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Google doodle celebrates start of Special Olympics

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Los Angeles: Internet giant Google on Saturday created an innovative doodle celebrating the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games that will run here from July 25 to August 2.

Mayumi Kudaka runs in the 30-meter dash while participating in the Kadena Special Olympics at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Nov. 6, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Edwards/Released)

In the doodle, animated athletes are seen kicking a football, swimming, stretching, lifting weights and even swinging a golf club.

More than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations will compete in 25 different sporting disciplines, including cycling, handball, power lifting, softball, volleyball, judo, tennis among others. The 10-day event is expected to attract some 500,000 spectators.

The Special Olympics World Games is an international sporting competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This year it will also have approximately 30,000 volunteers.

The Games will take place at the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

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More Than 5 Million Users Have Now Downloaded Google’s Digital Payment App ‘Tez’

"Tez" app works in partnership with four Banks -- Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India -- to facilitate the processing of payments across over 50 UPI-enabled banks

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tez
Within 24 hours of 'Tez' being launched, Google saw nearly 1.8 crore gross merchandise volume (GMV) done with over four lakh active users. pixabay

New Delhi, October 11, 2017 : Google’s digital payment app ‘Tez’ that was launched in India on September 18 has been downloaded five million times on Play Store.

Within 24 hours of ‘Tez’ being launched, Google saw nearly 1.8 crore gross merchandise volume (GMV) done with over four lakh active users.

Built on the Indian government-supported Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Tez allows users, free of charge, to make small or big payments straight from their bank accounts.

According to the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), the number of transactions on UPI has crossed three crore in September.

Also read A Step Towards Digital India- Google Launches Digital Payment App ‘Tez’ in India

The number of transactions on UPI platform increased to 3.07 crore in September as against 1.66 crore in August — an increase of 85.32 per cent.

Of the 3.07 crore transactions, BHIM’s share was 76.03 lakh — a market share of nearly 24.7 per cent.

“Tez” app works in partnership with four Banks — Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India — to facilitate the processing of payments across over 50 UPI-enabled banks.

The app was built for India, working on the vast majority of the country’s smartphones and is available in English and seven Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. (IANS)

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Google Celebrates 103rd Birth Anniversary of “Mallika-e-Ghazal” Begum Akhtar Through Doodle

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Begum Akhtar
Begum Akhtar. IANS

New Delhi, Oct 7, 2017: Google marked the 103rd birth anniversary of “Mallika-e-Ghazal” Begum Akhtar on Saturday by dedicating a special doodle to her.

Born as Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, the ghazal queen is seen in the doodle sitting gracefully with a sitar with a few admirers around her.

She was born in 1914 in Faizabad in what is now Uttar Pradesh.

Begum Akhtar’s genre was, however, not ghazals alone, but also included splendid renderings of Hindustani classical music like Dadra and Thumri.

Akhtar was honoured for her immense contribution to Indian music with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan (posthumously). She was also given the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

Among the few early female singers, Akhtar is considered to have broken away from the concept of singing in ‘mehfils’ or private gatherings and started performing at public concerts.

Akhtar breathed her last on October 30, 1974. (IANS)

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Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp.

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Whatsapp messaging platform
Image: IANS

San Francisco, Sep 26 (IANS) Instant messaging service WhatsApp has been largely blocked in China, the media reported.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), a global observation network for detecting censorship, surveillance and traffic manipulation, suggested on Monday night that Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp on September 23, reports CNN.

Public reports on Twitter indicated that WhatsApp, which is owned by the US-based social media giant Facebook, became inaccessible for some people on September 19.

Over the last few months, there were a number of WhatsApp disruptions in China.

However, WhatsApp has not made an official announcement on the development.

China has already blocked access to a number of internet companies, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google.

Some people access these services through virtual private networks (VPN), or with tools that disguise internet traffic to circumvent censorship. But the Chinese government has launched a crack down on VPNs this year.

According to Timothy Heath, senior international defence research analyst at the RAND Corporation, the Chinese government does not like that WhatsApp uses strong encryption.

“The government wants to monitor internet communications, and therefore it’s trying to steer its people to use technology that can be accessed and monitored by the government,” Heath told CNN.

Earlier this month, WeChat, a popular chat service in China, notified users of its policies to comply with government requests for information. (ians)