Google Maps made some key announcements, including making ‘Searching for Indian addresses‘ on Google Maps simpler; announcing ‘Plus Codes‘ and added ‘Voice Navigation‘ in six additional Indian languages.
Introducing Plus Codes
Google Maps has developed an open sourced solution – Plus Codes – which represents a simple and consistent addressing system that works across India and globally. This system is based on dividing the geographical surface of the Earth into tiny ’tiled areas’, attributing a unique code to each of them. This code simply comprises a ‘six-character + City’ format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone – all that’s needed is Google Maps on a smartphone. The open source nature of Plus Codes means that applications that uses location services can easily incorporate it on their platforms for free.
To use a Plus Code, users need to simply enter it into the Search field on Google or Google Maps, mobile or desktop, which will instantly show a location. Plus Codes can be used for a wide variety of reasons including communicating the venue of a temporary event, guiding emergency services to afflicted locations, and providing an identifiable location for complicated addresses.
For more information on Plus Codes, you can visit plus.codes
Easily add a missing address to Google Maps
In another step aimed at facilitating accurate and easy searching on Maps, Google is now introducing ‘Add an Address‘ – a feature that enables users to contribute to the Maps experience from the Google Maps app. Similar to adding businesses, users can submit new or missing addresses through this feature, and Google will make sure the address is searchable in due course after verification. Moreover, users will also get Local Guides points for each valid submission.
Understanding addresses, especially in the Indian context [being so unique and varied] has always been a relentless pursuit for Google. Google is now making it simpler to search for addresses in India, with Smart Address Search. This is an innovative approach to providing the best estimate of the location of an address: when people aren’t aware of an exact address, they just don’t give up but try to refer other information such as a nearby landmark, business or a locality to get closer to the final destination. Smart Address Search helps doing exactly that: if Google Maps doesn’t understand the address precisely, it will try to use all the pieces of information in the address and provide options of landmarks and points of interest that the user can best identify with – exactly like a person would have.
From finding to getting there – now in six additional languages
Google today is adding voice navigation in six additional Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. The company had launched navigation in Hindi three years ago.
Suren Ruhela, Director, Google Maps Next Billion Users, said
At Google Maps, our objective has always been about organizing all location-related information, and making it more accessible and relevant for Indian users. Address search is critical for delivering on this mission.
In India, we know how challenging it can be to reach a given residential address. They are unique in format, and vary across regions, localities, and use cases. While some addresses are well-defined by street names and house numbers that are easy to find, others can be long-winded and hard to locate. The other reality is that millions of people and places in India are hard to locate, especially those in remote areas. We are deeply committed to helping find solutions to these challenges
India continues to inspire us, and pushes us to re-imagine what Maps can do for people. And we are just getting started as we continue to build features and expand our partnerships to make the Google Maps experience more comprehensive, accurate, and reliable for our users.
SonicWall, the trusted security partner protecting more than 1 million networks worldwide, announced research and intelligence findings from its 2018 Cyber Threat Report. In sum, the company recorded 9.32 billion malware attacks in 2017 and saw more than 12,500 new Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures [CVE] reported for the year.
The cyber arms race affects every government, business, organization and individual. It cannot be won by any one of us. Our latest proprietary data and findings show a series of strategic attacks and countermeasures as the cyber arms race continues to escalate. By sharing actionable intelligence, we collectively improve our business and security postures against today’s most malicious threats and criminals.
Last year by June alone, India faced cyber security threats worth over $4 billion. Financial sector witnessed a little less than 50% cyber attacks throughout the year. Needless to mention, it is one of the most targeted countries owing to several reasons such as rapid transition into a cashless economy, increased usage of wireless data, among others.
Debashish Mukherjee, Country Director India & SAARC, SonicWall, while speaking about the threats faced specifically within the country had this to share about his observations
A vast majority of internet traffic is encrypted but most of the vendor solutions are not even addressing that space. We observed this encrypted traffic is the major pain area for our customers; and hence we made deep-packet inspection, a fundamental part of our security architecture and have developed proprietary technology, RFDPI [Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection], which opens and checks every packet of data for threats. Our Capture technology has enabled us to proactively protect our customers from malware and ransomware attacks.
