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Hawking was motivated by the music of Richard Wagner and the love of his future wife Jane Wilde.

On Saturday, the 80th birth anniversary of Stephen Hawking, Google paid homage to the English cosmologist, writer, and theoretical physicist with an animated movie that appeared on its homepage. It covers Hawking’s life and work, with narration provided by the physicist himself, and was created with the approval of his family. His ideas on the origins and dynamics of the universe, which ranged from colliding black holes to the Big Bang, transformed contemporary physics. At the same time, his best-selling books made the science broadly accessible to millions of readers across the globe.

Physicist Stephen Hawking in Zero Gravity NASA Hawking's ideas on the origins and dynamics of the universe transformed contemporary physics. | Wikipedia

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US-based search engine Google has announced that it has started sending out the January update to its phones.

US-based search engine Google has announced that it has started sending out the January update to its phones. All supported Pixel devices running Android 12 will receive these software updates starting today, with the exception of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which will receive the update later this month.

"The rollout will continue over the next week in phases depending on carrier and device. We will provide an update to this post once it is available. We encourage you to check your Android version and update to receive the latest software," the company said in a statement.

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Rajeshwar Bachu / Unsplash

"Employees receive bonus and equity as part of their total compensation"

After informing employees last month that it wouldn't automatically adjust salaries to account for inflation, Google is giving four of its top-most senior executives a significant pay hike, raising their base salaries from $650,000 to $1 million.

The new pay packages for Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat; senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan (in charge of Google search); senior vice president and chief business officer Philipp Schindler; and Kent Walker, president of global affairs and chief legal officer, have been disclosed in a latest company filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also announced plans to shut down its Internet balloon firm Loon.

From Epic Games' Houseparty to Alphabet's Loon, several global startups/platforms shut shops in a year that was partially hit by the pandemic and lockdowns. Epic Games in September announced it is shutting down popular social video chat app Houseparty.

Founded in 2015, Houseparty offered a way for users to participate in group video chats with friends and even play games, like Uno, trivia, Heads Up and others. Epic Games had integrated Houseparty with Fortnite, initially to allow gamers to see live feeds from friends while gaming, then later adding support to livestream gameplay directly into Houseparty.

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