Mary Kom gets into World Boxing Championship final

The legendary M C Mary Kom remained on course for an unprecedented sixth gold medal by reaching the 48kg final but Lovlina Borgohain had to settle for a bronze after losing her semifinal bout in 69kg in the Women’s World Boxing Championship here Thursday.

The 35-year-old Mary Kom, a five-time world champion, beat her North Korean opponent Mi Hyang Kim in a unanimous 5-0 decision in the semifinals.

In the summit clash on Saturday, Mary Kom will take on Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota whom the Indian had beaten earlier this year in a tournament in Poland.

After reaching the semifinals on Tuesday, Mary Kom has already become the most successful woman pugilist in the event’s history. Now, she will chase another history on Saturday.

If the diminutive Manipuri, known as ‘Magnificent Mary’, wins a gold on Saturday, she will match Cuban men’s legend Felix Savon as the joint most successful pugilist (men and women) in the World Championships’ history

Savon, who also won three Olympic gold medals during his illustrious career, won six gold and one silver in heavyweight in the World Championships between 1986 and 1989.

Mary Kom entered the event with a remarkable tally of five gold medals and a silver to her credit. She last won a World Championship medal in 2010 — a 48kg category gold.

Before this World Championships, the Manipuri was tied with Irish legend Katie Taylor (five gold and a bronze) on the number of medals won. Taylor now plies her trade in the professional circuit.

“I have beaten this North Korean opponent in the Asian Championships last year and that time it was a one-sided bout. She could not touch me in that bout. But win or lose, every boxer always learns and I think she has learnt (from that bout).

“At the same time I also have learnt and I came prepared to defend and counter. I am happy that I am in the final,” Mary Kom said after the semifinal bout.

The semifinal bout began on a cautious note with both pugilists trying to understand each other’s game in the first round which had very few clean punches. In the second round, both showed their aggressive intent and the North Korean threw a flurry of quick punches.

The Indian, who won her first World Championships medal — a silver — in the inaugural edition, drew from her vast reservoir of experience as she ducked the punches and then, with quick feet movement, launched her own attack to land crucial punches on her opponent.

“My opponent was taller than me and strong also. Taller boxers can have the advantage because of their reach, they can get inside immediately and come back again. But once inside the ring, I don’t care whether my opponent is tall or not, I play my game,” she added.

Mary Kom had earlier beaten Okhota, who she will meet in the final, in the Silesian International Boxing Championships in Poland earlier this year.

“I have beaten her in Poland. I will read that bout and plan my strategy. I hope to beat her again,” Mary Kom said.

Scientists propose the Idea of an Aerosol sunscreen in the atmosphere to curb Global Warming

Spraying sun-dimming chemicals high above the Earth to slow global warming could be “remarkably inexpensive”, costing about $2.25 billion a year over a 15-year period, according to a study by US scientists.

Some researchers say the geo-engineering technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) could limit rising temperatures that are causing climate change.

As yet unproven and hypothetical, it would involve the use of huge hoses, cannons or specially designed aircraft to spray large quantities of sulphate particles into the upper layer of the atmosphere to act as a reflective barrier against sunlight.

Total costs to launch a hypothetical SAI effort 15 years from now would be $3.5 billion, scientists at Harvard University said in a report published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, adding that average annual operating costs would be about $2.25 billion a year over 15 years.

Discounting other methods of deployment because of cost and feasibility, the research assumes a special aircraft can be designed to fly at an altitude of about 20km and carry a load of 25 tonnes.

After direct input from several aerospace and engine companies, the scientists said they have developed a design that could be suitable and could be ready to be deployed in 15 years, aiming to cut the rate of temperature change in half.

The scientists emphasised that this is merely a hypothetical scenario.

“We make no judgment about the desirability of SAI. We simply show that a hypothetical deployment programme commencing 15 years hence, while both highly uncertain and ambitious, would indeed be technically possible from an engineering perspective. It would also be remarkably inexpensive,” the report said.

There are risks to such unproven potential technologies. Scientists have said SAI could result in negative consequences such as causing droughts or extreme weather in other parts of the world, harm crop yields as well as potential public health and governance issues.

It also does not address the issue of rising carbon dioxide emissions, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.

Commenting on the study, Phil Williamson at the University of East Anglia said: “Such scenarios are fraught with problems — and international agreement to go ahead with such action would seem near-impossible to achieve.”

Apple backs Google Assistant, updates it with Siri shortcut on iOS

The Google Assistant app on iOS is now backed with Siri shortcut to make the use of Assistant more convenient for iOS users. “We added support for Siri Shortcuts to make it even easier to access your Assistant,” read the app description on Apple’s App Store.  You can also set up Siri shortcuts for phrases you frequently use with Assistant, come up with a custom voice command for a single smart home action, trigger Google Assistant smart home routines inside of Siri.