The annual threat report frames, compares and contrasts advances made by both cyber-security professionals and global cyber-criminals.
Cyber attacks are becoming the No. 1 risk to businesses, brands, operations and financials
9.32 billion total malware attacks in 2017, an 18.4 percent year-over-year increase from 2016
Ransomware attacks dropped from 638 million to 184 million between 2016 and 2017
Ransomware variants, however, increased 101.2 percent
Traffic encrypted by SSL/TLS standards increased 24 percent, representing 68 percent of total traffic
Without SSL decryption capabilities in place, the average organization will see almost 900 attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption
SonicWall identifies almost 500 new, previously unknown malicious files each day.
Security Industry Advances
Total ransomware attack volume declines
Even with WannaCry, Petya, NotPetya and Bad Rabbit ransomware attacks stealing the headlines, the expectations of more ransomware attacks simply did not materialize as anticipated in 2017. Full-year data shows that ransomware attacks dropped from 638 million to 184 million between 2016 and 2017.
Volume marked a 71.2 percent drop from the 638 million ransomware attack events SonicWall recorded in 2016
Regionally, the Americas were victimized the most, receiving 46 percent of all ransomware attack attempts in 2017
Europe saw 37 percent of ransomware attacks in 2017
SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection [ATP], a cloud-based, multi-engine sandbox, identified one new malware variant for every 250 unknown hits
SSL/TLS use increases again
Web traffic encrypted by SSL/TLS standards made yet another significant jump in 2017. This shift has already given more opportunity for cyber-criminals and threat actors to hide malicious payloads in encrypted traffic.
Encrypted SSL/TLS traffic increased 24 percent
SSL/TLS traffic made up 68 percent of total traffic in 2017
Organizations are beginning to implement security controls, such as deep packet inspection (DPI) of SSL/TLS traffic, to responsibly inspect, detect and mitigate attacks in encrypted traffic
Effectiveness of exploit kits impacted
With most browsers dropping support for Adobe Flash, no critical flash vulnerabilities were discovered in 2017. That, however, hasn’t deterred threat actors from attempting new strategies.
SonicWall provided protection against Microsoft Edge attacks, which we observed grew 13 percent in 2017 over 2016
SonicWall also protects the most popular Adobe products — Acrobat, Acrobat DC, Reader DC and Reader — and we observed attacks against these applications were down across the board
New targeted applications [e.g., Apple TV, Microsoft Office] cracked SonicWall’s top 10 for the first time
Law enforcement turns the tide
Key arrests of cyber-criminals continued to help disrupt malware supply chains and impact the rise of new would-be hackers and authors.
Law enforcement agencies are making an impact by arresting and convicting malware authors and disruptors
Cyber-criminals are being more careful with how they conduct business, including dynamic cryptocurrency wallets and using different transaction currencies
Cooperation between national and international law enforcement agencies is strengthening the disruption of global cyber threats
More unique types of ransomware found in the wild
While the total volume of ransomware attacks was down significantly year over year, the number of ransomware variants created continues on an upward trend since 2015. The variant increase, coupled with the associated volume of 184 million attacks, leaves ransomware a prevelant threat. While several organizations in India believe that they are not adequately prepared to manage the attacks, there are few who are unaware of the process in case of ransomware attacks.
Ransomware variants increased 101.2 percent in 2017
SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers created 2,855 new unique ransomware signatures in 2017, up from the 1,419 published in 2016
Ransomware against IoT and mobile devices is expected to increase in 2018
SSL encryption still hiding cyber attacks
Hackers and cybercriminals continued to encrypt their malware payloads to circumvent traditional security controls. For the first time ever, SonicWall has real-world data that unmasks the volume of malware and other exploits hidden in encrypted traffic.
