Punjab Times

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Samsung’s Bixby is now available in more than 200 countries including the UK and Canada

Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby is now accessible in more than 200 countries worldwide, including the UK, Australia, Canada, and South Africa. It’s already available in South Korea and the US, where it rolled out in July after months of delays. The voice assistant is billed as “an intelligent interface to help get things done faster and easier,” but in our own tests we found that Bixby struggles with basic commands, and concluded that it’s easier to just use the touchscreen.

Bixby is available in US English and Korean, and Samsung claims the voice assistant learns over time, improving its function as it recognizes your way of speaking. “The expansion of Bixby’s voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby…

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The SNES Classic has a great trick for beating difficult Nintendo games

The SNES Classic Edition, launching on September 29th for $79.99, does exactly what you expect it to do. You plug in power and HDMI, flip down a weird little flap covering the controller ports, plug in the controllers, and start playing Star Fox, F-Zero, or Donkey Kong Country.

Nintendo has also learned from the shortcomings of its predecessor, the NES Classic. Mainly, the company has promised to make “significantly more” of the damn things this time around — though whether “significantly more” is the same thing as “enough” is anyone’s guess.

Then there’s the controllers, which are great. The D-pad, in particular, feels super nice — whereas on modern controllers it’s too often an afterthought. The SNES Classic also has slightly longer…

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SEE PIC: International Space Station pulled off the photobomb of a lifetime during the 2017 total solar eclipse

Millions of Americans looked skyward in awe through protective glasses, telescopes and cameras on Monday as the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in a century marched from the US Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic seaboard. But, if you notice closely, the International Space Station made a special appearance too.

The rare image was captured by NASA photographer Joel Kowsky while looking up from Banner, Wyoming. The perfectly timed image shows the International Space Station passing in front of the Sun.

Check out the picture below:

Image source: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Also, NASA uploaded a video of the transit of the International Space Station during the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.

NASA stated, “In this video captured at 1,500 frames per second with a high-speed camera, the International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 near Banner, Wyoming. Onboard as part of Expedition 52 are: NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer, and Randy Bresnik; Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy; and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion …read more

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Microsoft opens up pre-order for its new Xbox One X

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Avid gamers can now pre-order online for Microsoft’s Xbox One X — the next version of the popular game console, with the company taking reservations from today.

The model — which has been priced at US$499 — was officially announced at E3 in Los Angeles in June, and comes with more powerful hardware than the original Xbox One, including a 172MHz graphics processing engine capable of processing 6 teraflops.

For the die-hard fans, Microsoft is also selling a limited edition “Project Scorpio” model, which is only available via pre-order, and comes with a slightly different texture, an exclusive vertical stand, and green “Project Scorpio” text on the front of the controller. The Xbox One X will start shipping, and reach retailers’ shelves, on November 7 (via Variety).

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Tue, 22 Aug 2017-12:57pm
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Facebook makes it simple to see if friends are safe

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Facebook made it simpler to see whether friends have checked in as “safe” on the online platform during disasters or other dangerous events.

A Safety Check feature was given its own dedicated tab along with friends, groups, events and other main categories at the leading social network’s mobile application and desktop pages, according to the California-based company. “Safety Check helps our community let loved ones know they are safe during a crisis, find and give help, as well as learn more about a crisis,” Facebook said in an online post.

“There’s now a single place to go to see where Safety Check has recently been activated, get the information you need and potentially be able to help affected areas.”

The modification began rolling out on Monday. Facebook added the Safety Check feature three years ago as a way for people to check on the well-being of loved ones during natural disasters.

It broadened to include terrorism and other major violence after horrific attacks in Paris in 2015.

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Tue, 22 Aug 2017-12:49pm
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HP’s first Omen X gaming laptop includes easy access to upgrade parts

HP returned to the gaming world earlier this year with a new line of Omen products. While we’ve seen HP produce some cheaper gaming laptops and a high-end glowing desktop cube so far, we’ve been waiting for a high-end Omen laptop for enthusiasts. At Gamescom today, HP is launching the Omen X laptop, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a high-end gaming laptop.

HP has opted for a 17-inch 4K display for the top model, or a 120Hz 1080p display for those who want more performance instead of a higher resolution. Both configurations are Nvidia G-Sync enabled, and you can pick models with up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (factory overclocked) inside. You can connect two external displays, and there’s even support for overclocking both…

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The eclipse pulled 10 percent of Netflix US viewers away from the screen

Standing as testament to the enduring power of natural events to captivate human imaginations, yesterday’s eclipse managed to achieve a rare feat in dropping Netflix US viewer figures by 10 percent while it was happening. That statistical curio was revealed in a pair of overdramatized tweets from a Netflix Twitter account apparently wrecked by feelings of jealousy and abandonment:

but really, there was a 10% drop in plays during the eclipse today. Well played, Moon

— Netflix US (@netflix) August 22, 2017

Visible across the continental United States (provided clouds didn’t spoil your local party), the August 21st eclipse was the first of its kind for the country since way back in 1918. The next one is set to happen a little bit…

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Public sector bank employees go on one-day nationwide strike; services hit

Bank strike

Normal banking operations have been hit as public sector bank employees went on a one-day nationwide strike on Tuesday to protest against the government’s proposed consolidation move, besides raising other demands.

Services like deposits and withdrawal at bank branches, cheque clearance, NEFT and RTGS transactions are affected.

The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) had already informed customers that functioning of branches and offices may take a hit if the strike takes off. It had also asked banks to take measures in advance to minimise the impact.

Over 10 lakh bank workers, representing 9 PSU bank unions,to be on strike today (visuals from Mumbai) pic.twitter.com/rysBOQwKPL

— ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2017

The strike has been called by all unions under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).

The UFBU is an umbrella body of nine unions, including the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).

Besides, protest against consolidation move of the government, other demands include no write-off policy for non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, declaring wilful default of loans as criminal offence and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs, …read more