Freedom 251 Maker Ringing Bells Introduces Loyalty Card Programme

Freedom 251 Maker Ringing Bells Introduces Loyalty Card Programme

HIGHLIGHTS

  • There are 3 loyalty cards each valid for 1 year
  • The denominations are Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 2,000 respectively
  • Users will also receive Freedom 251 units as free gifts under it

Noida-based Ringing Bells that introduced the world’s cheapest smartphone Freedom 251 on Tuesday launched a loyalty card programme for its products on its first anniversary.

With silver, gold and platinum loyalty cards, customers will get discounts on purchase of every Ringing Bells product, along with a Freedom 251 smartphone as free gift.

“The loyalty cards will be valid for one year and customers will get 5 percent, 10 percent and 15 percent discount on buying Ringing Bells products with cards on denomination of Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000, and Rs. 2,000,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The silver and gold cards are entitled to one free unit of Freedom 251 and the platinum card is entitled to two free units of Freedom 251,” the company added.

The booking for the loyalty cards will begin on its website from Thursday.

In the meanwhile, yet another unknown company has come forth to announce the launch of a budget smartphone at an incredible price – Rs. 501. Called the ChampOne C1, the smartphone actually features a price of Rs. 7,999, but the Jodhpur-based firm behind the device is selling it at Rs. 501 in its first flash sale on Friday. The smartphone’s highlight feature at the price is the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor.

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The ChampOne C1 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and supports dual-SIM. It features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor with 2GB RAM. It offers 16GB of inbuilt storage. Optics include an 8-megapixel back camera, and a 5-megapixel front snapper. There’s a 2500mAh battery packed inside, and connectivity options include 4G LTE support. It will be made available in White, Silver, and Gold colour options.

Written with inputs from IANS

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ChampOne C1

ChampOne C1

R 501

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1280×720 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

Android 5.1

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

8-megapixel

Battery capacity

2500mAh

See full ChampOne C1 specifications
Ringing Bells Freedom 251

Ringing Bells Freedom 251

Display

4.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

540×960 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 5.1

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

3.2-megapixel

Battery capacity

1450mAh

See full Ringing Bells Freedom 251 specifications
Tags: Freedom 251 Specifications, Ringing Bells Freedom 251 Smartphone, Ringing Bells, Mobiles, Android,Make in India

[“Source-Gadgets”]

ChampOne C1 the New Freedom 251? All You Need to Know About Rs. 501 Smartphone

ChampOne C1 the New Freedom 251? All You Need to Know About Rs. 501 Smartphone

ChampOne C1 the New Freedom 251? All You Need to Know About Rs. 501 Smartphone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • ChampOne is looking to conduct a flash sale on September 2
  • The pre-registrations will be inactive for 24 hours, site claims
  • The smartphone will delivered through Cash On Delivery option

After the uproar that Ringing Bells created with its Rs. 251 smartphone, there is another company that has now cropped up to compete with it. An unheard-of company called ChampOne has listed a smartphone calledChampOne C1 on its website, with a price tag of Rs. 7,999. The company is launching the smartphone at Rs. 501 in its first flash sale on September 2 – for which registrations are now open. Well, sort of.

The website looks shabby at best, and the registration button is inactive. The company has put out a disclaimer citing “payment gateway” difficulties, and says that registrations won’t work for the next 24 hours. However, it says that the smartphone will be sold through the ‘Cash On Delivery Option’ so we don’t see why they even need a payment gateway. Some reports point to a registration fee, which in itself seems fishy.

The Jodhpur-based company has listed a toll free number, and two other phone support numbers. All our calls went unanswered, while one of the numbers was switched off. ChampOne appears to be one of the numerous startups that have recently started sprouting up in India, looking to make headlines by launching smartphones at incredible prices. The first amongst the spate of firms was Ringing Bells, and while the company is finally delivering its first smartphones, other firms appear to have fizzled out before launch. We advise all readers to stay away from deals that seem too good to be true from brand new companies without a service history or a reputation to lose.

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In any case, the ChampOne C1 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and supports dual-SIM. It features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor with 2GB RAM. It offers 16GB of inbuilt storage. Optics include an 8-megapixel back camera, and a 5-megapixel front snapper. There’s a 2500mAh battery packed inside, and connectivity options include 4G LTE support. It will be made available in White, Silver, and Gold colour options.