Encryption was leveraged more than previous years, for both legitimate traffic and malicious payload delivery
SonicWall Capture Labs found, on average, 60 file-based malware propagation attempts per SonicWall firewall each day
Without SSL decryption capabilities in place, the average organization will see almost 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by TLS/SSL encryption
Malware cocktails mixing things up
While no single exploit in 2017 rose to the level of darknet hacker tools Angler or Neutrino in 2016, there were plenty of malware writers leveraging one another’s code and mixing them to form new malware, thus putting a strain on signature-only security controls. SonicWall Capture Labs uses machine-learning technology to examine individual malware artifacts and categorizes each as unique or as a malware that already exists.
SonicWall collected 56 million unique malware samples in 2017, a slight 6.7 percent decrease from 2016
Total volume of unique malware samples in 2017 was 51.4 percent higher than 2014
Chip processors, IoT are emerging battlegrounds
Cyber-criminals are pushing new attack techniques into advanced technology spaces, notably chip processors.
Memory regions are the next key battleground that organizations will battle over with cyber-criminals
Modern malware writers implement advanced techniques, including custom encryption, obfuscation and packing, as well as acting benign within sandbox environments, to allow malicious behavior to remain hidden in memory
Organizations will soon need to implement advanced techniques that can detect and block malware that does not exhibit any malicious behavior and hides its weaponry via custom encryption
In addition to these findings, the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report also identified best practices and security predictions for 2018, which are discussed in detail in the full report. To download the complete report, please visit SonicWall Threat Report Link.
According to the World Health Organization [WHO], India has around 15-20 million individuals suffering from asthma. This disease is said to affect a large number of people due to numerous factors such as climatic changes, pollen and dust, strenuous physical exercise, lifestyle habits, stress, and chemicals, among others.
Asthma, a chronic condition, is triggered by allergens that inflame and constrict sensitive airways. This narrows the air passage and reduces airflow to the lungs, thus making it difficult to breathe. Depending on the severity and length of exposure, the symptoms of asthma may last for a few minutes or even for days. For proper management of this chronic ailment, it is necessary to visit your doctor regularly and receive treatment for the same. Given the rising medical inflation, this may be financially burdensome.
In order to protect yourself against unforeseen medical costs imminent with asthma, you may consider investing in an asthma health insurance plan. Such an insurance policy offers financial security against medical expenses, thus allowing you to receive quality treatment without any worry.
Scope of coverage
Many asthma patients often find it difficult to get an insurance cover due to their chronic ailment. However, the good news is that there are numerous insurers, who offer health insurance for asthma patients. Though the approval is unpredictable and the premium rate is a bit higher, it is a small price to pay for receiving coverage. The disease-specific health insurance policy offers coverage for your doctor’s consultation fee. This means you may visit the best doctors specialized in this field, without having to worry about meeting high consultation costs. An asthma health cover offers protection against expenses towards diagnostic tests, as well as condition-specific medicines. This ensures that you focus on your health while the health insurance company takes care of the medical bills.
While purchasing health insurance for asthma, it is imperative to consider numerous aspects. One of the most important things to keep in mind while deciding the coverage amount is the costs related towards the treatment of asthma.
Following are three major expenses involved in treating asthma.
With no insurance plan in place, high doctor’s consultation charges may turn out to be a huge financial burden. Besides, specialists may charge a higher fee given their expertise in the field. You may, therefore, shield yourself against such expenses by investing in an asthma health insurance policy.
The price of commonly used medications for the treatment of asthma can be expensive. Besides, the cost of injection that is used to prevent asthma symptoms when you are exposed to asthma triggers is high. Asthma patients may also need inhalers to get spot-on relief from asthma attacks. The cost of inhalers too may be expensive. Buying an asthma health insurance plan provides financial protection against the cost of these medicines.
Individuals suffering from asthma bouts may need to be hospitalized to get their illness under control. There are numerous costs involved such as room rent expenses, nursing costs, and respiratory therapy costs, among others.
