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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.
LG Electronics announced that it will be withdrawing from the mobile business. The South Korean company said in a regulatory filing that its mobile communications (MC) unit will no longer produce and sell handsets after July 31, citing a slump in business and fierce competition in the industry as the reasons behind the decision. LG's mobile business has been in the red since the second quarter of 2015. Its accumulated operating losses reached 5 trillion won ($4.4 billion) last year.
Also Read : The future is unmanned
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also announced plans to shut down its Internet balloon firm Loon. The former Google X project was spun out as an independent company of Alphabet in 2018 alongside Wing, Alphabet's drone business. The company in 2020 launched a fleet of 35 balloons in Kenya to provide service to over a 50,000 km region to subscribers of Telekom Kenya.
Robotic startup Abundant Robotics quietly closed up shop in 2021. Over the years, the company managed to raise $12 million, including a $10 million Series A led by GV (Google Ventures) back in 2017, reports TechCrunch.
Robotic startup Abundant Robotics quietly closed up shop in 2021. Alex Knight / Unsplash
In March 2020, Apple acquired the Dark Sky weather app, which was popular for its hyperlocal focus. By June 2021, the iOS app and API service officially had expiration dates, with co-founder Adam Grossman writing: "Support for the Dark Sky API service for existing customers will continue until the end of 2022. The iOS app and Dark Sky website will also be available until the end of 2022."
Launched in 2014, Pearl Automation, an automotive accessory startup, shuttered just a year after launching out of stealth mode. Founded by former Apple engineers, Pearl debuted with a wireless rear-view camera and already began shipping out its products, which cost $499.99. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : tech, service, 2021, discontinued, global, startup, platform, pandemic, lockdown, Houseparty, Epic Games, LG Electronics, mobile, competition, Alphabet, Google, Kenya, robotic, Apple, Dark Sky, Pearl Automation.)
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By Ganesh Bhatt
Lawyers are facing great difficulty in keeping client details organised during the pandemic. | Unsplash
"It was then that I conceived the idea of creating an app to find a solution to this problem. I decided to use my knowledge of coding and build an app so that my father and other lawyers like him could also handle and share their documents easily. Through 'E-Attorney', they can also keep clients informed. I first created a prototype for this app, which had the facility for lawyers to sign-in, enter client details, and store basic case related information."
However, what started as a small coding project, grew into a passion project when Kanishkar won a competition held by WhiteHat Jr, an online learning platform for children, and was awarded a scholarship to develop the app. The scholarship money helped Kanishkar's parents transform 'E-Attorney' into a full-fledged child-driven enterprise. To take their kid's idea further, they formed a company called PRK Online Solutions and hired a professional tech team to improve the app, so that it could be developed from a prototype to a web application that could be used by lawyers across the country.
Kanishkar started his entrepreneurial journey by testing the app with five lawyers to ensure everything runs smoothly. Currently, he is focusing with his tech team to fix bugs and glitches. Since this application will store sensitive information related to legal matters, it will require a number of security measures.
A lawyer, K. Mohan K., who is testing this app, while talking about the experience, said: "I have been using this web app for a few days now. The private chat feature between the lawyer and the client is very useful. Its second advantage is that many searches can be done in it. Lawyers can keep track of their cases easily through this app." (IANS/ MBI)
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By- Nanci SEO
Now we're into 2022, the anticipation for a new racing season is hotting up even more.
By the time the world focuses its gaze on Ascot in mid-June, records will have been broken, and new winners will have been celebrated in the other meetings such as the Grand National. However, there's nothing quite like the Royal Ascot meeting and the historic Ascot Gold Cup race, which has been running since 1807. The race is the first leg of the triple crown of thoroughbred racing in the UK, making it one of the most important on the racing calendar.
The meeting is held at the course, which is just 28 miles west of London and only a few miles from the residence of the British Royal Family, Windsor Castle. It's also been an event that the monarchy of Britain has often visited and had a personal interest in. Not only has the Queen of England long been a visitor to the racing at Ascot but she's also had the honour of having a winner of her own at the meeting as noted by Town & Country. Will there be another Royal victory this year? Let's look at some of the favourites for the headline race, the Gold Cup.