Of course, the glitching website reminds us of the horrible inefficiency by Ringing Bells when it first announced its smartphone. The company hadn’t ‘anticipated the demand’ for its. Rs 251 smartphone, and is still struggling to meet demands. The company first claimed that it was backed by the government and was part of the Make in India campaign, only to retrace its footsteps and mention that it was importing assembled smartphones, and has asked the government for support. The company was also accused of defrauding its customer service partner by refusing to pay dues. After too many delays, the company even tried to make amends by saying that it will refund the money of first phase’s 30,000 Freedom 251 customers – and will accept cash upon delivery.

Another company that made headlines recently for what were found to be fraudulent tactics was mPhone, which was all set to announce its smartphone portfoliio in the country. However, those plans came to a grinding halt, after the co-founders were arrested at the launch venue for alleged fraudulent activities. The company was set to launch six smartphones in the country ranging from Rs. 11,999 to Rs. 39,999, but we haven’t heard of anything post their arrest.

Also, let’s not forget the Docoss X1 launched by a Jaipur-based company for Rs. 888. Their website itself was extremely fishy, with many technical goof-ups. Their customer care support also proved to be very vague. The smartphone was to begin shipping in May, but it still hasn’t managed to do that yet. The website currently mentions that the smartphone will be shipped soon.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

ChampOne C1

ChampOne C1

R 501

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1280×720 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

Android 5.1

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

8-megapixel

Battery capacity

2500mAh

See full ChampOne C1 specifications
Tags: ChampOne, ChampOne C1, Ringing Bells, Mango phone, mPhone, Freedom 251, Mobiles, Android

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Freedom 251 Delivery Begins, Pokemon Go Is a Rage, Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) Launch, and More News This Week

Freedom 251 Delivery Begins, Pokemon Go Is a Rage, Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) Launch, and More News This Week

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Freedom 251 smartphone is supposedly finally ‘out for delivery’
  • Pokemon Go is so successful it boosted Nintendo shares
  • Reliance offers 4G phone with 3 months unlimited service at Rs. 2,999

Another week gone by, and if you missed some of the big tech news stories, we’re here too recap the highlights of the week. These include some enormous launches, more televisions than you’ll likely see in a whole year, and some very exciting scientific developments. Let’s dive right in.

The most anticipated launch of the week was the television event by Ringing Bells where the much delayed Freedom 251 phone finally – supposedly – started deliveries. Apparently, only 5,000 units are going to be delivered, with a total of 200,000 supposed to follow. No firm dates on when the latter will happen.

(Also see: Freedom 251 First Impressions)

At the time the phone first launched, Ringing Bells had circulated an Adcom phone instead, as a “prototype” of its upcoming phone. At the event, Gadgets 360 finally tried out the real Freedom 251, and you can check out our first impressions.

Pokemon Go is predictably a big success to the point where it hugely boosted Nintendo’s shares. The game is not officially out in India yet though it is pretty easy to download, install, and play Pokemon Goif you have an Android phone. The game works just fine – here’s a guide if you want to know more about playing Pokemon Go in India. That guide will surely come in India now that the game’sinternational release has been delayed.

pokemon_go_pikachu_blastoise_charizard.jpgThe other piece of gaming news that has a lot of people excited is that No Man’s Sky is finally ready for release. The game promises to be the ultimate science fiction fantasy of just getting into your space ship and exploring the galaxy, and there is no way that it’s going to please everyone, but we are having a hard time waiting right now.

Samsung launched two new mobile devices this week – the Samsung Galaxy J Max is a VoLTE-enabled 7-inch tablet, while the Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) is a sub-Rs. 10,000 4G phone with new Smart Glow LED notification system. Also this week, Intex launched the Aqua Power 4G with VoLTE support. There was also the launch of the Blu Energy XL with a 6-inch display. Globally, the Sharp Aquos 507SH launched this week as Japan’s first Android One Phone.

The biggest launch in India this week was probably at Samsung’s televisions related event. Samsung launched a whopping 44 different models in a single day, with prices ranging from Rs. 27,990 to Rs. 23,99,900. The company is trying to offer something for everyone across three different product lines, and says that along with Ultra HD, curved panels are going to be the next big sellers.

