.

(Also see: Metal Gear Solid V, FIFA 16, and Other Games Releasing This September)

Coupled with the fact that Konami announced that the game is only downloadable on release day at 12am ET (9:30am IST) makes it all the more disappointing for fans of it on PC as console owners have had the luxury of preloading the game days before release.

This isn’t the only game where Konami has given PC gamers the short end of the stick. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 on PC won’t have the same visual fidelity as the PS4 and Xbox One versions. Of late, Japanese publishers have taken more care with their PC releases, hopefully it’s something Konami takes notice of going forward.

No stress during exams now: 3,000 exam helplines to be established

 

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Taking steps to revolutionise education and make it accessible to all, the Punjab government finally approved the setting up of 300 state-of-art-counselling centres. Each centre would take care of students from 10 to 13 schools.

Presiding over a meeting of career guidance and counseling cell, the State Education minister Daljit Singh Cheema said each counseling unit would be fully equipped with modern technology. Besides a fully qualified counselor, a experienced resource specialist would be made available in each of these units. The resource person would assess strengths and weaknesses of each student and provide career guidance accordingly.

Cheema stressed on the availability of a 24×7 career helpline, just so students could avoid the stress during preparation of exams and results.  He said that in the era of modern technology and fast changing economic environment, students need to be updated about new career opportunities, as well.

They cannot afford to adopt herd mentality and opt just for medical or engineering courses. The new economy and global environment has opened up opportunities for students and they can opt their career according to their talent and choice, Cheema said, as reported in the PTI.

The minister added that when students seek counseling, it is necessary to keep them anonymous, especially during examination and result days.
Meanwhile, to standardise education the state Punjab government also  increased the duration of B.Ed. course from one year to two years besides making it mandatory to clear Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) after passing out.

Teachers delivering poor results to face action: Himachal Pradesh CM

 

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On August 27, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh  said that the government has brought in a policy to review results of Class nine to 12, providing for action against teachers showing poor results and issuing appreciation letters to teachers for good results.

he CM said this while replying to discussions on a private member’s resolution moved by Inder Singh (BJP) in Assembly, urging the government to formulate a policy to bring improvement in quality of education. He also said that the HP government had already implemented the National Education policy of 1986 and 1992. They had introduced free and compulsory education under the same and the National Curriculum Framework has been adopted.

He further added that SSA, RMSA and RUSA have been implemented for qualitative improvement. And also that teachers are being appointed as per the NCTE guidelines. In order to meet the shortage of teachers, the state has appointed 13,536 teachers, while process has been set in motion to appoint 1,239 teachers.

At present the state has 89 colleges, five Sanskrit Colleges, 1,612 senior secondary schools, 880 high schools, 2,236 middle schools and 10,776 primary schools. A total of 9,59,147 students have been enrolled in these institutions,  out of whom more than fifty percent are girls, Singh added.

Sushma Swaraj on a high wave: Germany to now teach Indian languages in educational institutions

 

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A major announcement is underway for the Indian citizens. Germany will now promote Indian languages including Sanskrit in its educational institutions as part of a new initiative while working towards resolving the controversial German language issue that soured between the two countries,  last year.

The resolution reached its end in a meeting between our External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in with the German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeir and German Education Minister Johanna Wanka.  As per the broad understanding between the two sides, India will continue to teach German as an additional language while Germany will promote Indian native languages in its institutions.

“We are almost close to resolution of the issue. Both sides hope to make the announcement during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s upcoming visit to India,” official sources told PTI.

Germany and India went through a national-tiff when the Human Resource Development Ministry had in November decided to discontinue teaching of German as an alternative to Sanskrit and cited “national interests” for its decision.

Germany had criticised the decision and the issue was also raised by Merkel during her meeting with PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Brisbane in November last year.

Meanwhile, Sushma Swaraj too raised issues faced by some of the Indian students in pursuing their studies in Germany like residency status, renewal of visa and accommodation as both sides discussed new initiatives to enhance cooperation in the education sector. At the end of it all, both sides also decided to promote exchange of students as well collaboration between educational institutions of the two countries.

The German government is also planning to set up a centre for advance studies in humanities and social science in India as part of a series of new initiatives in education and Science and Technology.

Smriti Irani makes laws stricter: Schools to declare their assets and fee structure in an interrogation

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The well-established private schools of  Delhi might well be under the radar, as the government will soon be conducting interrogations on their assets, fee structures, admission procedures and on teachers’ qualifications.

A new law in its initial stages is being worked out which will require private-run and government schools to give a number of disclosures and also introduce measures that are student-friendly.  In order to  bring in more transparency in the system, the bill which is yet to be introduced will talk about full information regarding the admission process. The provision to restrict schools from charging a full-year’s fee for students who change schools before the academic year finishes might also be applicable under the new law.

A new set of guidelines will also be set for the teacher recruitment procedure.  Kapil Sibal too wanted to check the ‘unfair practices’ in the education system but his where the proposed law did not get parliamentary nod.

Meanwhile, pre-schools and pre-primary schools running on land allotted by Delhi government have been asked to submit a report on admissions undertaken by them in the last three years within two weeks or face the prospect of cancellation of their lease deeds.

The schools cannot charge the EWS quota students any fee for registration or prospectus. If they are not able to admit any applicant under the quota the schools will be require to give an explanation for the same.

