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Sony Bravia KD-55X7002G, KDL-43W6603 Smart TVs With HDR, X-Reality Pro Launched in India

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Sony has launched two new BRAVIA Smart TVs in India as part of its W6603 and X70G series. The two Bravia models come with impressive specifications and features. The KD-55X7002G is a 55-inch 4K smart TV that boasts of the Japanese company’s Triluminous display with better colour accuracy. One of them is a Full HD TV and the other being a 4K UHD TV while both them coming with features like X-Reality PRO picture processing for better picture quality and Motionflow XR 100 for smooth and sharp details even in fast-moving sequences.

Sony Bravia KD-55X7002G, KDL-43W6603: Price in India

Sony Bravia KDL-43W6603 108 cm (43 inches) Full HD Smart LED TV: Price ₹ 37,990
Sony Bravia KD-55X7002G 138.8 cm (55 inches) 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV: Price ₹ 63,990
Both TV models are currently up for sale on Amazon and come in Black colour. At their own price points, Sony is offering two great deals but do keep in mind that these are not Android TVs so you cannot customize them according to your choice. Sony does lack on the UI front but makes up with its brilliant displays. Both of the Smart TVs are available on Amazon to order right away.

Sony Bravia KD-55X7002G specifications

The Sony Bravia KD-55X7002G is a 4K ultra-HD (3,840×2,160 pixels) TV with support for HDR and X-Reality Pro support and has 1GB of RAM. At a 55-inch screen size with 50Hz refresh rate, the smart TV comes with 20W bass reflex speakers and ClearAudio+ technology. It delivers clear and immersive sound with proper separation. The Bravia KD-55X7002G comes with a Triluminos display with a specially developed backlight providing natural colours. Motionflow XR retains detail in fast-moving objects on screen.
For connectivity, you get Wi-Fi, three HDMI ports and three USB ports for connecting multiple devices at a time. It supports screen mirroring and the remote comes with dedicated Netflix and YouTube buttons. The Bravia KD-55X7002G measures 124.1×7.9×72.1cm and weighs 15.4kg.

Sony Bravia KDL-43W6603 specifications

The Sony Bravia KDL-43W6603 is a full-HD (1,920×1,080 pixels) TV that has 1GB of RAM. It comes with two 10W open baffle speakers that have ClearAudio+ technology, Dolby audio, and DTS digital surround. It also supports TV MusicBox which allows it to be used as a speaker for audio playing on your phone. The smart TV has X-Reality Pro, Motionflow XR, and HDR support as well. For connectivity, there is Wi-Fi, two HDMI ports and two USB ports and the remote has dedicated buttons for Netflix and YouTube. The refresh rate is 50Hz and the TV is wall mountable. The Bravia KDL-43W6603 measures 97×57.1×7.5cm and weighs 7.7kg.

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Internet

Government Assured Strict Changes in Foreign Investment Rules for E-Commerce, Trader Group Says

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By Reuters | Updated: 22 January 2021

An India trader group representing millions of brick-and-mortar retailers on Friday said it has received government assurances that stringent changes will be made to foreign investment rules for e-commerce, a move that could hit Amazon.

Reuters exclusively reported this week India was considering revising the policy after complaints from traders who accuse Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart of creating complex structures to bypass investment rules. The US companies deny any wrongdoing.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement that its delegation held a meeting late on Thursday with Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, who told them a “strenuous exercise” was underway to issue new foreign investment rules.

“Mr. Goyal told us the government will address concerns about alleged violations of current rules. The new rules will be issued shortly,” Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of CAIT told Reuters.

CAIT says it represents 80 million retail stores in India.

India’s ministry of commerce did not immediately respond to a request for comment on CAIT’s statement.

India’s e-commerce retail market is seen growing to $200 billion (roughly Rs. 14,60,340 crores) a year by 2026, from $30 billion (roughly Rs. 2,19,050 crores) in 2019, the country’s investment promotion agency Invest India estimates.

Unhappy domestic traders say foreign e-commerce businesses indulge in unfair business practices that use steep discounts to target rapid growth, allegations the companies deny.

Amazon and Flipkart were last hit in December 2018 by investment rule changes that barred foreign e-commerce players from offering products from sellers in which they have an equity stake.

Now the government is considering tweaks to prevent those arrangements even if the e-commerce firm holds an indirect stake in a seller through its parent, Reuters reported.