It is best to remain prepared against such exigencies. In case you are an asthma patient, you may consider investing in an asthma health insurance policy. Such a health cover will help you meet the aforementioned asthma-related costs rather easily. You must focus on your health and have peace of mind knowing that you are covered at all times.
ofo, the world first and largest station-free bike-sharing platform, announced a new $866 million round of funding led by Alibaba Group, with participation from Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital, Ant Financial and Junli Capital. The strategic financing presents the highest funding record in the bike-sharing industry and marks a new era for operational efficiency of the bike-sharing system.
As a precedent of asset mobilization in the bike-sharing industry, ofo uses a combination of debt and equity financing for this round. ofo will drive long-term success independently with the continuing support of leading investors.
As the global leader in the bike-sharing sector, ofo has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. ofo will continue to put our customers first and lead the bike-sharing industry with technological innovation and efficient operations.
According to the recent industry report, ofo has already achieved dominant market place globally. The service improves the urban transport environment by reducing traffic congestion, saving energy and promoting better living. It is expected that the global number of shared bike users will increase to 1 billion in the next two years.
To date, ofo has operations in over 250 cities across 21 countries alongside widespread usage by over 200 million global users with more than 6 billion efficient, convenient and green rides, totaling to 32 million rides per day.
Founded in 2014, ofo is the world’s first and largest ‘station-free’ bike-sharing platform operated via an online mobile application. The development of ofo platform was inspired by the concept of sharing economy and facilitated by smartphone technology, aiming to tackle ‘the last mile’ challenge in urban areas.
As of today, ofo is ramping up operations in over 250 cities across 21 countries. It generates 32 million transactions daily and has provided over 200 million global users with 6 billion efficient, convenient and green rides, which have reduced carbon emissions by over 3.24 million tons in total, the equivalent of saving more than 920 million liters of gasoline or reducing 1.55 million tons of PM2.5 emissions. For more information, please visit ofo
A lot of people resolve to start investing at the start of the New Year. But how many actually follow through with their resolution? Well, don’t worry if you haven’t kept up your resolution. This Gudi Padwa, you have another chance.
Gudi Padwa is a spring time festival that is considered as the traditional New Year by the people of Maharashtra. With the festival coming up, how about investing in mutual funds in order to create wealth for the future!
Gudi: The symbol of victory
It is believed that Lord Ram defeated Ravana and returned to Ayodhya on this day. The ‘Gudi’ or flag symbolizes victory and inspires people to achieve spiritual and material success.
This can be achieved by investing in mutual funds. Generally, most people put their money in savings accounts and fixed deposits. While these avenues offer capital protection, the returns are not very high. Mutual funds can be a better alternative. They have the potential to provide returns that are higher than the prevalent inflation rates, which generally hover around the 4~5% mark in India.
By steadily investing in mutual funds, you can successfully meet your financial goals such as buying a car or a house or creating a corpus for your retirement.
The Gudi Padwa offering : an assorted mix
The traditional Gudi Padwa offering comprises of various items such as dal, neem leaves, neem flowers, honey, jaggery and cumin seeds. All these ingredients differ in aroma and taste. And to make the dish correctly, all the different ingredients should be in the right quantity. You don’t want it to be too sweet or too bitter.
Similarly, there are different mutual funds choices available for investing. Equity funds, debt funds, index funds, sectoral funds and so on. Each fund is tailored to meet specific needs of the investor.
For example, equity funds have the potential to offer high returns. But on the flip side, they are prone to higher market risks. The returns on debt funds may be comparatively lower but they offer capital preservation.
A good portfolio shouldn’t be exposed to too much risk. At the same time, it should try and maximize the returns of the investor. In other words, there should be a perfect balance; just like the holy offering.
Unity in diversity
Unlike other investment avenues, mutual funds offer the benefit of diversification in a very easy manner. Instead of investing in 20 to 30 stocks, it is possible to invest in a single index fund and achieve the same level of diversification.
And the best part is you don’t even need to spend a lot of money to achieve this. In fact, through Systematic Investment Plans [SIPs], you can start your investment journey with as little as Rs 500 each month. Slowly, you can increase the monthly investment amount as your income level grows.