Less time to the syllabus, more to skill development: Manish Sisodia suggests new changes in the syllabus

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The students of Delhi schools might now be facing much less pressure as the Delhi Government is working on cutting down the syllabi of Class 9 to Class 12 to allow students to work on skill education, according to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Addressing a session on ‘Making Delhi the Knowledge Hub of India’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he claimed that barring a few private and government schools, there is “no quality education” being imparted in other schools. “When I had recently met former President the late A P J Abdul Kalam, he suggested me that if syllabi of classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 is reduced upto 25 per cent, you can save one year of students and this time can be used for skill education. I also want to do this”, as quoted in the PTI.

Mr Sisodia added that research on education is the need of the hour so that it could be taken forward. He said, “There has been no research on the progress of education in the country, there is no shortage of talent. We should research on education to take it forward.”

Meanwhile, in a meeting held recently, he also suggested private schools to run their institutes in two shifts.

This is not the first time such reforms are being brought into the system as the AAP government had earlier pushed the idea of reducing curriculum of students to see space and time available in schooling, which could be used for holistic development of children.

Isro, Nasa’s Nisar Earth Observation Satellite to Be Launched in 2021

India and US have set a target of 2021 to put their collaborative earth observation satellite Nisar in orbit, Isro Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said Thursday.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) was working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) of the US to undertake the launch of Nisar by 2021, he told reporters here after the successful launch of GSAT-6 onboard GSLV-D6.

“One of the GSLV Mark II will carry Nasa’s satellite Nisar in 2021. There is a very good chance of commercial requirement. Currently we are working on it,” he said.

Nisar (Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar) will be a dedicated mission to optimally measure intrinsic changes of the Earth’s surface associated with motions of the crust and ice surfaces.

Nasa has been studying concepts for a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mission to determine Earth change in three disciplines – ecosystems, solid earth and cryospheric sciences.

In the course of these studies, a partnership with Isro developed that led to a joint mission with L-band and S-band SAR systems on board.

(Also see:  Isro Launches GSAT-6 Communications Satellite)

Isro has identified a range of applications of particular relevance to India that the mission will address, including monitoring of agricultural biomass over India, snow and glacier studies in the Himalayas, Indian coastal and near- shore ocean studies, and disaster monitoring and assessment.

Elaborating about Isro’s future plans, Kumar said, it was working on enhancing capacity of the space agency by utilising both GSLV and PSLV vehicles for its future missions.

After the successful launch of the first GSLV in January 2014, Kumar said there has been enough demand for both PSLV and GSLV. “GSLV puts satellites in Geostationary orbit.

Whereas PSLV is different. But there is huge market even for GSLV. After today’s launch we are confident of making successful launches in GSLV,” he said.

He said the Isro was working on reducing the time frame for its launches.

According to GSLV-D6/GSAT-6, Mission Director R Umamaheswaran the launch of GSLV-D6 was one of the “shortest campaign” undertaken by Isro.

“The preparations for this launch commenced on April 8.

This is one of the shortest launch campaigns as of GSLV is concerned and today is 100th day of the campaign. Here the cryogenic stage is assembled in Mahendragiri. With this we are able to reduced duration of the campaigns,” he said. Kiran Kumar said, “We made a successful launch of GSLV last year… Today’s was the second.

“We do understand the intricacies of such things. But we should do it day after day. PSLV and GSLV are two different categories. There is enough demand for both globally. We have to make successful launches in GSLV as only numbers will demonstrate.”

“We need more capacity. We need to make sure that more and more satellites are put. Our intention is to reduce the time normally taken for making launches. We are continuously looking in improving it,” he said.

Asked about the future launches to be undertaken by Isro, he said the next launch Astrosat is expected by end of September on board PSLV.

“We are now targeting Astrosat which has got a number of science payloads. This is a unique satellite because it has got many observations on a common platform. we are targeting to launch it in last week of September,” he said.

“We are also planning to launch three IRNSS satellites by December 2015, February 2016 and March 2016,” he said.

On status of moon mission Chandrayaan-II, Kumar said Isro was targeting to launch it by end of 2017 or early 2018.

“Currently work is in progress. We have got couple of tests coming up in the next few months,” he said.

To a query about the launch of satellites made in the US, Kumar said four satellites would be launched with Astrosat.

“US satellites will be launched with Astrosat. Actually, four of them (satellites). It will go next month,” he said.

India to Install 73 ‘Green’ Supercomputers in Next 3 Years

India plans to install 73 ‘green supercomputers’ in the next three years to enable high-performance computing with reduced power consumption, a scientist at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) said on Friday.

“Around five to 10 supercomputers will be installed this year and the rest in the next three years in phases. Through optimisation, power consumption of the machines will be reduced as less as possible,” Sanjay Wandhekar, associate director and head, High Performance Computing, C-DAC, Pune, told IANS.

Currently 11 Indian machines are on the list of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers, including two in the top 100.

C-DAC, which gave India its first supercomputer, said with the 73 ‘green’ machines, the country would be on the Top 500 Green computing list as well.

The machines are being developed under the Rs. 4,500-crores National Supercomputing Mission which is jointly handled by the departments of science and technology and electronics and information technology.

Wandhekar said 50 machines will be entry-level supercomputers, 20 of medium level and three will be of large capacity.

The Bhaskara supercomputer was announced in May to help meteorologists in conducting research and development related to prediction of weather including effective forecast of tropical cyclone, heavy rainfall and cloud burst events. The present augmentation enables Earth System Science Organisation – National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ESSO-NCMRWF) to provide high-resolution 10 days global weather forecast and prediction of extreme weather events using very high-resolution regional models with a horizontal resolution of 1.5km and probabilistic forecasts using an ensemble prediction system.