The government is also considering prohibiting online sales by a seller who purchases goods from the e-commerce entity or its group firm, and then sells them on the entity’s websites.

Amazon and Flipkart did not respond to a request for comment. On Tuesday, reacting to the Reuters story, Amazon had said “any major alterations” to the investment policy will adversely impact small- and medium-sized businesses.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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Internet

US President Joe Biden Enlists ‘World Class’ Cyber-Security Team Following SolarWinds Hack

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By Reuters | Updated: 22 January 2021

President Joe Biden is hiring a group of national security veterans with deep cyber expertise, drawing praise from former defense officials and investigators as the US government works to recover from one of the biggest hacks of its agencies attributed to Russian spies.

“It is great to see the priority that the new administration is giving to cyber,” said Suzanne Spaulding, director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Cyber-security was demoted as a policy field under the Trump administration. It discontinued the Cyber-security Coordinator position at the White House, shrunk the State Department’s cyber diplomacy wing, and fired federal cyber-security leader Chris Krebs in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s November 3 election defeat.

Disclosed in December, the hack struck eight federal agencies and numerous companies, including software provider SolarWinds US intelligence agencies publicly attributed it to Russian state actors. Moscow has denied involvement in the hack.

Under a recent law, Biden must open a cyber-focused office reporting to a new National Cyber Director, who will coordinate the federal government’s vast cyber capabilities, said Mark Montgomery, a former congressional staffer who helped design the role.

The leading candidate for Cyber Director is Jen Easterly, a former high ranking National Security Agency official, according to four people familiar with the selection process.

Now head of resilience at Morgan Stanley, Easterly held several senior intelligence posts in the Obama administration and helped create US Cyber Command, the country’s top cyber warfare unit.

Easterly did not respond to requests for comment.

The Biden administration “has appointed world-class cyber-security experts to leadership positions,” Microsoft corporate Vice President Tom Burt said in a statement.

Some observers worry, however, that the collective group’s experience is almost entirely in the public sector, said one former official and an industry analyst who requested anonymity. The distinction is important because the vast majority of US Internet infrastructure is owned and operated by American corporations.

“Finding a good balance with both government and commercial experience will be critical to success,” said former DHS Cybersecurity director Amit Yoran, now chief executive of security company Tenable Inc.

To replace Krebs at the Homeland Security Department, Biden plans to nominate Rob Silvers, who also worked in the Obama administration, to become director of the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency, according to four people briefed on the matter. Silvers declined to comment for this article.

Biden’s National Security Council, an arm of the White House that guides an administration’s security priorities, includes five experienced cyber-security officials.

Leading the hires is National Security Agency senior official Anne Neuberger as Deputy National Security Adviser for cyber and emerging technology, a new position designed to elevate the subject internally.

“The United States remains woefully unprepared for 21st century security threats – the establishment and prioritization of a DNSA for Cyber and Emerging Tech on the NSC indicates the seriousness the Biden Administration will afford to addressing these challenges,” said Phil Reiner, chief executive of the Institute for Security and Technology.

Neuberger became one of the most visible figures at NSA in recent years after leading the spy agency’s cyber defense wing, drawing praise for quickly alerting companies to hacking techniques in use by other countries.

The other four hires are Michael Sulmeyer as senior director for cyber, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall as Homeland security adviser, Russ Travers as deputy homeland security adviser and Caitlin Durkovich as senior director for resilience and response at the NSC.

All four previously served in senior national security posts that dealt with cyber-security.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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Internet

Google Suspends Second AI Ethics Researcher, Union Says

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By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 22 January 2021

Google has suspended an artificial intelligence ethics researcher weeks after dismissing another member of the team, a recently formed union said.

The Alphabet Workers Union, which was created by employees of Google’s parent firm, said in a statement this week it was “concerned by the suspension of the corporate access of Margaret Mitchell,” a union member and lead researcher.

Mitchell’s suspension came in response to her downloading and sharing of company documents, according to a Google statement to Axios, which reported that the documents were aimed at showing discriminatory treatment of Timnit Gebru, another member of the AI ethics team, who was fired last year.

“Together these are an attack on the people who are trying to make Google’s technology more ethical,” the union said in a statement.

Google faced criticism last month after Gebru was forced out, after she claimed had been ordered to retract a research paper.

The tech giant did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment. In a statement to Axios, Google said Mitchell’s email account had been locked pending an internal probe into her downloading of a large number of files and sharing them with people outside the company.

