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WhatsApp is down in several parts of the world

Many users have raised issues on Twitter and members of the India Today Tech team are also unable to use WhatsApp. Meta says it is working on the issue. Most users could open the app but were not able to send messages and media files. Naturally, users aren’t able to use other services, such as WhatsApp audio and video call.

As per the outage tracker, Downdetector, many users started facing issues with the WhatsApp mobile app and web at around 12:30 PM today, October 25. At the time of writing this article, over 2,000 users reported issues with the app on the website. Downdetector also points out that 69 percent of users are facing issues with sending messages, while 21 percent of users are facing server connection-related problems. Around 9 percent of users face other unknown issues with the smartphone app.

WhatsApp Web also appears to be affected by the outage, and we can confirm that the app’s web client is also unable to connect to the WhatsApp servers, suggesting a server-level outage, and not one that only affects the Android and iOS apps. Anyone trying to use WhatsApp Web will be greeted with an error message like the one seen below.

WhatsApp has acknowledged the issue. “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible,” a Meta spokesperson said.
It is not clear what has caused the disruption. There is no statement on WhatsApp or parent company Meta’s (erstwhile Facebook) official Twitter account.

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Samsung and Bill Gates creates waterless toilets, turns waste into ash

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates collaborate with Samsung to develop a waterless toilet that burns solid waste into ashes.

The waterless toilet employs heat-treatment and bioprocessing technologies to eliminate viruses present in human waste. Liquid waste is handled using a biological purification procedure, while solid trash is dehydrated, dried, and burned to ashes. 

As per information available on the official website of Samsung, the system also permits complete recycling of the treated water. This Project is part of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.” Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT).

According to the Gates Foundation, “The initiative aims to generate innovative solutions that can protect people and communities from human waste–borne pathogens and enable governments to deliver truly inclusive sanitation services that reach the poorest communities.” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation claims that the disposal of human waste, which has not changed much since it was first practiced, is a substantial cause of a number of serious health issues.

The reinvented toilet project at SAIT in Suwon, Korea, was attended by Gyoyoung Jin, President, and Head of SAIT; Doulaye Kone, Deputy Director, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene and Sun Kim, Senior Program Officer, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Yong Chae Lee, External Advisor to the Foundation, along with the project’s participants from SAIT

As per World Health Organization and UNICEF, around 3.6 billion people are compelled to use substandard sanitation facilities, and as a result, 500,000 children under the age of five pass away every year from diarrheal infections brought on by a lack of access to clean water and proper hygiene.

The core technologies developed by Samsung include heat-treatment and bioprocessing technologies to kill pathogens from human waste and make the released effluent and solids safe for the environment. The system enables the treated water to be fully recycled, Solid waste is dehydrated, dried and combusted into ashes, while liquid waste is treated through a biological purification process.

Samsung said in a news release

As per the statement released by Samsung, The core technologies developed by Samsung include heat-treatment and bioprocessing technologies to kill pathogens from human waste and make the released effluent and solids safe for the environment. The system enables the treated water to be fully recycled. Solid waste is dehydrated, dried, and combusted into ashes, while liquid waste is treated through a biological purification process.

Benefits of Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

  • Remove harmful pathogens from human waste and recover valuable resources such as energy, clean water, and nutrients
  • Operate “off the grid” without connections to water and sewers and require minimal electricity
  • Cost less than US$.05 cents per user per day
  • Promote sustainable and profitable sanitation services and businesses in poor urban settings
  • Can appeal to everyone, in developed as well as developing nations

Milestones in Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

  • July 2011: The foundation awards grants to 16 researchers around the world to develop reinvented toilet technologies based on innovative approaches and engineering processes.
  • August 2012: The foundation hosted a two-day Reinvent the Toilet Fair at our headquarters in Seattle to showcase sanitation projects and reinvented toilet prototypes. The fair brings together participants from 29 countries, including researchers, designers, investors, advocates, and representatives from communities that could ultimately adopt these innovative approaches to sanitation.
  • August 2013: Announced Reinvent the Toilet Challenge: China, committing US$5 million to support Chinese innovators in developing and producing the “next-generation toilets.”
  • October 2013: In collaboration with India’s Ministry of Science and Technology, we launch Reinvent the Toilet Challenge: India to support sanitation research and development projects led by Indian innovators and organizations that can extend affordable sanitation services to poor communities.
  • March 2014: The second Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India is held in Delhi aimed to stimulate discussion and spur partnerships to bring safe, affordable sanitation to the 2.5 billion people who lack access.
  • November 2018: The foundation joined global innovators, development banks, corporate partners, sanitation utilities, and governments to host the first Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing. The expo features product announcements and funding commitments aimed at accelerating the adoption of innovative, non-sewered sanitation technologies in developing regions around the world.
  • 2020: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge partner with South Africa’s Water Research Commission and the Department of Science and Innovation to launch the first reinvented commercial demonstration platform to pilot reinvented toilet models in school and community settings.

