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Indian telcos giving away services as customers fear going outside to top up their accounts
Monday, 17 May 2021 16:21

HTTP/2 200 date: Mon, 17 May 2021 14:00:13 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/58039f24a248303242224118056e661d35740dbf/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Mon, 17 May 2021 14:00:13 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a1c39a821000062eb85b6f000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 650d5eed083962eb-SYD Indian telcos giving away services as customers fear going outside to top up their accounts • The Register

Over 150 million people given freebies or generous top-up deals


Indian telcos are giving away services to help clients who don’t want to leave home during a savage second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Market leader Jio announced on Friday that it would give all users of its JioPhone ten minutes a day of free outbound phone calls “for the entire period of the pandemic” to customers unable to recharge their credit due to COVID-19. Customers will also get double the amount of data and talk when they do recharge.

Jio is though to have sold over 100 million JioPhones, so this is a substantial offer.

Number two telco Bharti Airtel has also made a pandemic offer, promising a free ₹49 (US$0.66) plan to 55 million of its low-income clients. The plan includes 100MB of data and around half an hour of talk time. The carrier has also doubled the inclusions in its ₹79 plan, which now offers 400MB of data to be used with 28 days, plus talk time.

The offers are needed because while India is not in lockdown, residents are advised to stay at home whenever possible. Shopping for a recharge voucher is therefore an activity many Indians are keen to avoid, but also something many may not be able to afford at present. While recharges are possible from a device, many Indians prefer cash or don’t have access to the payment services or banks that make online payments possible.

While generous and welcome for over one hundred million people larger numbers of Indian residents don’t own a mobile phone and lack access to quality healthcare at a time it’s needed more than ever as the nation's seven-day rolling average of COVID-related deaths and new cases of the disease have reached around 4,000 and 350,000 respectively. ®


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They also stated: "There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably."

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The flight of the first stage looked to be nominal, having left the pad at launch complex 1A on New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula on 15 May at 11:11 UTC following a hold due to upper-level winds. There was a furore over the loss of the payload - two of BlackSky's satellites were destroyed, but somewhat lost in that was the fact the first stage made a successful descent to the ocean, under parachute and, according to Rocket Lab, the "recovery team is working to retrieve the stage from the ocean as planned."

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It is heady stuff, although both temples to computing nerdery are taking things slowly after a lengthy enforced closures.

The Centre for Computing History is to be first off the mark and will be opening its doors for this coming weekend: 22 and 23 May. The following two weekends will also see punters invited in to prod at all manner of classic hardware. What happens after that, frankly, depends on how it all goes.

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"The Report of the Independent Investigator contains information that was obtained in confidence and, therefore, in line with both the terms of the Process and CREST's Complaints and Resolution Measures, the Report is confidential and cannot be made public," said CREST in an update published on its website late on 10 May, right before the CyberUK conference began.

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Standing desks allow workers to use their IT kit from both standing and sitting positions, alternate their posture throughout the day, and thus potentially stave off a fearsome collection of maladies. But they ain't cheap.

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He has set about proving that by announcing $20bn for a couple of new fabs in Arizona last month, and he's up for more. A quick tour of Europe saw him ask for $10bn in subsidies to build new plants somewhere in the EU, expressing strong interest in Germany and Benelux (sorry, UK, you don't get to play). He also broke bread with BMW and had a neither-confirmed-nor-denied visit to Volkswagen.

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HTTP/2 200 date: Mon, 17 May 2021 14:00:13 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/58039f24a248303242224118056e661d35740dbf/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Mon, 17 May 2021 14:00:13 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a1c39a821000062eb85b6f000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 650d5eed083962eb-SYD Indian telcos giving away services as customers fear going outside to top up their accounts • The Register

Over 150 million people given freebies or generous top-up deals


Indian telcos are giving away services to help clients who don’t want to leave home during a savage second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Market leader Jio announced on Friday that it would give all users of its JioPhone ten minutes a day of free outbound phone calls “for the entire period of the pandemic” to customers unable to recharge their credit due to COVID-19. Customers will also get double the amount of data and talk when they do recharge.