Some interesting developments in the telecom space include Reliance now offering a 4G phone with unlimited data for three months, at just Rs. 2,999. For now, people are reporting fast and reliable connections too. Of course, as more users get on to the network, that will most likely change. AndBSNL’s operating profit for this year is going to be over Rs. 2,000 crores – hopefully some of the money can be used to actually improve services.

For Samsung though, the week had some bad news too – a new report claims the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is not actually waterproof. The problem is apparently limited to the US variant Galaxy S7 Active, according to well known non-profit organisation Consumer Reports. Samsung has acknowledged the problem, and said that it is investigating.

Meanwhile, if you’re one of the dozen people who owns a smartwatch – don’t go to the ATM. Your smartwatch could reveal your ATM pin warn researchers who were able to track PINs with over 80 percent accuracy. And over 13 lakh Android smartphones in India are impacted by a new kind of malware, which is an astounding figure. There are a lot of things you need to stay aware of, and one of those is the dangers of free public Wi-Fi. Follow our guide to stay safe, and also listen to our discussion on the subject in our weekly podcast.

Twitter meanwhile joins the video streaming wars – while the company owns Periscope, it also hosted a live feed of Wimbledon – the content streaming on Twitter will be a mix of video from Wimbledon, and from ESPN, which holds the rights to the content. Facebook on the other hand was the subject of a study that states it is a haven for narcissists. It might be a good time to switch to Snapchat, which just launched Memories, to save photos and videos, although it is being sued over ‘sexy Discover stories’.

Speaking of things you might want to forget, do you know how much Google knows about you? It’s probably a lot more than you think, and thanks to the My Activity tool, you can check. Google knows everything about you, but you can make it forget the worst parts, for now. Do also check out our guides on pausing location history, and getting Google to stop tracking you on the Web.

The biggest bit of science news this week was from Nasa – the Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s atmosphere in an event planned down almost to the second decades in advance. It’s a stunning scientific feat that could teach us much more about the history of the solar system.We could also be moving towards swarms of autonomous drones – researchers say we’re close todrones that visually coordinate on their own. This could mean fast and efficient aerial e-commerce deliveries, or it could be an essential part of Skynet’s arsenal. Hopefully the former.

Oh, and in case you were wondering – selfie elbow is real, say doctors. Turns out that holding your hand like that time and again to take selfies can cause injuries. As if we needed more proof that selfies are bad for you.

Win Star Trek merchandise and movie tickets by participating in our Star Trek Beyond contest.

Tags: BSNL, Facebook, Freedom 251, Intex, Juno, Jupiter, Nasa, No Mans Sky, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Reliance,Ringing Bells, Samsung, Selfies, Televisions, Twitter, VoLTE
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Freedom 251 Delivery Update and 6 New Phones

Freedom 251 Delivery Update and 6 New Phones

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 5000 ‘lucky’ customers will start getting their Freedom 251 units
  • Ringing Bells Elegance and Elegant are new Android phones
  • The company has also announced 4 new feature phones

Freedom 251 units will finally start shipping on Friday, the controversial manufacturer of the Rs. 251 smartphone said in New Delhi on Thursday. At the event, Ringing Bells also announced two new budget Android smartphones – Ringing Bells Elegance and Ringing Bells Elegant – as well as four new feature phones, three power banks, and a HD TV.

The company reiterated that Freedom 251 deliveries will begin on Friday with 5,000 units that will ship out to customers chosen by lucky draws. ‘Based on feedback from these customers’, Ringing Bells will decide the fate of the millions of others who’d pre-ordered the Rs. 251 smartphone, the company said.

As for Elegance and Elegant, the two new phones announced by Ringing Bells, they come with a 5-inch 720p display and are powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor alongside 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage, expandable by another 32GB via a microSD slot. Both smartphones run Android 6.0 out of the box, and come with an 8-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 3.2-megapixel front shooter. Connectivity options on the two phones include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM.

While the Rs. 4,499 Ringing Bells Elegance comes with 4G connectivity (with VoLTE support) and a 2800mAh battery, the Ringing Bells Elegance, carrying a price tag of Rs. 3,999, is a 3G phone powered by a 2500mAh battery.

