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  • Why Did TMC CPI NCP Fail to Meet National Party Status When

    first_imgKolkata: Recently, the Election Commission (EC) sought a reply from the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on why their recognition as a ‘national party’ status should not be withdrawn.Based on the criteria mentioned in the ‘Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968’, the EC lists political parties as a ‘national party’, ‘state party’ or ‘registered (unrecognised) party’. Due to several political developments over the past few years, the EC wants these political parties to respond on why their ‘national party’ status should not be taken away.To start with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, the party managed to win only one of the 60 Assembly seats during the 2017 Manipur Assembly polls and secured 1.4 per cent votes (Tongbram Robindro Singh was declared winner from Thanga).In Arunachal Pradesh, the party contested the 2009 Assembly elections for the first time and won five of the 60 seats. However, it did not field any candidate in the 2019 Assembly polls. During the Assam Assembly elections in 2011, the Trinamool Congress contested from 103 seats (out of 126), but won only one — Karimganj South. In 2016, it managed to grab only 4.93 per cent votes (from Hajo) and failed to win any seat. In the 2018 Tripura Assembly polls, the party contested from 24 of the 297 seats, but failed to win any (0.3 per cent vote share). “Considering these results, the Trinamool Congress fails to fulfil the criteria of ‘national party’ status, because according to the Election Symbols order, a political party can be accorded national status only if its vote share is six per cent in the last Assembly polls in each of any four states along with four seat in the last general polls; or 2% of all Lok Sabha seats in the last such elections with MPs elected from at least three states; or recognition as a state party in at least four states,” said Kapil Thakur, a political expert. At present, the Banerjee-led is not fulfilling any of the above criteria to retain its ‘national party’ status. The CPI too is unable to meet the criteria in Tamil Nadu, Manipur and West Bengal. In Kerala, it won 19 seats in the 2016 Assembly elections. The party became insignificant in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal as it managed to win only one seat each in 2016. In Manipur, it failed to open its account in the 2017 Assembly polls. At present, the CPI is far behind the EC’s clause which mandates that “a political party can only be considered as ‘national party’ if its vote share is six per cent in the last Assembly polls in each of any four states.”“Except Kerala, we are not fulfilling the criteria in rest of the states. Let’s not get into how many seats we won or lose. The point is, as per norms, which was amended in 2016, the EC can review the status of parties every 10 years. The poll body did the first review in 2014 and the next review is scheduled for 2024. I don’t know why has it sent the letters now — five years before the next date,” said CPI secretary Swapan Banerjee.The NCP is also facing the similar crisis as it failed to meet the criteria of 6 per cent vote share in the last Assembly polls. Party spokesperson Nawab Malik said a reply would be sent based on the Assembly election (scheduled to be held in October or November) results in Maharashtra.Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP) got the status of a ‘national party’. It became the eighth party (first from the northeast) to be accorded the recognition. The other seven are the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), NCP, CPI, CPI (M) and AITC.With its significant presence in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland, besides Meghalaya, the NPP has satisfied the EC’s last criteria — ‘recognition as a state party in at least four states’. In 2017, the NPP won four of the 60 Assembly seats in Manipur by securing a vote share of 5.05 per cent, while in 2019, it won five of the 60 Assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh with a 14.56 per cent. In 2018, it won 19 (out of 58) and five (out of 60) seats in Meghalaya and Nagaland, in the respective Assembly elections. While the vote share in Meghalaya was 20.60 per cent, in Nagaland it was 6.92 per cent.Political entities try to get the ‘national party’ status due to the several benefits attached with it, including a single proposer to file nomination and cap on other political parties to use their symbols in any platform.Recognised national parties and their candidates are given two and one set of electoral rolls, respectively, free of cost by the EC. They are also entitled to get land or building from the government to set up their party offices.They can also hire up to 40 star campaigners and the expenditure on their travelling and other expenses will be excluded from the election expenditure of the party candidate. They can also get a slot on national television, state television and on radio to address the people and convey their political message to the masses.Though, the EC has sought reply from these three parties (AITC, NCP and CPI) by August 5, experts believe they will get ample breathing space as the EC had amended its rules in 2016, to review the status of political parties every 10 years instead of five years. AITCAll India Trinamool CongressAssembly electionsCommunist Party of India First Published: July 20, 2019, 7:40 PM IST | Edited by: Sohini Goswamilast_img read more