Jio is though to have sold over 100 million JioPhones, so this is a substantial offer.

Number two telco Bharti Airtel has also made a pandemic offer, promising a free ₹49 (US$0.66) plan to 55 million of its low-income clients. The plan includes 100MB of data and around half an hour of talk time. The carrier has also doubled the inclusions in its ₹79 plan, which now offers 400MB of data to be used with 28 days, plus talk time.

The offers are needed because while India is not in lockdown, residents are advised to stay at home whenever possible. Shopping for a recharge voucher is therefore an activity many Indians are keen to avoid, but also something many may not be able to afford at present. While recharges are possible from a device, many Indians prefer cash or don’t have access to the payment services or banks that make online payments possible.

While generous and welcome for over one hundred million people larger numbers of Indian residents don’t own a mobile phone and lack access to quality healthcare at a time it’s needed more than ever as the nation's seven-day rolling average of COVID-related deaths and new cases of the disease have reached around 4,000 and 350,000 respectively. ®


Other stories you might like

The Microsoft board was conducting an investigation into Bill Gates' alleged "inappropriate" romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee when he resigned in 2020, according to two investigative reports that appeared over the weekend.

The employee was not named and a Gates Ventures spokesperson denied the two incidents were linked, telling The Register that Gates' "decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier."

They also stated: "There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably."

Continue readingOracle sues Envisage claiming unauthorized database use amid licensing crackdown Fiscal year end forecast: Cloudy with a chance of litigation

Oracle this month filed a lawsuit against Envisage Technologies, claiming the Bloomington, Indiana-based IT firm has been violating its copyrights by running Oracle Database on Amazon Web Services in an improper way.

The complaint [PDF], filed in a US federal district court in California, alleges Envisage has been operating its Acadis Readiness Suite – a collection of training and compliance software aimed at public-safety officials – in conjunction with a version of Oracle Database Standard Edition 1 (SE1) from 2006 hosted by Amazon in its cloud.

Envisage, Oracle claims, deploys its applications on Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) without the appropriate license, serving more than 2m public safety professionals (police officers, firefighters, etc) and over 11,000 government agencies. That is to say, Envisage uses a version of Oracle Database hosted on Amazon RDS, and Oracle doesn't believe this is correctly licensed.

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Delicately described as an "anomaly" by Rocket Lab, problems seemed to begin seconds after the second stage was ignited. Those watching the livestream of the event were treated to the sight of the stage shutting down prematurely after what appeared to be a tumble. Telemetry then showed the rocket slowing down before Rocket Lab pulled the plug.

The flight of the first stage looked to be nominal, having left the pad at launch complex 1A on New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula on 15 May at 11:11 UTC following a hold due to upper-level winds. There was a furore over the loss of the payload - two of BlackSky's satellites were destroyed, but somewhat lost in that was the fact the first stage made a successful descent to the ocean, under parachute and, according to Rocket Lab, the "recovery team is working to retrieve the stage from the ocean as planned."

Continue readingStaying in the UK this summer? Good news: Temples of IT nerdery are reopening Computer museums set to be unbolted again

As the UK enters the latest stage of lockdown easing, The Reg can confirm that The National Museum of Computing and the Centre for Computing History will be reopening imminently.

It is heady stuff, although both temples to computing nerdery are taking things slowly after a lengthy enforced closures.

The Centre for Computing History is to be first off the mark and will be opening its doors for this coming weekend: 22 and 23 May. The following two weekends will also see punters invited in to prod at all manner of classic hardware. What happens after that, frankly, depends on how it all goes.

Continue readingWe'd love to report on the outcome of the CREST exam cheatsheet probe, but UK infosec body won't publish it Why? It might reveal whistleblowers' names...

British infosec accreditation body CREST has declared that it will not be publishing its full report into last year's exam-cheating scandal after all, triggering anger from the cybersecurity community.

"The Report of the Independent Investigator contains information that was obtained in confidence and, therefore, in line with both the terms of the Process and CREST's Complaints and Resolution Measures, the Report is confidential and cannot be made public," said CREST in an update published on its website late on 10 May, right before the CyberUK conference began.

