Google has updated its popular Duo chat app by increasing the group video user limit from 8 to 12 people into a single group call to help more people stay connected and practice social distancing.
The new 12-person limit compares to eight for house party, 32 for Apple’s FaceTime, 50 for Skype and Messenger, and 100 for Zoom’s free tier.
“We are grateful that Duo is helping users see their loved ones all around the world. We recognize group calling is particularly critical right now. We have increased group calling from 8 participants to 12 effective today. More to come,” Google’s senior director of product management Sanaz Ahari Lemelson tweeted on Friday.
She also hinted at more changes that would come soon, without getting into the details.
The change is already effective but currently it unclear whether it will be reverted once everything goes back to normal or whether it’s here to stay.
Two months of lockdown has turned many Indians into avid gardeners. As people explore their green side by growing a variety of plants, sales of gardening products on an e-commerce site seem to have shot up notably in this period.
As per Snapdeal, the overall sale in the gardening category for mid-March and mid-May 2020 is more than double the sale in the same time-frame last year.
“Over the last two months, users have bought seeds to grow a range of vegetables including brinjals, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, chilli, coriander etc. Seeds of everyday-use items like lemon and tomato were the most searched for seeds on Snapdeal. Combo vegetable seeds pack with multiple varieties of seeds priced under Rs 300 was another popular pick amongst Snapdeal shoppers,” the online marketplace told IANSlife.
What made it to e-carts and search bars?
As kitchen gardens blossomed, so did a collective desire to build immunity against the novel Coronavirus.
Since late April, Moringa (drumstick) seeds remained high in demand for immunity-boosting properties.
For those looking at summer flowers, Roses, Zinnia, Petunia and Marigold have been a top pick, since they grow well in summers.
Enthusiastic gardeners also bought a range of supplies including garden tool kits comprising trowels (‘khurpi’), clippers and weeding forks, green net to save plants from birds, spraying can, and seedling trays, Snapdeal shared.
Apart from greening lawns and balconies, people also bought indoor plants like money plant, areca palm, rubber plant, and fiddle-leaf fig. Succulents were also widely searched and liked but seldom bought due to its high maintenance nature and difficulty to survive Indian weather conditions, the e-commerce platform said.
When it came to pots, plastic pots in a variety of shapes, colour and sizes were in high demand and the popular price range of these were Rs 50-250. Most users bought multi-packs of 4-12 pots. Traditional terracotta pots were also searched for but were not available due to difficulty in transporting the same. Grow bags which are a cheaper alternative to pots were a hit too, Snapdeal said.
“Gardening is a fun and relaxing way to get in touch with nature. In the lockdown period, we saw increased interest from our shoppers in this category, as they spent more time at home. From the nature of buying, we can infer that users are attempting to grow everyday use fruits and vegetables at home. Our sellers also received queries for bulk supplies from those users who intend to grow organic produce for regular commercial sale. Seeing the demand, we have onboarded new sellers in this category to ramp up supplies,” a Snapdeal spokesperson told IANSlife.
Seaweed solution bottles were popular gardening picks among the metro audiences to save the trouble of keeping packets of compost. The non-metro audience, on the contrary, continued to buy compost. Cocopeat, which can absorb water for longer than normal soil, was widely bought in north India to beat the sun.
Shoppers from Tier 2 cities bought most of the gardening supplies. Most orders came from Bhopal, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Dehradun, Gurgaon, Jamnagar, Lucknow, Mysore, Ranchi and Raipur.
Orders for some of these items were placed mostly when deliveries of these products were prohibited and are now being delivered post the lockdown restrictions being removed, the brand said. (IANS)
Two United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Indian expats started free online coaching for children who have dropped out of after-school private tuition because of the coronavirus pandemic, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news reported.
Simran Kanal and Mehak Lalchandani, who have been best-friends from their Dubai school days, were running their newly-founded ‘#PandemicCamp’ to provide free online coaching for CBSE students whose parents can no longer afford private tutors, reports Gulf News.
Pandemic Camp is offering free Zoom lessons in English, Maths and Hindi for grades one to five, taught by the two former CBSE students Kanal and Lalchandani, both 2014 alumni of The Millennium School in Dubai.
“We’re both very compassionate, both as students and as teachers. We came across parents who have had to withdraw their children from private tuition, so this camp is a way we wanted to give back to society,” said Kanal, a freelance journalist and writer who works for an online marketplace platform.
Lalchandani, a finance degree holder, said: “Since we’re very familiar with the CBSE curriculum, that is why we chose CBSE and are catering to primary school grades.”
She said the sudden switch to distance learning has not been easy for students, teachers and parents.
“In a classroom, you have 30 students and you have to personally go to a student and see what they’re doing in their book. But when you have 30 students online, then it’s very difficult for that one-on-one help,” Gulf news quoted Lalchandani as saying.
Kanal said compared to her school days, students today in grade four or five have “tremendous assignments” that often need close help by parents, who themselves have to learn new digital skills. (IANS)
Highlighting the need for storing passwords, cybersecurity researchers have found that that 83 per cent of online users are thinking up their own, weak passwords, while 54 per cent say they are unaware about how to check if any of their credentials have already been leaked.
Passwords are the most common method of authentication, but they only work if they are hard to crack and confidential.
With an increasing number of apps requiring them, it can be hard to come up with new ideas for complex passwords and keep them all in your mind ï¿½ especially when users may be required to change their passwords regularly, according to a Kaspersky report.
“In addition to this challenge of creativity for users, it’s becoming more vital to store passwords securely and look out for possible instances when these credentials could be leaked,” said the report.
According to the findings, 55 per cent of users claim they remember all of their passwords – which can be difficult if security requirements such as password complexity and uniqueness are to be satisfied.
One in five (19 per cent) keep them written in a file or document stored on their computer, while 18 per cent use the browsers on their computers, smartphones, or tablets to store their passwords.
“Consumers can monitor the spread of personal data, including which passwords might have been leaked. And this is not only for the sake of “just being aware”; it also allows individuals to take the right action to minimize any invasion of privacy,” said Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.
There are some ways to check if your password has been leaked.
For instance, services such as ï¿½Have I Been Pwned?’ maintain a database where users can check if their passwords have been included in public leaks or data breaches without visiting the sketchier parts of the web.
“Minimise the number of people you share account login information with and never leave passwords where others might find them ï¿½ be it on paper or on a device. Keeping them on sticky notes or a pad might be tempting, but it will also be just as easy for others to access things you don’t want them to,” said the researchers.
Use strong and robust passwords generated by a reliable security solution, said Kaspersky. (IANS)