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Google launches AI-driven audio news feed available on smart speakers

SAN FRANCISCO: Google has said  it was launching a radio-style, on-demand audio news feed available on smart speakers, personalized with the help of artificial intelligence. The technology giant said it had partnerships with more than a dozen news organizations to deliver an audio feed in the same manner as its smartphone news feed. "This new experience will bring you an audio news playlist assembled in that moment, for you," Google product manager Liz Gannes said in a blog post. "It starts with a briefing of top…

Japan launches environment monitoring satellite

TOKYO: Japan’s space agency on Monday launched a rocket carrying a satellite that will monitor greenhouse gases, as well as the first satellite built entirely in the United Arab Emirates. The nation’s H-IIA rocket lifted off Monday afternoon at 1:08 pm (0308 GMT) from the Tanegashima Space Centre, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). About 16 minutes later, it sent a Japanese satellite nicknamed Ibuki-2 into orbit. The satellite is officially named GOSAT-2, short for “greenhouse gases…

China launches ‘exascale’ supercomputer prototype

BEJING: China on Sunday put into operation a prototype exascale computing machine, the next-generation supercomputer, according to the developers. The Sunway exascale computer prototype was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC), the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan, east China's Shandong Province, and the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao). The NRCPC led the team that developed Sunway TaihuLight, crowned the world's…

Planning commission launches Data Reporting Gaps Study, website on SDGs

ISLAMABAD: Planning commission in collaboration with the UNDP launched Data Reporting Gaps Study and a comprehensive website on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Minister for Planning Development and Reform Dr Shamshad Akhtar formally launched the website and the Data Reporting Gaps Study, while Secretary Planning Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui gave his welcome remarks. The aforementioned Data Reporting Gaps Study was launched at the auditorium of the Ministry of Planning Development & Reform, Islamabad. While…

Imran apologises from party workers who couldn’t be awarded election tickets

MIANWALI: Launching countrywide election campaign from Mianwali, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Sunday apologised from the party workers who could not be granted party tickets for General Elections 2018, ARY News reported. Excusing from his party workers, Imran said he had received 4,500 applications for tickets and it was impossible to award tickets to all of them as only 500 candidates were to be granted tickets to the maximum.  He said he had awarded tickets to the aspiring candidates on…

Google launches second app in China, woos top smartphone market

BEIJING: Alphabet Inc’s Google has launched a file managing tool in several Chinese app stores as it looks for fresh inroads into the world’s biggest smartphone market, where most of the internet giant’s top products remain banned. The U.S. firm on Thursday released a China-specific version of ‘Files Go’, a storage management tool for smartphones, the second China-specific app it has released since its flagship services were banned. The app, which has a small number of users compared to Google’s flagship search and app…

US launches criminal probe into bitcoin price manipulation: Bloomberg

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Justice has launched a criminal probe into whether traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other digital currencies, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The investigation concerns illegal practices that can influence prices such as spoofing, or flooding the market with fake orders to trick other traders, Bloomberg said, citing four people familiar with the matter. Federal prosecutors are working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the report added. Neither the…

Government launches Shuhada Family Welfare Account scheme

ISLAMABAD: The government has announced a scheme to benefit the families of shuhada (martyrs) who offered sacrifices in the war on terrorism. The Shuhada Family Welfare Account (SFWA) scheme was announced during the budget speech for year 2017-2018. The beneficiaries of the scheme include the families of shuhada of armed forces, law enforcement agencies and civilians. Scheme envisages payment of profit to an eligible family member of shuhada at a rate equivalent to given on Behbood Savings Certificates. Moreover, the…

Afghan president launches new ID cards amid row over ethnicity

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani launched new electronic ID cards on Thursday and faced immediate opposition in his own government towards a system that has fuelled bitter rows over ethnic politics only months before parliamentary elections are due. The much delayed “e-tezkera” system, named after the local term for identity cards, is intended to reduce fraud, streamline public administration and give a clearer picture of the population by centralizing data on one digitized card. “E-tezkera will help security in…

PM launches BISP graduation programme, endowment fund with Rs1 bn contribution

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday announced contribution of PKR one billion while launching the BISP Endowment Fund and BISP Graduation Programme here at the BISP headquarters in Islamabad. The prime minister appreciated the working of BISP programme with an outreach of 5.7 million women. He also wished that the graduation program, which is now targeting five districts, should be expanded to include more districts and beneficiaries. On the occasion, the prime minister also unveiled the plaques…