  • Essential Phone limitededitions include Copper Black surprise

    first_imgBecause of that, the Essential Phone has until now only been offered in either Pure White or Black Moon. We’ve also seen plenty of firmware updates, helping to refine some of what reviewers and early-adopters alike have complained about the handset. Recent updates have polished the camera performance, responsiveness of the touchscreen, and more. Now, it’s the outside which is getting revamped. Starting today, at 12pm PST, Essential will be offering the Essential Phone Ocean Depths finish. It’ll be priced at $599 – unlocked and SIM-free – and the company says that only limited quantities of the dark green handset will be available. It has a contrasting copper-finish band running both around its edge and the periphery of the fingerprint sensor.Come next Tuesday, February 20th, the Stella Gray Essential Phone will go on sale. It’ll also be priced at $599, and will also only be available in limited – and unspecified – numbers. Unlike the existing, shiny Black Moon finish, the Stella Gray version has a matte black back and a black titanium frame. Finally, on Thursday, February 22nd, at 12pm PST, the Copper Black Essential Phone will join its siblings – with a high gloss black back and a warm copper band – at the same price and with the same warning that it won’t be available forever. All have 128 GB of onboard storage.Like the black and white versions, all three of the new colors will use a mixture of titanium and ceramic for their bodies. They also work with Essential’s modular accessory system, with a magnetic mount on the back and a high-speed data connection for adding other gadgets to the Android smartphones. Still, right now that just means one single accessory, Essential’s own 4K 360-degree camera; we’re yet to hear about any third-party add-ons, or indeed anything else from Essential itself that could use the same connector. Still, plenty of people have wanted a more exciting color for the bezel-less smartphones, and Essential is finally filling that niche. You do pay more for the privilege, mind: you can currently buy a black or white Essential Phone for $499, unlocked and SIM-free. There’s more on the pros and cons of the handset in our recent Essential Phone review. Essential has spilled the details on its three new Essential Phone colors, Ocean Depths, Stella Gray, and Copper Black, with sales kicking off from today. Announced back when Essential first revealed the phone, the new finishes have taken longer to arrive than Andy Rubin’s startup initially anticipated, after the discovery that getting the colors and textures right was trickier than they thought. Story TimelineEssential PH-1 Android 8.0 Oreo dropped, skipping to 8.1 insteadEssential Phone sales report suggests it’s definitely misnamedEssential Phone Ocean Depths color released at lastlast_img read more

  • Alexa handsfree comes to Amazons Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets

    first_imgAmazon’s Alexa is going hands-free on the company’s affordable Android tablets, with a new voice mode added to the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8. The two tablets, which are priced from $49.99, have had Alexa support since launch, but it’s not worked in quite the same way as you’d experience the voice assistant through an Echo or Echo Dot. SlashGear uses affiliate links, and if you order something we might receive a small percentage of the sale Story TimelineAmazon Echo Spot Review: Alexa’s cutest containerAmazon Alexa gets DVR support for TiVo, DISH, and moreAlexa Routines gets music support: here’s how to use itcenter_img That’s because Alexa lacked voice triggering on the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8. Instead, if you want to speak to the AI, you need to tap and hold on the on-screen home button first. That turns the microphones on, in the same way that saying “Alexa” to an Echo does.Now, though, in a new firmware update, Amazon is changing things. If the Fire 7 or Fire HD 8 is plugged into a charger, or if the screen is turned on, Alexa will respond to a voice command instead. However, if the tablet screen is off, and the Android slate is not plugged in to power, Alexa won’t be listening. Amazon also says that, if the power supply is relatively low-power – such as the USB port on a computer – Alexa might not work in hands-free mode either.It makes the Fire 7 among the cheapest ways to get Alexa into your home, assuming you want Amazon’s logo on the box. At $49.99 it’s the same price as the Echo Dot, though the compact smart speaker is often discounted for temporary promotions. If you already have other Echo devices, the new hands-free mode for the tablets do support Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), which means that only the closest to you should respond. AdChoices广告What’s interesting is that the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 also show on-screen graphics depending on what task is asked of Alexa. It’s not quite the same as what’s displayed on an Echo Show or Echo Spot, Amazon’s two touchscreen-based models, but the tablets are certainly more affordable than those devices. An Echo Spot currently starts at $110, for example. Like the Show and Spot, the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 support video calling through Amazon’s free service, too. Amazon says the firmware update bringing Alexa hands-free mode to the tablets is being pushed out this week, though it might be a couple of days before you see it. It’s only supported on the 7th Generation Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets, too, launched in 2017. Earlier versions may support Alexa, but you’ll still need to trigger the assistant manually.MORE Amazonlast_img read more