“Like saying ‘Goodnight Google’ to Siri could open Assistant and run a routine like turning off all your lights and locking the door,” added the report. Users can already add an Assistant widget on the iPhone screens and with the new feature, users could cross the stream and use Siri to connect to Google Assistant.

The new shortcuts integration is available as part of the updated version of Assistant for iOS. Earlier in May, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa performed the first-ever integration of two intelligent assistants at the “Build 2018” developers’ conference held in Seattle.

Their integration worked with the command: “Alexa, open Cortana” and while Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs.

Instagram is Testing a new Interface; is going to shuffle around your Profile page

Instagram is doing some more shuffling, and this time it’ll affect your profile page.

The social media platform is testing new features throughout November and December, including vaguely announced changes to icons and buttons, and navigation between tabs.

It’s not as dramatic an update as a redesigned Explore tab, or an algorithmic feed, but it’s a small tweak.

In a blog post, Instagram said the grid displaying your photos and videos won’t change at all, but the icons above the grid could be changing to words (grid, posts, IGTV, tagged).

Your profile picture could move to the right corner, pushing your username, in larger font, to the top of the page. It appears your followers and following will take less precedence than before, and the number of posts you’ve made will no longer be present.

A side-by-side “Follow” and “Message” button could be tested on profile pages, with even more options for business pages, including “Start Order.”

“We’ve been working on these changes and will test them in phases and different combinations with our community over the next several weeks,” the post reads. “We’ll continue to experiment and update the experience as we learn from your feedback.”

It’s one of the more mild updates Instagram has rolled out over over the last few months, since Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger stepped down in September, and Facebook’s former News Feed chief, Adam Mosseri, has took over as VP of Product.

In October and November alone, the platform announced a new daily usage tracking dashboard called Your Activity, three new shopping features, and a new “nametag” feature which is reminiscent Snapchat’s Snap Codes.

The platform is also finally doing something to crack down on fake likes and followers, moving to remove follows, likes, and comments from shady third-party apps, and using machine learning to tackle bullying on its platform.

Sure, Instagram had a major outage on Tuesday. They weren’t the only ones.

2.0- A Perfect Amalgam of Art and Science; Promo Released

Heavily laced with VFXs, 2.0 the year’s behemoth release has rolled out its promotional video exhibiting some mesmerizing some unbelievable some heart-throbbing stills of Rajinikanth’s Chitti 2.0 and Akshay Kumar’s villain.

The makers of 2.0 on Tuesday released a promo video featuring some of the awe-inspiring stills from the VFX-heavy film. Titled ‘When Technology Meets Art!’, the promo sheds more-light on the epic battle between Rajinikanth’s Chitti 2.0 and Akshay Kumar’s supervillain.

Akshay’s mutant avatar is shown taking various aggressive forms in the video. If the visuals are anything to go by, 2.0 will be a technological breakthrough in Indian cinema.

The sci-fi film was in production for three years and has cost more than Rs 550 crore for its producers Lyca Productions. Initially, the filmmakers announced it as a Rs 350 crore project. And then the expenses went up to Rs 450 crore. Recently, the producers revealed that the final output overshot the budget by another Rs 100 crore.

2.0 is India’s most expensive film to date and the second costliest film in Asia. It is also India’s first film to be shot directly with 3D cameras. Usually, films are shot using 2D cameras and converted into 3D in the studios. In order to support the technology of the film, the makers have also planned to facilitate theaters across the country to upgrade themselves to 3D.

2.0, which is directed by Shankar, is set to hit the screens on November 29.

Woes Are Piling Up for Thugs of Hindostan; Scrawling At Box Office

The heavily VFX laden Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan starrer Thugs of Hindostan’s box office collection continues to show a dip on its day 13 with a collection of only Rs 60 lakh, taking the total to Rs 147.30 crore, according to Bollywood Hungama. Albeit the movie is struggling hard to cross Rs 150 crore’s mark but it seems impossible. The Vijay Krishna Acharya directorial, which hit screens on Diwali, has not been able to mint money despite being the solo festive release.

In fact, Trade analyst Taran Adarsh had recently tweeted, “#ThugsOfHindostan went further downhill in Weekend 2.”

He also shared how in the overseas market the film is lagging behind Aayushmann Khurrana’s Badhaai Ho.

Thugs of Hindostan also received negative reviews from critics. The Indian Express critic Shubhra Gupta had mentioned in her review, “Not only do you end up picking up on past films, scenes and references, you are left struggling with staleness and boredom. The writing is shockingly pedestrian, and the film just lies around, waiting for something to happen. Nothing does, for nearly three hours. Yes, this is thuggery on a large scale, and we the viewers are at the receiving end.”

