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Gujarat Gram panchayats to go Digital by 2021

In a move to push digitisation in the far flung rural areas of the state, the Gujarat government has announced to connect all state gram panchayats, which are about 14,000, with the Digital Seva Setu programme and all government services will be provided online at the village level by 2021. The programme is in line with the Centre’s flagship Digital India programme.Under the ‘Digital Seva Setu’ program, public welfare services will be made available in all the 14,000-gram panchayats in Gujarat by connecting village panchayats through an optical fibre network. While launching the first phase of ‘Digital Seva Setu’ programme, under which 2,792 village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre networks to provide public welfare services online.

Amazon invests Rs 700 cr into digital payments biz in India

US-based online retailer Amazon has pumped in a further Rs 700 crore into its Indian digital payments business Amazon Pay, ahead of the festive season when it expects to dole out large cashbacks in order to grow its customer base.The bulk of its latest infusion comes via Amazon Corporate Holdings, the Singapore-based parent entity for all of the US tech giant’s e-commerce units in India, along with a token investment from Mauritius-based Amazon.com. Inc Ltd, according to regulatory documents sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler.

Paytm moots a Rs 10 cr fund for developers in its fight against Google

Paytm has set up a Rs 10-crore investment fund to attract local app developers to its newly launched Mini App Store, as the fintech company attempts to garner support from the domestic tech ecosystem in its “battle” against Google.In a virtual gathering organized by the Noida-based company on Thursday, CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma urged developers to join Paytm’s Mini App Store, promising zero developer fee or commissions.Paytm said more than 5,000 developers from across the country joined the virtual conference.Sharma has set an ambitious target of “at least one million mini-apps” on the Mini App Store platform to stop what he called “the victimization of 30% charges Google is putting on all of us.” Describing the investment as an incubation fund, Sharma said it would be used to develop new solutions and help the local app developers who join the Mini App Store.

Twitter tests ‘Birdwatch’ misinformation reporting tool

Twitter is experimenting with a new feature that will allow users to make public annotations to Tweets they have flagged as misinformation, or argue for the authenticity of Tweets. Called ‘Birdwatch’, the tool currently appears to have two primary functions: allowing users to report ‘misleading’ Tweets to Twitter’s content moderators, and allowing users to provide public notes on why they believe a Tweet is or is not misleading. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong first uncovered the feature in August. At the time, she Tweeted that moderators could flag tweets, vote on whether it was misleading, and add notes.

Pinterest announces new shopping and ad features

Pinterest is launching ads alongside visual search results, as well as more places to shop, and with new conversion insights, advertisers can easily see the impact of both their paid and organic Pinterest content. In addition, they are expanding shopping tools for Pinners in the UK, bringing shopping inspiration to a new market. When browsing the aisles of a favorite store isn’t possible, shoppers increasingly are turning to Pinterest for inspiration. The percentage of users who visited places to shop on Pinterest grew more than 50% in the first half of 2020. As more people use Pinterest to shop and look for ideas and products from brands and retailers, they are integrating ads into more shopping experiences across Pinterest to deliver relevant content where it’s welcomed by shoppers, in the U.S. and UK. It is  introducing more places for retailers to promote Pins and showcase ads where Pinners love to shop most, including visual search results.Retailers have been eager to be able to deliver their catalog content within these new Pinner experiences. Three of their most highly trafficked and visible places to shop – Lens search in Pins, the shop tab in search, and shopping on Pins (coming soon) – can include ads.

Google AI to clean audio on Youtube stories

Google AI has announced a new audiovisual speech enhancement feature in YouTube Stories (iOS) that enables creators to make better selfie videos by automatically enhancing their voices and reducing noise. The new feature is based on Google’s Looking-to-Listen machine learning (ML) technology, which uses both visual and audio cues to isolate and separate the speech of a video subject from background sounds.Two years ago, Google developed a machine learning technology that employs both visual and audio cues to isolate the speech of a video’s subject. By training the model on a large-scale collection of YouTube content, researchers at the company were able to capture correlations between speech and visual signals like mouth movements and facial expressions. These correlations can be used to separate one person’s speech in a video from another’s or to separate speech from loud background noises.

LinkedIn brings video meetings, edit messages plus more!

LinkedIn has announced new messaging features to give users more ways to communicate and more control over their conversations and messages. The professional social media platform will soon add the feature to switch the conversation from chat to face-to-face using Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans by Verizon, or Zoom directly in your LinkedIn messages. The platform is also adding a video meetings feature. Whether you want to start a fresh conversation or continue an ongoing one, click on the video icon next to where you’d type a message. A pop-up window would appear that would take you to where you can choose from Teams, Zoom, or BlueJeans and a prompt to sign in. Users would also be able to edit their messages and delete attachments sent by mistake. 



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