  • Apple probably making more fabricwearing devices

    first_imgIn a set of product drawings made by Apple we’ve seen what could very well be the future of the brand’s smart devices collection – conceptually, anyway. The drawings come from a patent description packet by the name of “Structured Fabrics for Electronic Devices,” and it was first filed in February of 2018 with the USPTO. In Apple patent filing terms, that’s CRAZY recent – generally we see patent filing dates YEARS before the publication date – here that’s just not so. The description of the concept collection from Apple suggests “electronic equipment may include structured fabric.” This isn’t a completely new idea for Apple, as they’ve included some fabric elements on devices in the past. Thanks to the iFixit teardown of the Apple HomePod, we see they’ve included not one, but two layers of fabric on their smart speaker. Apple’s description of electronic device with integrated fabric includes control circuitry, input-output devices, and a display, around which is fabric with stiffener(s). This point is important, since it shows Apple isn’t interested in creating clothing – not the sort that flaps in the breeze, anyway. These fabrics are flat, relatively rigid, and are made to compliment electronic devices. Apple describes lamination equipment and hot pressing equipment for electronic device/fabric integration. This isn’t the sort of fabric that’s ever going to exist on its own. It always has adhesive in the mix, and always has a stiffener agent. SEE TOO: Apple’s laser-marked fabricPerhaps the most interesting bit of the description of possible uses for Apple’s integration of fabric and electronics is the bit where they mention the human body. “In some situations, the fabric may be used to hold an electronic device against a user’s wrist, arm, or other part of the body.” That sounds like a wrist strap for an Apple Watch to me. That, or it describes the potential for more wearable devices the likes of which we’ve not yet seen from Apple. Cross your fingers for the latter. Story TimelineTech21 demonstrates D30 impact fabric: we go hands-oniPad Pro Smart Keyboard iFixit teardown peels back the conductive fabricCasio Mofrel 2.5D printer makes realistic fabric and leather sampleslast_img read more

  • Galaxy Note 9 price heres what it will cost you

    first_imgWe’re still two weeks or so away from Samung’s Unpacked 2018 event but we probably will no longer be surprised by what the manufacturer unveils in its hours-long presentation. All we actually need now are details on the Galaxy Note 9’s availability. Those are still pretty uncertain for now and could still change at the last minute. But if the latest leak on pricing is true, the Samsung might have another disappointing sales run for this year on top of the lackluster Galaxy S9 numbers. The prices for the Galaxy Note 9 come from WinFuture who does have a track record for being spot on with some leaks. On the one hand, it’s not surprising that there will be a price bump, which is the trend year after year. On the other hand, you might not have expected it to be this big.According to the site, the Galaxy Note 9’s price will start at 1,050 EUR, roughly $1,230. Granted, that’s not how pricing between markets work but we can still expect it to cost a lost more than $1,000. Given that the full price for the Galaxy Note 8 started at around $950, you can see how big an increase it is.That said, you do get 128 GB of storage for that price, though there’s no lower option for those who want to go cheaper. There’s also a 256 GB model that will sell for 1,250 EUR, around $1,460. We are definitely getting into and even going beyond iPhone X territory.Samsung will probably justify the costs with new hardware, like new front sensors for enabling AR Emojis, better cameras with dual apertures, and, of course, the Bluetooth-enabled S Pen. But if Samsung was hoping the Galaxy Note 9 would offset the Galaxy S9’s market performance, the price might make that improbable. Story TimelineGalaxy Note 9 S Pen features found in Galaxy Tab S4 firmwareGalaxy Note 9 details: Features and Functions pre-releaseSamsung Galaxy Note 9 event contents leaked earlylast_img read more

  • Google Play Store bans cryptocurrency mining apps

    first_imgGoogle maintains a list of content that it doesn’t allow on the Play Store. This includes expected things, such as hate speech, gratuitous violence, terrorist content, bullying, and similar. As well, Google bans certain other content including select financial apps, cryptocurrency miners being the big new addition.“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices,” Google says in its Developer Policy Center. It does make one crypto-related exception, though. “We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency,” says Google. The move follows Apple’s crypto-mining app ban implemented in June. Other big tech companies have similarly banned certain mining content, such as Chrome extensions that can be used to mine digital money like Bitcoin. Others, like Facebook, have targeted cryptocurrency advertisements in an effort to decrease the number of shady companies and scammers targeting the public.The ban is an important one. In a worst case scenario, a cryptocurrency miner can cause physical damage to a smartphone or tablet by causing it to overheat. Certain crypto-mining malware have been found to cause physical damage, for example, to a phone’s battery, in some cases causing the case to pop open due to a swollen battery.SOURCE: Google Play Google has expanded its list of banned Android apps, adding cryptocurrency miners to the roster of content not allowed on the Play Store. Any crypto-miners already present on the Google Play Store will be removed in coming days, hopefully protecting users’ phones and tablets from damage caused by mining digital coins. The ban does come with one important exception, however.last_img read more