Multiple infosec people forwarded this statement to The Register and expressed concern that the scandal was being quietly buried by CREST.

Continue readingAre you ready to take a stand? Flexispot E7 motorised desk should handle whatever you dump on it – but it's not cheap Sitting is as bad for you as smoking, and doesn't look nearly as cool

Review Sitting, we're told, is the new smoking. The catastrophic health consequences of hours spent hunched behind a desk are said to include heart disease, colon cancer, and muscle weaknesses.

Your dreary 9-to-5 IT job might as well be a 20-pack of Gauloises, for all the good it's doing you. Or you could get a standing desk.

Standing desks allow workers to use their IT kit from both standing and sitting positions, alternate their posture throughout the day, and thus potentially stave off a fearsome collection of maladies. But they ain't cheap.

Continue readingMammoth grab of GP patient data in the UK set to benefit private-sector market access as rules remain unchanged No policy shakeup to deal with snatch of info from primary physicians

Evidence from NHS Digital's website suggests that patient data held by GPs in England will be available to private-sector companies to help them understand market opportunities in the UK's health service.

In response to government plans to start collecting patient data held by GPs into a central database, NHS Digital said it would "not approve requests for data where the purpose is for marketing... including promoting or selling products or services, market research or advertising."

It said requests for data would be assessed through the Data Access Request Service, part of NHS Digital. Independent oversight and scrutiny of applications would come from a Professional Advisory Group made up of representatives of the Royal College of GPs and doctors' union the British Medical Association, as well as the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD), also part of NHS Digital.

Continue readingWhen the chips are down, Intel's biggest gamble isn't what to do – it's whom to do it with Trade you architecture and production tricks for lithography and yield plans?

Political America likes to judge its presidents by their first 100 days. Corporate America thinks more in 90-day cycles, so as today is Pat Gelsinger's 90th day at the helm of Intel, it's an apt time to look at how he and the company are doing.

The market remains cool on Gelsinger, perhaps because he said that the $80bn of Intel cash spent on share buybacks this past decade may have been better invested in, y'know, making chips.

He has set about proving that by announcing $20bn for a couple of new fabs in Arizona last month, and he's up for more. A quick tour of Europe saw him ask for $10bn in subsidies to build new plants somewhere in the EU, expressing strong interest in Germany and Benelux (sorry, UK, you don't get to play). He also broke bread with BMW and had a neither-confirmed-nor-denied visit to Volkswagen.

Continue readingApple sent my data to the FBI, says boss of controversial research paper trove Sci-Hub Former Sun boss Scott McNealy offers interesting response

Alexandra Elbakyan, the creator of controversial research trove Sci-Hub, has claimed that Apple informed her it has handed over information about her account to the FBI.

Elbakyan made the allegation in a week-old Tweet that went unremarked-upon for longer than you’d imagine, given that Apple and the FBI have a history of conflict over whether the Bureau should be allowed to peer into Apple customers’ devices.

Continue readingThe future is now, old man: Let the young guns show how to properly cock things up Phoning it in?

Who, Me? We straddle the worlds of IT and telephony in this week's episode of Who, Me? where a reader fails to consider the tinkering of someone too young to know better.

"Al", for that is not his name, was looking forward to a well-earned retirement after a career spent at an IT giant working on everything from compilers and operating systems to firmware and networking.

Faced with a future revolving around daytime television, Al decided to keep his hand in by taking on the role of a part-time IT manager at his local GP practice (usually the first port of call for Brits seeking healthcare).

Continue readingIndonesian web giants Gojek and Tokopedia merge to create Asian super-app Combine as ‘GoTo Group’, will represent two percent of GDP and say scale will help them grow

Indonesian web giants Gojek and Tokopedia have agreed to merge and become the new “Go To Group”.

Tokopedia offers an e-commerce platform, plus electronic payment and logistics services. Gojek started as a ride-hailing business has since diversified into five Southeast Asian nations where it offers food delivery, financial services, digital payments and logistics services.

Together, the new entity will have over 100 million monthly active users, two million registered drivers, eleven million participating merchants and collective capacity that handled almost two billion transactions in 2020 alone.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3eSZotA