(Also see: Ringing Bells Freedom 251 vs. Elegant vs. Elegance)

ringing_bells_elegant.jpg

Both phones are listed on Ringing Bells’ website but there’s no word yet on how and when they will become available.

At the event, the company also announced four new feature phones: Ringing Bells Hit (Rs. 699), Ringing Bells King (Rs. 899), Ringing Bells Boss (Rs. 999), and Ringing Bells Raja (Rs. 1,099). Three power banks – RB Power (4000mAh, Rs. 399), RB Power Plus (5500mAh, Rs. 499), RB Smart (8000mAh, Rs. 699) – are now listed on the company’s website as well.

Ringing Bells has also announced a 31.5-inch HD LED TV priced at Rs. 9,900 that will be launched on August 15. Pre-order and other details will be shared at a later date.

Win Star Trek merchandise and movie tickets by participating in our Star Trek Beyond contest.

Ringing Bells Elegance

Ringing Bells Elegance

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz

Front Camera

3.2-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

8-megapixel

Battery capacity

2800mAh

See full Ringing Bells Elegance specifications
Also See
  • Amazon
    Intex Aqua Ring (Black)
    Rs. 3,999
Ringing Bells Elegant

Ringing Bells Elegant

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz

Front Camera

3.2-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

8-megapixel

Battery capacity

2500mAh

See full Ringing Bells Elegant specifications
Also See
  • Amazon
    Intex Aqua Ring (Black)
    Rs. 3,999
Ringing Bells Hit

Ringing Bells Hit

Display

1.40-inch

Processor

Front Camera

No

Resolution

RAM

OS

Storage

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery capacity

1250mAh

See full Ringing Bells Hit specifications
Also See
  • Amazon
    Intex Aqua Ring (Black)
    Rs. 3,999
Ringing Bells King

Ringing Bells King

Display

2.40-inch

Processor

Front Camera

No

Resolution

RAM

OS

Storage

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery capacity

1800mAh

See full Ringing Bells King specifications
Also See
  • Amazon
    Intex Aqua Ring (Black)
    Rs. 3,999
Ringing Bells Boss

Ringing Bells Boss

Display

2.40-inch

Processor

Front Camera

No

Resolution

RAM

OS

Storage

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery capacity

2000mAh

See full Ringing Bells Boss specifications
Also See
  • Amazon
    Intex Aqua Ring (Black)
    Rs. 3,999
Ringing Bells Raja

Ringing Bells Raja

Display

2.80-inch

Processor

Front Camera

No

Resolution

RAM

OS

Storage

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery capacity

1800mAh

See full Ringing Bells Raja specifications
Also See
  • Amazon
    Intex Aqua Ring (Black)
    Rs. 3,999
Tags: Freedom 251, Ringing Bells, Ringing Bells Boss, Ringing Bells Boss price in India, Ringing Bells Elegance,Ringing Bells Elegance price in India, Ringing Bells Elegance specifications, Ringing Bells Elegant,Ringing Bells Elegant price in India, Ringing Bells Elegant specifications, Ringing Bells Freedom 251,Ringing Bells Freedom 251 price in India, Ringing Bells Hit, Ringing Bells Hit price in India, Ringing Bells King,Ringing Bells King price in India, Ringing Bells Raja, Ringing Bells Raja price in India
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Freedom 251 to Come With a Delivery Charge of Rs. 40

Freedom 251 to Come With a Delivery Charge of Rs. 40

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ringing Bells is holding an event in Delhi today
  • CEO claims 500 service centres ready across India
  • Ringing Bells asks for Rs. 50,000 crore from Digital India funds

Noida-based startup Ringing Bells has now announced that the company will begin delivering the Freedom 251 smartphone from July 8. The company says delivery will be made only to 5,000 customers, and they will be charged Rs. 40 – more than 15 percent of the cost of the phone – for delivery.

Adding the delivery charges, the total cost of the smartphone goes up to Rs. 291. After delivering 5,000 handsets, CEO Mohit Goel told IANS that he ‘will wait’ for customer feedback. He even claims to be ‘ready with 500 service centres pan-India to address people’s queries’. Goel has even written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for government support. He says if the government is willing to dole out Rs. 50,000 crore from its Digital India funds, he can ensure that 750 million people in India can own a smartphone at Rs 251.