  • Google is killing Reply but its feature zombies will live on

    In an email to Reply users, Area 120 has announced that it’ll soon be shutting down Reply. It sounds like Google and Area 120 will cease work on Reply immediately, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that users will be shut out right away. The email says that Reply will still work for “the next few months,” but since it won’t be officially supported, users might encounter bugs and glitches.The email, which was discovered by 9to5Google, paints the Reply experiment as a success. “We worked with teams in Google to make sure the ideas and learnings from Reply will live on in other Google products,” Area 120 writes, so even though the app itself is dead, we’ll see its features make their way to other areas of the Android ecosystem eventually.Reply was notable because it took the Smart Reply feature only available in Google’s first-party apps and made it compatible with a number of other apps. With Reply, you could send out replies from your notifications panel in apps like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Slack, and Skype. With Smart Replies becoming a native feature in Android, it makes a lot of sense that Google would look to take what it’s learned and expand it beyond the Reply app.AdChoices广告So, while this may be a sad announcement for those who enjoyed Reply’s functionality, Area 120’s email certainly gives Android users cause to look forward to the future. No firm shut down date has been given for Reply yet, but it sounds like you’ll be able to use it at least until the end of the year. Beyond that, the best we can say is use Reply while you have the chance, because its sunset phase has definitely begun. Back in February, Google’s Area 120 team launched a handy app called Reply. Essentially, it took the Smart Reply feature that Google has implemented in a few of its apps and expanded it, both in functionality and compatibility. It was definitely an interesting “experiment,” as Google described it, but now the time has come for it to be put to rest. Story TimelineSmart Reply in Gmail arrives on Android and iOSReply to bring Google Smart Reply to any chat appReply from Google Area 120 now available unofficially read more

  • Galaxy S10 leaks just got real

    first_imgStory TimelineFull-body Galaxy S10 leaks show multiple phonesGalaxy S10+ prototype has a strange notchGalaxy A8s details: Like a phantom Galaxy S10Galaxy S10 case spills the good news The Samsung Galaxy S10 was shown to have a new sort of style overnight in a set of leaks that lead us to believe that yes, the phone will have a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. This smartphone will very likely have two microphone holes (one up top, one around bottom) and just one bottom-firing speaker. That’s for the standard Galaxy S10, mind you.It’s apparent now that Samsung will reveal at least three different Samsung Galaxy S10 models in February. The first three will have names similar to (if not exactly) those that follow: Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy S10, and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. There’ll also be a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (Beyond X) to look forward to as well.Above you’ll find a rendering – not a real photo – of a Galaxy S10. This comes from SlashLeaks and isn’t likely anything official – but it’s a pretty good approximation of what we’re expecting the Galaxy S10 to look like. If you’ll take a peek below, you’ll find a flat-screened Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone made to test camera tech. This is not the final design of the Galaxy S10, but it may give us some idea as to how the company will handle the Galaxy S10 Lite. It’s been reported that the Galaxy S10 Lite will have a flat display while its brethren have the “Infinity Display” effect, much like previous Galaxy S smartphones (with the display cascading off the left and right of the device). The Galaxy S10 Lite might very well appeal to those users that never really got onboard with the “Edge” panels revealed by Samsung several years ago. That curved display business, initially launched with the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, continued forward with the Infinity panels we see today. Here in 2018 (looking forward to 2019) we’re hoping a flat-screen Galaxy Note 10 sees the light of day, too.The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus will closely replicate the differences between the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus. It’ll have a larger panel and quite possibly an extra set of camera lenses, too. On the back of the Galaxy S10 family we’ll see anywhere between 1 and 4 camera lenses – depending on the model. Expected Galaxy S10 Models in early 2019:• Galaxy S10 Lite: Beyond 0, 5.8-inch display (flat) 2K resolution, SM-G970F• Galaxy S10: Beyond 1, 6.1-inch display (in-display fingerprint scanner, 2+ cameras on back) 2K resolution, Exynos 9820, SM-G973F• Galaxy S10 Plus: Beyond 2, 6.2-inch display (in-display fingerprint scanner, 3+ cameras on back) 2K resolution, Exynos 9820, SM-G975F Galaxy S10 Lite looks like this might look like this.(Sorry, I modified it a bit)— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 11, 2018 Above you’ll see the basics involved in the Samsung Galaxy S10 and its closest associates. These three phones will likely be revealed at an event in February in Barcelona (and worldwide). It’s expected that this event will take place on February 24th, 2019. If said event does take place at said time, we’re expecting the Galaxy S10, Lite, and Plus to have a release date of March 6th (or thereabouts), 2019. Stick around as the steady drip leaks continue. The Samsung Galaxy S10 leak released today made the whole game change – and not just because it appears to be a real photo. Today we get confirmation that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will indeed have a headphone jack. Today we get a bit more confirmation that the Galaxy S10 will still have a microSD card slot. Today we get confirmation that, no, Sandy, they won’t be moving back to a plastic back just to let the phone have a removable battery. last_img read more