The six-year-old gelding's pedigree means he's a real threat to all his other riders at Ascot this year. Trueshan has previous experience of winning the course; he won in 2020 at the British Champions Long Distance Cup, with his jockey Hollie Doyle commenting, 'he went through the ground like a tractor, he loved it.' Going into 2021, he was much fancied after looking strong in the lead up to the meeting but was pulled when his trainer Alan King deemed the ground to be too firm. He had a successful season, winning the Goodwood Cup and the Prix Du Cadran in France in October. So he's in fine fettle going into 2022, does that mean it's finally his year to taste Gold Cup success?
The Irish thoroughbred has become a name synonymous with Royal Ascot over the past few years with a record that's the envy of many a trainer, and this year, the target is to equal a record set by one of the greats of racing. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Stradivarius has won three of the last four Gold Cups and is already second favourite in the Coral Gold Cup markets for a fourth. Four wins at the Gold Cup is a feat that has only been achieved once before by Yeats, a fellow Irish thoroughbred. Although last year wasn't to end with the record-equalling run he was aiming for; he's keen to be back this year as his owner, Bjorn Nielsen, says he can't wait: "He's as enthusiastic as ever, which is quite amazing."
Last year's winner of the Ascot Gold Cup is again in the frame for a win; last year, with veteran jockey Joe Fanning in charge, Subjectivist ran the perfect race, by first maintaining pace with the leading pack going into the final corner before striding majestically to a win, leaving the likes of Stradivarius in his wake, and adding to his win in the Dubai Gold Cup earlier in the year. Fanning wasn't surprised by the success as the four-year-old got on with the job at hand. "I just find he's a horse you don't complicate things with; if there's something in front, let him go," he said.
(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article and includes some commercial links.)
Good Earth, released its first-ever limited-edition art prints in 2020, depicting flora and wildlife recovering their due place in nature.
Van Vaibhav is Good Earth's guiding concept. The brand has a profound passion for nature in all of its forms, and preserving the beauty of the forest is at the centre of everything. In keeping with this ethos, there is no better way to commemorate our 26th anniversary than by giving back to the environment.
The Dreamscape art print series celebrates the brand's birthday. Endangered and fragile creatures of wild paradise come alive with attention to their condition in India.
The artwork, titled 'Living on the Edge,' underlines the importance of getting a closer look at these wonderful creatures. While everything appears to be lovely and unconstrained, these endangered species are truly living on the verge of extinction.
The Dreamscape will be printed in 500 limited edition Poster prints, which will be available for purchase the brand's web store. All sales revenues - matched with an equal amount by Good Earth - will go towards the Wildlife Trust of India's aim to conserve and protect vulnerable and endangered species, as part of our ongoing relationship.
Google Earth's Founder Anita Lal spoke about the initiative, "Animals are so vulnerable, and their habitats are ever receding due to the pressure on land." |WikipediaWikipedia
Speaking about the initiative, Good Earth's Founder and Creative Director, Anita Lal, says, "Birthdays are milestones when we count our blessings and look ahead with hope for a better future for all. Animals are so vulnerable, and their habitats are ever receding due to the pressure on land and the many hazards that humankind creates on this planet. The Wildlife Trust of India, among many others, is working tirelessly to stem the decline in the numbers of our vulnerable animals. We want to contribute to this valiant effort in any way we can. Our hope is that the posters help create awareness and sensitise us and the younger generation to think more about ways to live sustainably.
Collaboration with English artist Rebecca Campbell
Rebecca Campbell's special illustrations are featured in the birthday dreamscape, a fitting collaboration given her enthusiasm for nature. The British artist created gorgeous drawings/illustrations of fragile, endangered, and critically endangered species for this exclusive print, which then travelled to our in-house design team's digital paradise.
The Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Asian elephant, Common Leopard, Markhor, Hangul, Himalayan Brown Bear, Whale Shark, Gharial, Indian Cheetah, Indian Pangolin, Asiatic Black Bear, Asian Wild Water Buffalo, Sarus Crane, and Anaimalai Flying Frog are among the species shown in the artwork.
(Keywords: Rebecca Campbell, Good Earth's Founder and Creative Director, Anita Lal, Good Earth)