The initiative has resulted in more than 25 breakthrough processing components and technologies that that are available for commercialization by product and sanitation service companies.

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Jio to launch 5G in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata Mukesh Ambani

Reliance to launch Jio 5G Services by Diwali 2022 in Metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The company further added that it will be expanded to other cities and towns in phases rapidly to cover entire India in 18 months by December 2023. “Jio’s ambitious 5G rollout plan will be the fastest in the world,” the company said.

Jio’s 5G network will be Stand-alone with zero dependency on 4G network. The three-fold advantage of Stand-Alone 5G architecture, largest and best mix of spectrum and Carrier Aggregation technology means that Jio 5G will be able to offer an unparalleled combination of coverage, capacity, quality and affordability. With Stand-Alone 5G, Jio can deliver new and powerful services like low latency, massive machine-to-machine communication, 5G voice, Edge computing and network slicing, and metaverse,

Mukesh Ambani during Launch event

Major Takeaways From Mukesh Ambani ’s Address

  1. Reliance Jio to launch 5G services by Diwali in key metros
  2. Reliance Jio aims to deliver 5G connectivity in every town of India by December 2023
  3. “Jio 5G will be the world’s largest and most advanced 5G network”, said Mukesh Ambani
  4. Rs 2 lakh crore investment announced for pan-India 5G network
  5. Setting up of India’s first carbon fiber plant with a capacity of 20,000 MT announced in Hazira, Gujarat
  6. Rs 75,000 cr investment committed in O2C (Oil to Chemical) business over next 3 years
  7. RIL to set up Giga factories for photovoltaic panels, energy storage, green hydrogen, and for fuel cell systems
  8. “Akash and Isha have assumed leadership roles in Jio, Retail. Anant joined New Energy Biz with great zeal”, said Ambani
  9.  Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani on Monday said KG-D6 will contribute ~30% of India’s gas production.
  10. At Reliance Industries’ 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM), its chairman and managing director announced its new Giga Factory for Power Electronics.

Reliance Annual General Meeting 2022 has concluded with Mukesh Ambani attempting to woo investors with a magnified platter. However, a drop of 0.69 percent in the share price of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) gives an impression that investors did not get carried away much, and some may even have got disappointed with the business tycoon’s announcements.

Shortly after Mukesh Ambani, during the Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries Ltd, announced the collaboration of Meta and Jio platforms to launch JioMart on WhatsApp, Meta (formerly Facebook) founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on social media that he is ‘excited’ about the launch.

Meta and Jio Platforms announced the launch of an end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp, where consumers can shop from JioMart right within their WhatsApp chat. JioMart on WhatsApp will enable users in India, including those who have never shopped online before, to seamlessly browse through JioMart’s entire grocery catalog, add items to the cart, and make the payment to complete the purchase – all without leaving the WhatsApp chat.


Popular VLC Media Player banned in India

India’s most popular media player across multiple platforms, VLC Media Player is reportedly being banned in the country. The VLC Media Player website no longer works in India and users cannot download the program’s exe file (windows executable file) for installation anymore.

“The website has been blocked as per the order of Ministry of Electronics and Information technology under IT Act, 2000” While there is no official information regarding any ban from the government, access to the VLC website has been restricted by major ISPs.

VLC Media Player (the Android app) is still available on the Google Play Store. Users with an Android phone can visit the Google Play Store and install the app for now. There is still no word on whether the mobile version of the popular program will also be affected by the ban.

Why is VLC Media Player being banned?

VLC Media Player was banned five months ago without any notice from either the VideoLan organisation or the government. As the apps continued to work and only access to the website was restricted, the ban went unnoticed.

While the Centre is yet to come out with any official information on the issue, in April, cybersecurity experts warned that a China-based hacker group — Cicada — used VLC Media Player to deliver malware as part of a Chinese government-backed cyberattack campaign. The government has not made public any official report on the alleged attack and claims that the Chinese government was involved.

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