As the festivities for the New Year begin, how about starting your investment journey too? This Gudi Padwa, make a resolution to increase your wealth by investing in mutual funds.
While the influence of technology has permeated every industry and sector conceivable, whether it’s Banking, Manufacturing or Healthcare, the role technology is playing in shaping the real estate & construction industry is of transformational nature. Of particular interest is the role new-gen technologies like Blockchain, Internet of Things [IoT], Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are playing in shaping the industry. And among them Blockchain related technologies seems to be most talked about and most misconstrued as well. Industry pundits, across the globe, seem to reckon that Blockchain could have a large and lasting impact on the way real estate gets done, but it requires big changes, not just minor tweaks.
Estimates peg the global market for Blockchain at $708 million in 2017, anticipating it to reach anywhere close to $60.7 billion in 2024. Hence the impact this technology is poised to play in the near future cannot be undermined. However, before we delve any further on how Blockchain is set to impact the industry, we need to understand the underlying technology.
At the core of it, Blockchain is a digital ledger containing digital record of transactions, maintained by a network of computers. This means information of a financial or non-financial transaction is shared with a decentralized network and validated by the entire network. With Blockchain technology, one can transfer assets digitally without the need for a central verifying authority. This is in itself is a revolutionary way of doing things. A Blockchain framework effectively reduces the chances of data manipulation and leaves lesser scope for a hacker to corrupt the computer system.
While the legality of crypto-currencies is still being debated in India, companies have begun shifting focus to the utility of Blockchain technology. According to an industry report, 56% of Indian businesses are inclined to make Blockchain a part of their core business. You may ask, how does it all Pan-out for the real estate & construction industry? The answer is that, Blockchain could open up newer models of ownerships like shared ownership helping first time buyers to purchase only part of property and proportionately earn rental incomes on the same.
In the construction industry, which requires bringing together large teams to design and shape the built environment the potential uses of this technology can be a real differentiator. With technology and in particular Building Information Modeling [BIM] becoming more widespread, openness to collaboration and new ideas is increasing across the industry. This momentum could be leveraged to bring the use of Blockchain technology to the fore. The potential uses of Blockchain, among many could be: Recording Value Exchange; Administering Smart Contracts; Combining Smart Contracts to form a Decentralized Autonomous Organization [DAO]; and finally certifying proof of existence for certain data.
Hence, through this technology there is an opportunity to create a leaner procurement method which better engages the individuals who make up a project team. This will result in reducing costs by removing intermediaries, where a client has more control and transparency of cost, time and scope on their project.
A Blockchain-powered online ledger could overcome complications on multiple owners by securely and reliably tracking the size and value of individual stakes in the property in the same way as stock in companies is recorded on exchanges. Incorporated into land dealings and real estate, Blockchain could provide immense business opportunity in the future making way to a reliable property search, efficient management of property and cash flows. Blockchain integration constantly records and shares information to address traditional process inefficiencies in the commercial real estate industry.
While there are more advantages to it, there are few hurdles that the industry collectively needs to address before capitalising on the benefits of Blockchain. The adoption of Blockchain in real estate would require legislative changes, standardisation and education around Blockchain concepts so that every stakeholder understands the various stages of the transaction. The success or failure of this attempt will surely determine how government organizations feel about implementing these solutions in the future.
As per analysts, putting India’s land records on Blockchain would greatly increase efficiency and reduce fraud. While the Indian government has renewed its interest in digitizing land records through the Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme [DILRMP], the implementation of a distributed ledger first to digitize existing land records and set the precedent for future transactions ensures a legitimate, government-approved record of transactions.
It’s heartening to see that some of the Indian states have taken the lead in adopting this technology to solve real-world problems, which include – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. While the adoption of Blockchain is still in a nascent stage and the world is still experimenting, it will undoubtedly create a new platform with a scope of positive outlook in the real estate market. With digital transformation taking place everywhere, Blockchain is all set to revolutionize the real estate sector, thereby bringing in reforms in the country.
