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Disabled people can now use Android devices with facial gestures

Users can scan their cellphone display screen and choose an activity by smiling, elevating eyebrows, opening their mouth, or seeking to the left, proper or up.

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Google unfolds new ways to control Android devices with facial gestures
Google unfolds new ways to control Android devices with facial gestures

San Francisco: Individuals with speech or bodily disabilities can now use their Android-powered smartphones hands-free— using a raised eyebrow or smile.

On September 23, Google said that it has put two new tools, machine learning and front-facing cameras on smartphones to work detecting face and eye movements.

The changes are the result of two new features, one is called "Camera Switches," which lets people use their faces instead of swipes and taps to interact with smartphones.

The other is ‘Project Activate’, a new Android application which allows people to use those gestures to trigger an action, like having a phone play a recorded phrase, send a text, or make a call.

Customers can scan their cellphone display screen and choose an activity by smiling, elevating eyebrows, opening their mouth, or seeking to the left, proper or up.

“To make Android extra accessible for everybody, we’re launching new instruments that make it simpler to manage your cellphone and talk utilizing facial gestures,” Google mentioned.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), nearly 61 million adults in the United States (US) live with disabilities, which has pushed Google and rivals Apple and Microsoft to make products and services more accessible to them.

The tech giant in a blog post said, "Every day, people use voice commands, like 'Hey Google,' or their hands to navigate their phones".

"However, that's not always possible for people with severe motor and speech disabilities," it added.

"Now it's possible for anyone to use eye movements and facial gestures that are customized to their range of movement to navigate their phone - sans hands and voice," Google said.

So far, the free Activate app is available in Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States at the Google Play shop.

On the other hand, Apple built an "AssistiveTouch" feature into the software powering its smart watch to let touchscreen displays be controlled by sensing movements such as finger pinches or hand clenches.

AssistiveTouch also works with Voice Over so you can navigate Apple Watch with one hand while using a cane or leading a service animal.

Earlier, Google also expanded the ‘Lookout app’ which uses computer vision to help people with impaired vision.

Now, the app can read out read out handwritten text in Latin-based languages, so users can read notes or letters sent to them. Additionally, Lookout's currency mode was expanded to include rupees and euros.

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

Technology

Twitter Chief Technology Officer Agrawal to replace Dorsey as CEO

Dorsey is stepping down as chief of the social media company.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Twitter Chief Technology Officer Agrawal to replace Dorsey as CEO

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief of the social media company, effective immediately. Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technology officer, will take over the helm, the company said Monday.

Shares of Twitter were down about half a percent before noon on Monday.

Dorsey, 45, was serving as both the CEO of Twitter and Square, his digital payments company. Dorsey will remain a member of the board until his term expires at the 2022 meeting of stockholders, the company said. Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor will become the chairman of the board, succeeding Patrick Pichette, a former Google executive, who will remain on the board as chair of the audit committee.

 “I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement, though he didn’t provide any additional detail on why he decided to resign.

Agrawal will have to meet Twitter’s aggressive internal goals. The company said earlier this year it aims to have 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023 and to at least double its annual revenue in that year.

Agrawal, who’s served as CTO since 2017, has been with Twitter for more than a decade. He had been in charge of strategy involving artificial intelligence and machine learning and he led projects to make tweets in users’ timelines more relevant to them.

Agrawal was also previously tasked with finding a leader for Project Bluesky, a research project Twitter launched to establish open and decentralized standards for social media platforms. Dorsey had previously said Bluesky will help social media companies collaborate on how posts are promoted to users and will give users more control over the content they see. Bluesky could also make it easier for the social networks to enforce restrictions against hate speech and other abuse, essentially helping them share the load at a lower cost.

Agrawal held research internships at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo prior to joining Twitter.

Dorsey said in an email he published on Twitter that Agrawal has been his choice to lead the company “for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.”

Dorsey was nearly ousted last year when Twitter stakeholder Elliott Management had sought to replace him. Elliott Management founder and billionaire investor Paul Singer had wondered whether Dorsey should run both of the public companies. Singer called for Dorsey to step down as CEO of one of them before the investment firm reached a deal with Twitter’s management.

Dorsey, who co-founded the social media giant in 2006, served as CEO until 2008 before being pushed out of the role. He returned to lead Twitter in 2015 after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down.

Shares have jumped 85% since Dorsey took over as CEO on Oct 5. 2015. Square stock has surged 1,566% since its initial public offering on Nov. 19, 2015.

SOURCE: CNBC

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'Chittagong test': Pakistan thrash Bangladesh by eight wickets

Pakistan chased down the 202-run target with eight wickets in hand.

Published by Mehak Javed

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'Chittagong test': Pakistan thrash Bangladesh by eight wickets

Dhaka: In the key match of Chittagong test, Pakistan thrashed Bangladesh by eight wickets Tuesday.

Pakistan chased down the 202-run target with eight wickets in hand.

It is pertinent to mention here that this was the second time in Pakistan’s Test history, which stretch 440 matches, that an opening pair recorded two century stands in a match.

Bangladesh had got off to a positive start with Mushfiqur hitting a boundary off the first ball of the morning, bowled by Hasan Ali.

But two balls later he left a delivery that darted back in and departed for 16 after Hasan uprooted his off-stump.

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Technology

Bitcoin, other cryptos surge after sharp sell-off

The price of bitcoin climbed back above $58,000, rising 8.6% in 24 hours to $58,607.75, according to Coin Metrics data.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Bitcoin, other cryptos surge after sharp sell-off

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies surged Monday after a sharp sell-off at the end of last week.

The price of bitcoin climbed back above $58,000, rising 8.6% in 24 hours to $58,607.75, according to Coin Metrics data.

Other digital assets also rose, with ether jumping more than 9% to $$4,440.99 and XRP up 9% at around 99 cents.

Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific at cryptocurrency exchange Luno, said early reports that the new, heavily-mutated omicron Covid variant came with milder symptoms was giving the market a boost.

“We’re seeing news of the variant being potentially weaker in terms of symptoms in early analysis, which has bolstered the market comeback,” Ayyar said via email. “Hence, smart investors have probably bought this dip.”

Bitcoin last week sank as low as $53,549, its lowest level since early October, amid a broader sell-off in stocks and other riskier assets on the back of fears over the new coronavirus variant.

The world’s largest digital currency was briefly down more than 20% from its recent all-time high of nearly $69,000, officially entering bear market territory. Bear markets are typically defined by a decline of 20% of more from recent highs.

The new Covid variant, first identified in South Africa, has spread to multiple countries including the U.K., Germany and Italy.

The US, UK and other nations have restricted travel with some African countries in response. Britain has also introduced new measures to tackle the new virus mutation, including mandatory mask wearing in shops and public transport in England.

On Sunday, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who first spotted the omicron variant, described its symptoms as “extremely mild,” soothing fears of a potential return of lockdown restrictions during the holidays.

“The global environment did add to the uncertainty across all risk asset classes as we saw last week, but the bounce back always shows us how strong the uptrend is, which is what we’re seeing here,” Ayyar said.

If bitcoin loses $48,000 to $50,000 on a daily or weekly basis, “that would definitely imply bearishness,” he added. But for now, Ayyar says “we’re still in bull market territory.”

SOURCE: CNBC

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