Produced by Yash Raj Films, Thugs of Hindostan brought Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan together on screen for the first time. The film also starred Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh.

New Hurdle for Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal; Filmmaker Radha Bharadwaj File Lawsuit to Halt Production

Akshay Kumar starrer movie Mission Mangal slated to be release on independence next year is positioned in a catch-22 as a US-based filmmaker Radha Bharadwaj has filed a lawsuit to halt production of the film as she claims it borrows from her script. She has also called out Atul Kasbekar for sharing her screenplay with cast member Vidya Balan without her approval.

Akshay had earlier announced on his Twitter handle a few days ago, “A powerful true story of ordinary people with extraordinary dreams, on an unheard of mission to achieve the impossible.

The report also states that Bharadwaj had registered the script with the US Copyright Office in 2016 for the US and Indian market and has completed shooting of her film, Space MOMs. The film revolves around the women engineers working on the mission. Bharadwaj’s lawyer Srishti Ojha had revealed to the daily that she had come in contact with Kasbekar’s studio regarding the film in 2016 and the firm had even signed non-disclosure agreement.

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 with triple cameras officially Released

ASUS has already confirmed that it will be launching the ZenFone Max Pro M2 smartphone in Indonesia on Dec. 11. The key specs of the smartphone have been already leaked. Through a new tweet, the Indonesian wing on Asus has claimed that the upcoming M2 phone is the “Real Pro” smartphone. The tweet also carriers a render of the smartphone.

The new image confirms that the ZenFone Max Pro M2 will be equipped with a notched screen. The notch houses the front camera and some other sensors. Above the selfie camera is the earpiece of the phone. The appearance of the phone resembles with its low resolution render that had surfaced through its Google Play Console listing.

The indicators for Wi-Fi signal and battery suggests that the handset will be running on near stock version of Android just like the predecessor ZenFone Max Pro M1. The handset is equipped with a triple camera system on its rear. However, the third camera lens is not clearly visible. The back panel of the phone has a glossy appeal. There is a possibility that that the handset could be sporting a glass back.

The Taiwanese company has claimed that there many phones that come with “Pro” moniker, but are they are really Pro? Do they feature long-lasting battery? Do they have a strong display? Do they have great camera? And how does their processor perform? By this, the company could be hinting that the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the “Real Pro” since it excels in departments like battery, display, camera and performance than its rivals.

Reliable tipster Roland Quandt had recently revealed that the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 will be featuring a 6-inch screen that will be equipped support for Full HD+ resolution. It will be fueled by Snapdragon 660. There is no information on the battery of the phone, but it could feature a behemoth battery since the predecessor phone featured 5,000mAh battery. The handset may hit the market in 4 GB and 6 GB RAM variants. These variants may respectively feature 64 GB and 128 GB of inbuilt storage. The exact configuration of the triple camera unit of the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is still under the wraps. The handset will be featuring a front-facing camera of 13-megapixel.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan leaves for Malaysia visit to seek Monetary Aid

Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Kuala Lumpur on a two-day official visit to Malaysia on Tuesday, where he is likely to seek monetary assistance to minimise the cash-strapped Pakistan’s dependence on an IMF bailout package. Prime Minister Khan was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umer, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Radio Pakistan reported.

This is Khan’s first bilateral visit to Malaysia after assuming office in August. Prime Minister Khan and his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad will have a tete-a-tete, followed by the delegation-level talks, the Foreign Office said. The two countries enjoy warm brotherly relations founded in mutual respect friendship and understanding reinforced by strong cultural and religious affinities, the Foreign Office said in a statement last week.

Khan’s visit “would provide an opportunity to further cement the existing friendly and cordial bilateral relations by enhancing economic, trade and commercial ties, for our mutual benefit,” the statement said. Pakistan was facing a USD 12 billion financing gap for the current fiscal year.

The Pakistan government is keen to minimise the amount borrowed from the International Monetary Fund by getting loans from “friendly” countries like Saudi Arabia, China and Malaysia as officials here believe that the global lender could attach tough conditions.

On Sunday, Khan visited the UAE where he held talks with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and discussed matters of bilateral, regional and mutual interest, amid reports that the Gulf country is ready to extend financial assistance to Pakistan.

Early this month, Prime Minister Khan visited China, which reportedly agreed to provide USD 6 billion in aid to Pakistan. Last month, Saudi Arabia said it would provide Pakistan with a USD 6 billion rescue package during Khan’s visit to the Gulf Kingdom.