About the author
Antao AV is the Chief Operating Officer of Synergy Property Development Services. More details about him can be found here
India’s popular Live TV App JioTV has introduced India’s FIRST interactive sports experience for consumers watching the ongoing tri-nation Nidahas trophy which is being shown exclusively on JioTV in India. With this, JioTV consumers can interact with the game while watching it – A revolution in the Live TV space.
Customers who watch the tri-series can do the following
Customize their viewing experience by selecting from 5 different camera angles
Experience audio from stump mic & stadium ambience, giving an immersive feel
Choose commentary in a language of their choice – Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada
Get access to leading cricket experts and commentators including Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Gaurav Kapoor
View score and other details on demand, on a single click
Watch catch-up (past content) in case they have missed a ball or a six
Once again, Jio has put the power of technology in the hands of the consumers, enabling them to challenge status quo. Till date, viewers are fed a single feed with broadcaster controlled video, commentary and score-boarding. With this innovation of digital interactivity, the game-viewing experience will get redefined.
Interactivity in sports will transform the way sports is consumed in India. Jio continues to deliver the best and most premium content exclusively to its users through the Jio apps. Additionally, we have challenged status quo and redefined the existing user experience, with the help of technology. Jio will continue to bring a superlative consumer experience in the areas of sports, AR, VR, Immersive viewing and more in the coming days.
JioTV users need to update to the latest version of the app from relevant app store to get this feature. JioTV, which recently won the prestigious Global Mobile [GLOMO] Award 2018 for the ‘Best Mobile Video Content’, has acquired the exclusive India digital rights for the T20 cricket series Nidahas Trophy – a tri-nation T20 competition being played at Colombo from March 6 to 18, 2018 between host Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India. JioTV will provide comprehensive coverage of the triangular series, enabling millions in India to access live and catch-up content on their mobile devices.
Gearing up for the Indian summer season, Bajaj Electricals Ltd., India’s leading consumer durable and lighting company, today launched the first of its kind IoT enabled air cooler– Bajaj COOL.iNXT. With the launch of this IoT product, Bajaj Electricals aims to improve customer’s experience through smart technology and intuitive designs. In the next two years, the company expects a huge potential for IoT enabled air coolers, not only from the residential space but also commercial.
The unique features of Bajaj COOL.iNXT can be accessed through a smartphone from anywhere in the world. The specially designed app provides complete control to its unique features and functions at the fingertips of the user making the cooling experience smart and convenient.
Being the pioneer of new age intelligent IoT technology, Bajaj COOL.iNXT has the following features that differentiate it from other air coolers:
3 Methods of Control: With the state of the art mobile app; IR remote and digital control panel
Easy ‘Wi-Fi & Internet Enabled’ operation with the mobile app
Intelligent Sensor that reads the temperature and humidity of the room
Auto mode to automatically adjust the fan and cooling speed on the basis of the temperature and humidity of the room
5 level speed control and 4 cooling levels
Digital control and display panel
Digital low water level indicator
Honeycomb cooling media for efficient cooling
Ice Chamber for faster cooling
Anant Bajaj, JMD, Bajaj Electricals, speaking on the launch said
We are extremely excited and proud to launch India’s first IoT enabled Air Cooler. Real intelligence is when technologies interact with one another to make things effortlessly happen. We want the technology to earn a permanent place in everyday life, where IoT technology will play a crucial role making the process of cooling homes and commercial spaces smarter, effective and effortless. Realizing the market dynamics and the ever-evolving consumer needs, we at Bajaj Electricals Ltd. promise you to bring in technology that will improve consumer lifestyle.
About Bajaj Electricals Ltd
‘Bajaj Electricals Limited’, a trusted Indian company is a part of ‘Bajaj Group’. A globally renowned company, Bajaj Electricals is present across Consumer Products [Appliances, Fans and lighting], Luminaires, EPC [Illumination, Transmission Towers and Power Distribution] and Exports divisions. The company has 19 branch offices spread across the country with approximately 462 customer care centers and around 70 exclusive showrooms called ‘Bajaj World’. For more information, please visit Bajaj Electricals Ltd.