Ringing Bells has delayed the delivery of the Freedom 251 smartphone multiple times now. The initial delivery commencement date was at June 30, but that got delayed to July 6. The deliveries didn’t pan out as scheduled the second time either, and now 5,000 units are expected to be shipped on July 8. The company is expected to provide these final shipment details at the event in New Delhi on Thursday. Goel also claims that the company is bearing a loss of Rs. 180 – Rs. 270 per smartphone, as it imported parts from Taiwan, but hopes to make it up in volume sales. Goel also claims to generate revenue by creating as many as 100 new apps, and sell it for Rs. 1 to Rs. 3 to its Freedom 251 users.

The company’s official website is also down currently, with a message that claims to ‘unveil’ a new website on Thursday.

Ringing Bell’s CEO Mohit Goel had earlier said the company is ready with 2 lakh units of the Freedom 251 smartphone. The Ringing Bells Freedom 251 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and features a 4-inch display. It is powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz processor paired with 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage (expandable to 32GB). It sports an 8-megapixel primary camera with flash, a 3.2-megapixel selfie camera, and a 1,800 mAh battery. It is available in Black, and White colour options, and comes with all basic Google apps.

(Also see: Freedom 251 Now Ringing Alarm Bells Over Workers’ Conditions)

The company is also expected to unveil an HD LED TV for less than Rs. 10,000. There is also a separate new range of smartphones that is going to be launched at the event. Of course, this is subject to the company keeping its word, and its track record of doing that so far is sketchy at best.

Win Star Trek merchandise and movie tickets by participating in our Star Trek Beyond contest.

Ringing Bells Freedom 251

Ringing Bells Freedom 251

DISPLAY

4.00-inch

PROCESSOR

1.3GHz

FRONT CAMERA

0.3-megapixel

RESOLUTION

540×960 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 5.1

STORAGE

8GB

REAR CAMERA

3.2-megapixel

BATTERY CAPACITY

1450mAh

See full Ringing Bells Freedom 251 specifications
Also See
  • Amazon
    Intex Aqua Ring (Black)
    Rs. 3,999
Tags: Android, Freedom 251, Freedom HD LED TV, Mobiles, Mohit Goel, Ringing Bells
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Xiaomi Mi Max Launch, Freedom 251 Delayed, and More News This Week

Xiaomi Mi Max Launch, Freedom 251 Delayed, and More News This Week

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Freedom 251 continues to draw controversy
  • The Xiaomi Mi Max launched this week, and caused a riot
  • Android N stands for Nougat, bad luck Nutella

It’s been a big week in tech news with a lot to take in. There were some interesting launches – not all of which went well – and there were a lot of developments that got a lot of attention this week. One piece of news that you might have heard – Android N is officially Android Nougat now – a decision that is going to leave a lot of people here looking for the pronunciation guides.

Game of Thrones Season 6 is finally over, and there’s been a lot to process. We put together some of the best and worst moments of the season, and we also have a podcast about Game of Thrones Season 6 you should listen to.

This week also saw the first known death from a crash using Tesla’s Autopilot feature. Fears over the safety of autonomous vehicles might be overstated, but with the technology at such a nascent stage, incidents like this will certainly not help in the court of public perception. Earlier this week, it was announced that BMW and Intel are teaming up to make self-driving cars.

And in India, Freedom 251 maker Ringing Bells continues to raise controversy, this time over workers’ conditions. The phone, which looked dubious to start with, was first going to be delivered from June 28, then it was pushed to June 30, and now it’s going to be delivered from July 6.

In terms of actual launches, it’s been an eventful time though not as busy as some recent weeks were. The Vivo X7 and X7 Plus were launched. There’s also the confusingly named iBall Andi 5G Blink 4G launched at Rs. 6,299, and of course, there was the Xiaomi Mi Max launch. Another launch this week is the Intex Aqua 3G Pro Q entry level Android phone launched at Rs. 2,999, and at the other end of the spectrum, the ZTE Nubia Z11 with 6GB of RAM and Snapdragon 820 SoC was launched as well.

