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Cuba Gets Nationwide Internet For A Day

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet.

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Internet companies support an economy-wide, national approach to regulation that protects the privacy of all Americans. VOA

Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s least connected countries. State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial, with Tuesday marking the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration.

Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, considered the country’s social media pioneer, raved that she had directly sent a tweet from her mobile. In another tweet, she called the test a “citizen’s victory.”

A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Havana
A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Havana. VOA

On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.

“This is marvelous news because we can talk with family abroad without going to specific WiFi spots, there is more intimacy,” said taxi driver Andres Peraza.

Forty percent of Cubans have relatives living abroad.

Leinier Valdez, one of a group of young people trying to connect, said, “this is great. Its better and more so when you can connect for free.”

Hotspots currently charge about $1 an hour although monthly wages in Cuba average just $30.

The government has not yet said how much most Cubans would pay for mobile internet, or when exactly sales of the service will begin. But ETECSA is already charging companies and embassies $45 a month for four gigabytes.

Analysts have said broader Web access will ultimately weaken government control over what information reaches people in a country where the state has a monopoly on the media.

Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.
Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.

Whether because of a lack of cash, a long-running U.S. trade embargo or concerns about the flow of information, Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access. Until 2013, internet was largely only available to the public at tourist hotels on the island.

But the government has since made boosting connectivity a priority, introducing cybercafes and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots and slowly starting to hook up homes to the Web.

Long before he took office from Raul Castro in April, 58-year-old President Miguel Diaz-Canel championed the cause.

Also Read: Android Development and Data Analysis- Bloodlines of The Internet Industry

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet. VOA

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Samsung Unveils Galaxy M31 Smartphone in India

Samsung launches Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs. 15,999

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Samsung Galaxy M31
Samsung on Tuesday launched its new smartphone Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs 15,999. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung on Tuesday launched its new smartphone Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs 15,999. This is the latest science and technology news.

Galaxy M31 is the newest addition to the popular Galaxy M series. Till date, the company has launched six models – Galaxy M10, M20, M30, M40, M10s and M30s – under the M series in 2019.

“We now bring Galaxy M31 keeping in mind the needs and aspirations of our young millennial consumers,” Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India said in a statement.

Samsung Galaxy M31
Samsung on Tuesday launched its new smartphone Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs 15,999. (Representational Image). Pixabay

The smartphone will come in two memory variants, 6/64GB priced at Rs 15,999 as well as 6/128GB for Rs 16,999 and will be available at Amazon.in, Samsung.com along with select retail stores from March 5, 12 noon.

The phone is equipped with 6.4-inch super AMOLED display and features quad-camera setup — 64MP Main Lens, 8MP Ultra-Wide Lens, 5MP Macro Lens and 5MP depth lens. There is also a 32MP front camera.

Also Read- Microsoft Introduces New Features to Xbox Series X

The device is powered with the Exynos 9611 upto 2.3GHz Octa Core processor and will run on Android 10 out of the box with Samsung’s new One UI 2.0.

Additionally, the phone houses a 6000mAh battery with an in-box Type C 15W fast charger. (IANS)