  • We cant stop staring at the 2020 Ford Explorers weird touchscreen

    first_img 2020 Ford Explorer Gallery It’s fair to say that’s an area the old Explorer felt behind in. The fifth generation Explorer debuted in 2011, and even with a few refreshes along the way, its dashboard design was feeling fairly jaded. SYNC 3, Ford’s infotainment platform, was looking fairly cramped on the standard 8-inch touchscreen sunk into the center console. Come the 2020 Explorer, though, and things are a lot more interesting. Admittedly, the standard infotainment system is still SYNC 3 on an 8-inch touchscreen, but Ford isn’t focusing on that. Instead it would much rather show you its new portrait-mounted touchscreen display. That measures in at a far healthier 10.1-inches, and is perched atop the center stack. It looks, at first glance, as though someone has propped an iPad up there, and indeed Ford says it should feel more like that in everyday use. It uses a capacitive touchscreen with a glass cover, more akin to a smartphone or tablet to your fingertips, along with an updated version of SYNC 3.AdChoices广告For instance, you’ll be able to have your navigation interface occupy the whole display for the most straightforward directions, or alternatively split that layout so as to see audio information at the same time. With its higher position on the dashboard it should be easier to glance across and see the next turn or the current track without having to take your eyes completely off the road, something we found could be an issue with the current Explorer’s infotainment screen placement. Ford also has an optional 12.3-inch driver instrumentation display, which replaces the analog gages with a fully digital layout. Obviously, Ford isn’t the first to try the portrait orientation touchscreen. Tesla’s Model S prompted a few dropped jaws back when the EV launched, after the electric automaker opted to replace almost all of the physical controls in the dashboard with a huge touchscreen instead. Indeed, the only remaining buttons in that center console are those safety regulators demand must be present. Volvo too has opted for the portrait touch approach. The second-generation XC90 SUV, when it launched in 2014, debuted the automaker’s Sensus infotainment system, which also replaces much of the interface with a tall touchscreen. Volvo’s system is notable for how well it accommodates things like third-party smartphone projection interfaces such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while still showing its own native controls at the same time – as shown below – rather than forcing drivers to switch between them on-screen.Though Ford may not be the first, its new 10.1-inch SYNC 3 system may well be the most attainable. Pricing for the option hasn’t been confirmed at this stage, but we’re expecting the 2020 Explorer to kick off at around $33k. Similarly unclear is how the updated SYNC 3 will handle things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both the standard and the upgraded infotainment systems will support both Apple and Google’s smartphone projection interfaces, but we don’t know if the 10.1-inch display will do a Volvo-style split-screen layout. That would certainly make better use of the space. The new touchscreen finds itself at home in a cabin where technology has generally improved across the board. 4G LTE with WiFi hotspot support will be standard, as will be FordPass Connect, offering remote control over security, engine start, location, and diagnostics from a smartphone. Options will include a wireless charging pad for your phone, a 14-speaker, 980 watt B&O audio system, more USB charging ports – including USB-C – and even more power outlets. We’ll find out quite how well all that works when the 2020 Ford Explorer arrives at dealerships. That’s expected to start in the summer of 2019. Ford’s 2020 Explorer may be more stylish, more powerful, tow more, and have more safety tech, but we can’t stop looking at the unusual touchscreen on its dashboard. The all-new SUV – the latest iteration of the “world’s most popular,” Ford is keen to remind us – was revealed on Wednesday in Detroit, and it marks a significant upgrade in cabin technology. Story TimelineFord brings Amazon Alexa to its Sync 3 vehiclesFord’s SYNC 3 can now pay for your gas, no buttons neededFord is updating 2016 SYNC 3 cars with CarPlay and Android Autolast_img read more