(Also see: Xiaomi Mi Max Review)

Other launches this week included the Lyf Flame 5 with VoLTE, the Lyf Earth 2, the Intex Aqua Classic, and the Micromax Unite 4 and Unite 4 Pro with Indus OS 2.0

(Also see: With Indus OS 2.0, Micromax Wants to Tap Non-English Speaking Consumers)

Apart from the usual spate of launches, there were some other interesting developments this week.

For one, is Apple following anti-competitive practices? That’s what Spotify alleged saying its app was unfairly rejected to protect Apple Music, though Apple responded saying Spotify was looking for preferential treatment. Meanwhile, Facebook is killing the Paper app on July 29, so the fantastic Paper by fiftythree is once again the only one with that name. Now, if Apple renames the Pencil, fiftythree will be really thrilled.

The Xiaomi Mi Max launch in India was a bit of a disaster, as angry ‘fans’ caused chaos at the Xiaomi event and things became calm only after police intervention. That’s not the only Xiaomi related development this week either. Xiaomi said it doesn’t need government exemptions to open retail stores in India. The company had reportedly applied to open retail stores in April seeking an exemption from local sourcing norms, but Xiaomi’s India Head Manu Jain said that the company is manufacturing devices locally and so does not need an exemption. This is contrary to the news earlier that Xiaomi had sought an extension but retracted its application.

In India, Google now officially rolled out an option to let you quickly switch between Hindi and English search results. In Bangalore, Team Indus, the only Indian entrant for Google’s X-Prize, launched a competition for space enthusiasts, giving students a chance to send a project to the surface of the moon. Another piece of news that sounds promising is that the Supreme Court dismissed a PIL seeking WhatsApp’s encryption key.

Amazon Web Services got a new region, it’s 13th globally, in Mumbai this week. AWS India head Bikram Singh Bedi told Gadgets 360 that this will help with latency and data sovereignty concerns; this could signal a new focus on public sector customers in India.

On the global stage, a lot of people have been speculating about how the British referendum on its EU status, “Brexit”, will affect businesses. There’s still not too much clarity, but Google at least seems to be staying put. Eric Schmidt says the Brexit vote is unlikely to shift investment which will leave some people sighing with relief. A man in the US claims that Apple owes him a fortune for coming up with the iPhone, and a former US secret service agent is suspected in Bitcoin thefts.

Another interesting development this week was when Nasa’s Juno mission entered Jupiter’s magnetic field. The Jupiter-bound spacecraft has entered the planet’s magnetosphere, which is the largest structure in the solar system, and the boundary into Jupiter itself. And do you remember the Philae lander? Well, the Rosetta spacecraft with reunite with the robot lab Philae on the surface of a comet on September 30, according to a statement from the European Space Agency. Meanwhile, a study says that the presence of Manganese Oxide indicates that Mars was once Earth-like.

And in headlines that we never thought we’d ever type – a man has married his smartphone – in, where else, but Las Vegas.

Win Star Trek merchandise and movie tickets by participating in our Star Trek Beyond contest.

Tags: Amazon Web Services, Apple, Brexit, Eric Schmidt, Freedom 251, Game of Thrones, Google, GoT S6, Juno, Jupiter,Mi Max, Philae, Police, Ringing Bells, Rosetta, Spotify, Tesla, Xiaomi
[“Source-Gadgets”]

This chart shows how attacks on freedom of speech in India have soared this year

This chart shows how attacks on freedom of speech in India have soared this yearFrom sedition cases against Jawaharlal Nehru University students for allegedly chanting anti-national slogans to attacks on journalists in Chhattisgarh, India has been having a bad year for freedom of speech.

Eleven cases of sedition have been filed against 19 people in merely the first three months of 2016. No cases under this category were filed in the same quarter in the last two years, according to a report compiled by the media watchdog The Hoot.

The report, released this week, points out that the sedition charges against six students of Delhi’s JNU were only the first of a series of cases filed against people across the country – ranging from Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to Asaduddin Owaisi, the member of parliament from Hyderabad.

Defamation cases involving politicians also jumped: 27 cases were filed in the first quarter of the year compared to just two cases filed in the corresponding period last year, according to The Hoot.

Media targeted

During the same period, reporters around the country have been under attack in several places. In the first three months of this year, 14 attacks on media personnel have been reported, often resulting in their equipment being damaged. In February, Karun Mishra, the Bureau Chief of the Jansandesh Times, was shot dead in Sultanpur.