Last month, more than 1,400 Google employees were among the nearly 3,300 names on an online letter calling on the tech giant to explain Gebru’s dismissal along with the reason for ordering her to withdraw her research.

The letter demanded Google make an “unequivocal” commitment to research integrity and academic freedom.

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Internet

Facebook, Google Grants Australian Local Government PR Website News Provider Status

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By Reuters | Updated: 22 January 2021

Google and Facebook have granted an Australian local government news provider status, drawing questions about the Internet giants’ efforts to curate news media.

Bundaberg Council, a regional government, told Reuters a website it runs received classification as a Google “news source”, making it the country’s first local government with that accreditation.

That means a council-funded website containing only public relations content gets priority in Google News searches about the agriculture hub of 100,000 people, accompanied by a “news source” tag. Bundaberg also has the country’s only confirmed council-run Facebook page tagged as a “News & Media Website”.

The designation shows the gaps left in the country’s traditional news market as smaller publications wither and disappear. Bundaberg Council’s news website says it does not publish court and crime reports, politics, “investigative journalism” or “negative stories”.

“It’s just another example of the way these tech giants are allowed to operate outside any accountability framework at all,” said Denis Muller, an Honorary Fellow at University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism. “If they want to classify a council PR website as a news website, well, they can, and there’s nothing stopping them.”

Alphabet’s Google and Facebook are fighting an Australian federal government plan to make them pay media outlets for original content that appears on their platforms, telling a Senate inquiry that the new rules may lead them to cancel some core services in the country.

A Google representative did not respond to a separate Reuters request for comment on Friday.

In a submission to the inquiry, Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the new rules would “subsidise failed business models” and may have “unintended consequences, including … damage to new media entrants and innovative publishing models such as Bundaberg Now”.

Bundaberg Council’s executive officer of communications, Michael Gorey, told Reuters commercial media such as state broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corp still provided news in the region “albeit with less coverage than several years ago”.

“Commercial media have a strong focus on news such as crime, tragedies and local politics which Bundaberg Now chooses not to report,” he said in an email. “Bundaberg Now seeks to fill a gap in the media market with community news, local business and events. We see no evidence of market failure in Bundaberg to warrant federal government intervention”.

The City of Onkaparinga, in the country’s south near Adelaide, started news website Onkaparinga Now in 2018. A representative said the council has not applied for official news provider status with Google or Facebook.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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Internet

Elon Musk to Offer $100-Million Prize for ‘Best’ Carbon Capture Technology

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By Reuters | Updated: 22 January 2021

Tesla chief and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk took to Twitter to promise a $100-million (roughly Rs. 730 crores) prize for development of the “best” technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.

Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.

The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.

“Am donating $100M (roughly Rs. 730 crores) towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” Musk wrote in a tweet, followed by a second tweet that promised “Details next week.”

Tesla officials did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

Musk, who co-founded and sold Internet payments company PayPal, now leads some of the most futuristic companies in the world.

Besides Tesla, he heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.

Newly-sworn-in US President Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the US Department of Energy.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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Computers

Intel Floats Possibility of Licensing Chipmaking Deals but Would TSMC and Samsung Be Interested?

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By Reuters | Updated: 22 January 2021

Intel executives have raised the possibility of licensing chipmaking technology from outside firms, a move that could see it exchanging manufacturing secrets with rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) or Samsung.

Intel is one of the few remaining semiconductor firms that both designs and manufactures its own chips, but the business model has come into question in recent years as the company lost its manufacturing lead to the Taiwanese and Korean companies.

One option urged by some investors would be to outsource manufacturing. The company said, however, on Thursday that while it plans to increase its use of outside factories, the majority of its 2023 products would be made internally.

But licensing technology could help Intel avoid major investments in rivals’ factories that outsourcing deals would likely entail.

“Broadly speaking, that may mean sharing technologies that we have that they could use or leveraging technologies that others have developed that we can use as well,” outgoing Chief Executive Bob Swan told an earnings call.

That said, questions remain over how much a licensing deal would cost and whether a rival firm would even be interested.

Intel did not name companies it might license from but TSMC and Samsung are its only competitors for high-end chips.

“It seems a little weird to me that TSMC would give away to the keys to the kindgom unless there’s a sizeable payment that went with it,” said Stacy Rasgon, an analyst with Bernstein.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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