Miscellany

Miscellany

Rickshaws set to all-electric drive in India

India will roll out nearly 100,000 battery-powered buses and autorickshaws onto its sulphurous city streets in the coming weeks, setting it on the bumpy road to making new vehicle sales all-electric by 2030. India, one of the world's most polluted nations, has one of the most ambitious plans to kick its fossil fuel addiction. Analysts say the target is "daunting". Transport is a major source of India's carbon emissions and the Greenpeace group blames at least 1.2 million deaths a year in the country on pollution.

Cassini to plunge into Saturn today

Nasa's Cass­ini pr­obe is coun­ting its final hours be­fore one la­st plunge into Saturn on Friday that will cap a fruitful 13-year mission that greatly expanded knowledge about the gas giant. While orbiting Saturn nearly 300 times, Cassini m­ade discoveries like the liquid methane seas of the planet's giant mo­on Titan and the subsurface ocean of En­celadus, a Saturn moon.

"Cassini-Huygens is an extraordinary mission of discovery that has revolutionized our understanding of the outer solar system," said Alexander Hayes, assistant professor of astronomy at Cornell University.

Pvt carriers may get to fly local fliers on int’l flights

Private airlines like Jet Airways and IndiGo may soon get to fly local passengers on the domestic leg of their international flights, a privilege currently enjoyed by state-owned Air India. It means a Bangalore-London flight with stopover in Delhi could book passengers for the Bangalore-Delhi sector.

Paytm chief alleges misuse of name, identity to raise money

It’s an online identity theft. But it assumes greater significance because here the person at the receiving end is Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the CEO of electronic payment e-commerce brand Paytm!

Sharma has alleged that someone is misusing his identity and name to raise money from people. He took to Twitter and asked public to reject any such email. He is also exploring legal options against misusing of name and identity.

Carmakers face electric reality

European car bosses gathering for the Frankfurt auto show are beginning to address the realities of mass vehicle electrification, and its consequences for jobs and profit, their minds focused by government pledges to outlaw the combustion engine.

As the latest such announcement by China added momentum to a push for zero-emissions motoring, Daimler, Volkswagen and PSA Group gave details about their electric programmes that could give policymakers some pause.

TomTom to manage smart cities’ traffic

TomTom, the listed Amsterdam-based biggie in making GPS navigation and digital mapping products, is eying $7 billion earmarked for the Modi government’s first 20 smart cities under construction in the country to sell its GPS navigation systems for efficient traffic management.

The Smart City Mission of the central government is banking on PPPs as the primary vehicle to raise money for construction 100 smart cities across Indian in phases.

Satellite launch unsuccessful: ISRO

In a setback, India's mission to launch its eighth navigation satellite where the private sector was involved for the first time in the assembly of its spacecraft failed on Thursday following a technical snag after a perfect lift off of its polar rocket.

Describing the failed mission as a 'mishap', ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said the heat shield did not separate for the IRNSS-1H, a backup navigation satellite, to be put into orbit in the final leg of the launch sequence. As a result, the satellite got stuck in the fourth stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle--PSLV-C39.

Google’s answer to Apple on Augmented Reality

Google has had impressive augmented reality technology for years, but few ways to get millions of people using it. The company thinks it has software to fix that now.

Tango, Google’s 3-D mapping system launched as a skunk works project in 2014, used cameras and depth sensors to re-create surroundings on mobile devices and locate users within that new digital realm. To run it, Android phone makers had to make considerable hardware upgrades, and only two companies took those steps.

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