Last month, two journalists were arrested in Chhattisgarh. This comes in the wake of reports that as many as nine journalists covering the JNU agitation were contacted for questioning by the Delhi Police. Some of these reporters said that that police personnel even came knocking on their doors.

The Editors’ Guild even issued a statement last week claiming that “not a single journalist” is working without fear or pressure in Bastar, the district in Chhattisgarh most affected by Maoist violence. “There is pressure from Maoists as well on the journalists working in the area,” said the body, which has more than 200 editors as its members.

“There is a general perception that every single journalist is under the government scanner and all their activities are under surveillance. They hesitate to discuss anything over the phone because, as they say, ‘The police is listening to every word we speak.’”

Reports suggest that journalists in Bastar are being followed or their phones have been tapped by authorities to track their movements while others claim that vigilante groups on the ground are getting a free-run in harassing and filing false cases against those reporters who dare to speak out about the violence in the red-corridor region.

Increasing intolerance

Cases of censorship have also risen this year compared to the corresponding period in the last two years. While only two such instances were reported in the first quarter of 2015, the tally was 17 this year. These cases range from Urdu writers being asked to declare that their writings would not criticise the government or the country to comedian Kiku Sharda being arrested, bailed out and then re-arrested for mimicking godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Haryana.

While threats to freedom of speech are not new, the intention may be different this time. As social scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta wrote in theIndian Express in February, when the government swooped down on JNU student leaders:

The government does not want to just crush dissent; it wants to crush thinking, as its repeated assaults on universities demonstrate… Nothing that the students did poses nearly as much threat to India, as the subversion of freedom and judgement this government represents. The honourable ministers should realise that if this is a debate about nationalism, it is they, rather than JNU, who should be in the dock. They have threatened democracy; that is the most anti-national of all acts.

We welcome your comments at [email protected]

[“source-Scroll”]

Allahabad HC grants interim relief to ‘Freedom 251’ makers

Freedom251, Smartphone

Freedom251, Smartphone
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In some respite to India’s cheapest smartphone makers, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted interim relief to Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd — the Noida-based firm that created a global buzz after announcing the launch of the controversial Rs 251 “Freedom 251” smartphone last month.

While hearing the plea, the division bench of Justice B K Narayan and Justice Shashi Kant ordered the UP state government to furnish a status report on an urgent basis by April 5, further directing that no coercive steps be taken till then against the three top accused – Directors Mohit Goel and Dharna Garg and President Ashok Chadha.

A first information report (FIR) was registered last week against Goel and company President Ashok Chaddha under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the Information Technology (IT) Act on a complaint filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.

The court also directed the petitioners to submit their passports to SSP Noida within 24 hours.

According to lawyer Abhishek Vikram representing Ringing Bells, the three petitioners will “fully comply with the orders of the court by submitting their passport and will provide full cooperation to the investigation agency”.

“We have nothing to hide. We are committed to affordable smartphones to people of this country and we shall achieve that. We will stick to fair practices and comply with regulations of our great country,” Mohit Goel, director, Ringing Bells, told IANS.

“We remain committed to cooperate with any government agency that may need to inquire our organisation for any reason or suspicion. We have already done so with authorities/agencies that have so required,” Goel added.

“I do maintain that we will deliver the most affordable quality products to our customers through our range of smartphones including ‘Freedom 251’,” Goel added.

Ringing Bells launched the product last month in the presence of veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

It distributed some “prototypes” of the product to the media which turned out to be Adcom handsets. However, the company maintained that the device has been developed “with immense support” from the government.

According to the company, ‘Freedom 251’ will run on Android 5.1 operating system and will sport a 4-inch qHD IPS display, a 3.2-megapixel primary and a 0.3-megapixel front camera.

However, doubts were raised after assessments of the viability of the handset found that such a device cannot be offered for less than Rs.2,300-2,400.

Ringing Bells had received 30,000 orders on the first day.

The rest of the customers for the first 25 lakh handsets were to be selected on first-come-first-served basis as the company received about seven crore registrations before the payment gateway crashed.

Later, the company decided to return the money to the customers who pre-booked the Rs.251 device on the first day of the sale.

The company said it planned to give 25 lakh handsets in the first phase before June 30.

[“source-Business-standard”]