iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Are Now Available

Sure, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 aren’t as exciting as some of the other previous releases from Apple, but I’ve still been looking forward to their release over the past few months. I didn’t bother installing any Developer or Public betas until the fourth or the fifth one in the cycle, that too only on my 10.5-inch iPad Pro. So I’m going in with relatively fresh eyes.

There are some remarkable updates being rolled out today by various developers that I’ve been beta testing over the last two months. Similarly, our team at Readdle is shipping a slew of incredible features as well, for our Spark, Documents, PDF Expert, Calendars and Scanner Pro apps. It’s been a massive effort to deliver these updates on Day 1, and everyone is excited to hear your feedback. Try them out, we’re sure you’re gonna love it.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs wants the Government to Ban VPN Services in India

According to a report by the Times of India, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has recommended that the Indian government “permanently block VPN Services in the country”.

The TOI report says,

Terming Virtual Private Network (VPN) services as a threat to counter cyber threats and other nefarious activities, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs reportedly wants the Indian government to ban VPN services in the country. As per a report by MediaNama, the committee explained that the reason why VPN services should be banned in India is because VPN apps and tools are easily available online and these allow “criminals to remain anonymous online.”

I’ll recommend that you go read the entire report to understand how ridiculous it all sounds.

But in an effort to put things into perspective, I rewrote the article by changing just a few words here and there.

Terming knives as a threat to counter deadly threats and other nefarious activities, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Kitchen Affairs reportedly wants the Indian government to ban knives in the country. As per a report by MediaNama, the committee explained that the reason why knives should be banned in India is because knives and tools are easily available online and these allow “criminals to attack and kill anyone.”

For those unaware, knives are used by most households in India to assist them in cooking and making food. Also, knives became all the more important during lockdown when employees were forced to work from home and thus also cook from home. While knives allow users to cut through things that aren’t actually food and also stay “protected” to a certain degree outside, the benefits of knives is immense for anyone when it comes to making food. The committee also proposed “to put a check on the use of knives and scissors.”

According to the report by MediaNama, the committee recommended permanently blocking knife sales in the country with “the help of e-commerce service providers” across India. ““The Committee notes with anxiety the challenge posed by knives and scissors, that can allow criminals to attack or kill anyone. As of date, knives can easily be purchased, as many websites are providing such facilities and advertising them. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Kitchen Affairs should coordinate with the Ministry of Hardware Tools to identify and permanently block such knives with the help of e-commerce service providers.”

It further suggested that “a coordination mechanism should also be developed with international agencies to ensure that these knives are blocked permanently.” The report by MediaNama also said that the committee wants “the Ministry to take initiatives to strengthen the tracking and surveillance mechanisms by further improving and developing the state-of-the-art technology, to put a check on the use of knives and scissors.”

I wish those in power actually had the power of logical thinking.

Chaitali Chakravarty & Writankar Mukherjee reporting for the Economic Times:

One of Amazon India’s largest sellers Cloudtail India is going to stop operations from May 2022 with the company’s joint venture partners Amazon and N.R. Narayana Murthy-owned Catamaran Ventures will not renew the seven years old partnership when it comes up for renewal next year.

Cloudtail India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prione Business Services. Prione is a joint venture between Catamaran and Amazon. The two partners are going to exit from the business at a time when there is stricter surveillance on the operations of the foreign e-commerce marketplaces in the country.

The two partners have mutually decided to not continue their joint venture beyond the end of its current term ending on May 19, 2022.

I really hope Appario Retail survives.

Mikhail Madnani, writing for The Mako Reactor:

This merchandise includes mugs, glasses, water bottles, and more. Pre-orders for all the items are also live on Games The Shop with shipping beginning next month as revealed on the product pages.

That official PlayStation glass looks good.

Alphonse Eylenburg has taken the massive effort of creating this timeline & family tree of over 800 OSs in the history of computing.

In this post you’ll find a family tree and timeline of operating systems. I have tried to include all operating systems, no matter how old or obscure. Of course, a complete list is virtually impossible, as there is no way to catalogue all the tiny hobby and embedded systems that may exist somewhere.

Currently, the family tree includes between 800 and 900 different operating systems.

Phenomenal work.

/Via Stephen Hackett

Ilya Brown, Twitter’s Head of Product, Brand & Video Ads, writing on the Twitter Blog:

[…] in the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped. Because of this, on August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter.

It’s so good to see Twitter rolling back something that clearly wasn’t working. Twitter has released some really interesting new features in the last year, and I hope they continue to do so.

You should read the whole article linked above where Ilya details their learnings.

Backblaze Raises Subscription Pricing of Personal Backup to $7 Per Month

Backblaze CEO Gleb Budman, writing on the company blog:

Over the last 14 years, we have worked diligently to keep our costs low and pass our savings on to customers. We’ve invested in deduplication, compression, and other technologies to continually optimize our storage platform and drive our costs down—savings which we pass on to our customers in the form of storing more data for the same price.

However, the average backup size stored by Computer Backup customers has spiked 15% over just the last two years. Additionally, not only have component prices not fallen at traditional rates, but recently electronic components that we rely on to provide our services have actually increased in price.

The combination of these two trends, along with our desire to continue investing in providing a great service, is driving the need to modestly increase our prices.

Backblaze is a phenomenally good backup service and I’ve been a happy customer for several years now, with two active backup licenses for my Macs. I joined when their pricing was $5/month and only recently, they had raised their pricing to $6/month. Even at $7, Backblaze offers exceptional value — you’re literally getting unlimited backup. And for a couple of bucks more, they’ll keep your files for a whole year! I wrote down why I like the service so much the last time they raised prices.

However, their raising prices are making it incredibly difficult to recommend the service to most of my friends. The problem with their subscription is their all-or-nothing approach and the lack of localized pricing. Many of my friends have a few hundred GBs of important data that they want to back up. The Backblaze subscription is priced at almost ₹550 per month. How do you convince someone, who already doesn’t take backups seriously, to opt into a backup strategy that costs 3 times their cellular service?

I wish Backblaze B2 was the answer, which is something the company itself recommends for small quantity backups. But a subscription where your monthly expenses can vary depending on how much data you upload/download is even more difficult to recommend to friends.

If you’re convinced, here’s my affiliate link that’ll give you month free when you sign up, and a month free to me when you start paying for it.

INOX Launches India’s First ‘ScreenX’ with a 270-Degree Immersive Screen at Inorbit Mall in Malad

INOX ScreenX Review

INOX Cinemas, one of the largest multiplex chains in India, officially launched India’s first ‘ScreenX‘ theatre in Malad yesterday. Part of the “INOX Malad” multiplex at the Inorbit Mall in Malad, ‘ScreenX’ is a proprietary technology from Korea that offers a 270-degree immersive viewing experience by using the side-walls of the auditorium in combination with the main screen.

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