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ASUS bags 15 Wins at Red Dot Design Awards

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ASUS won 15 prestigious 2016 Red Dot Awards for outstanding item design, setting a new record variety of wins for the company in a single Red Dot Award competition. The wins underscore the ASUS dedication to design development and offering extraordinary product experiences to customers. The winning items consist of thelatest ZenBook notebook; Chromebook C202 educational computer; ASUS ZenPad and ZenPad Audio Cover; ROG GX700, G752, and Strix GL502 gaming laptops; VivoBook X Series laptops; TUF Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 and ROG Maximus VIII Formula motherboards; ROG Claymore gaming keyboard and ROG Spatha gaming mouse; VivoMini VC65 Series mini PCs; ASUS VivoBaby baby monitor; and ASUS P3B and ZenBeam E1 projectors.

The winning ASUS products were picked from a huge field of 5,214 entries from 57 nations. Products considered for the award are examined on wide range of requirements, consisting of degree of innovation, capability, ergonomics, symbolic and emotional content, and ecological compatibility. The Red Dot jury for 2016 is comprised of 41 design professionals from around the globe. Granted annually since 1954 by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, the Red Dot Award for Product Design is a worldwide acknowledged mark of quality for items that show design quality.

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Global Tech Glitch Grounds Flights, Disrupts Businesses

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Reporting from Chennai, India: A major tech issue on Friday caused widespread disruptions around the world, impacting airlines, banks, media companies, and numerous businesses. The root cause appears to be a configuration change within Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud computing platform.

This change led to a breakdown in communication between storage and computing resources, ultimately causing connectivity failures for Microsoft 365 services. The most visible symptom for many users was the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on Windows 10 machines, rendering them unusable.

Social media reports documented the issue spreading rapidly across the globe, affecting users in the United States, India, and other countries. Banks, supermarkets, and media companies all reported problems, with some TV and radio studios even going offline.

The fallout was particularly severe for airlines. Check-in systems failed at major carriers in India, including IndiGo, Akasa, and SpiceJet. Similar disruptions were reported at airports worldwide, with Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, Sydney Airport, and Berlin Airport experiencing delays and cancellations. While Microsoft quickly resolved the Azure issue, airlines are still working to address the knock-on effects and get passengers back on track.

Fortunately, not all businesses were impacted. India’s stock exchanges, BSE and NSE, reported normal operations as they rely minimally on Microsoft applications.

While the exact cause of the grounding orders issued by major US carriers like American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines remains unclear, it happened just after Microsoft resolved the Azure outage. Other airlines, including UAL and Allegiant Air, also grounded flights out of caution.

The global ripple effects extended to Singapore Airlines, where technical difficulties impacted their service centre and reservation hotlines. Thankfully, their flights continued to operate as scheduled. Passengers are advised to contact their airlines directly for the latest flight information as airports work through the backlog caused by this tech glitch.

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Gadgets

HONOR Unveils AI-Powered HONOR 200 Series at Dubai Launch Event

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HONOR unveiled its highly anticipated HONOR 200 Series at a spectacular launch event recently. The series boasts two new smartphones, the HONOR 200 Pro and HONOR 200, designed to revolutionize smartphone photography with advanced AI features.

The launch event, themed “HONOR AI World,” showcased the power of AI in portrait photography. Guests experienced interactive zones and a dedicated shooting booth, highlighting the HONOR 200 Series’ innovative camera capabilities. HONOR executives highlighted the brand’s impressive regional growth, boasting a 154% year-over-year revenue surge in 2023 and a strong 90% growth in the first half of 2024. Notably, the premium segment witnessed a remarkable 544% growth, reflecting HONOR’s strategic expansion and growing consumer preference.

The event also featured Dr. Ghalib Al Shammari, Chairman of The Saudi Society for Artificial Intelligence and Smart Systems. He shared his vision for AI’s transformative impact on society, aligning perfectly with HONOR’s mission to create a new intelligent world.

Features of the HONOR 200 Series include:

  1. Triple 50MP AI Portrait Camera: Capture exceptional detail and clarity with a powerful camera system featuring three 50MP lenses (main, telephoto, and selfie).
  2. Blazing-Fast Charging: The HONOR 200 Pro boasts the revolutionary 100W HONOR SuperCharge, allowing a full charge in just 41 minutes. Additionally, the Pro version offers 66W Wireless HONOR SuperCharge for ultimate convenience.
  3. Unmatched Performance: Equipped with the cutting-edge Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 AI Chipset, the HONOR 200 Series delivers seamless graphics and real-time responsiveness.
  4. Intelligent User Experience: MagicOS 8.0 empowers users with a range of AI-powered features, including AI-empowered Magic Portal, Magic Capsule, and Magic Ring (on the Pro version) for streamlined digital interactions.
  5. Eye-Catching Design and Comfort: The HONOR 200 Pro features a sleek, nature-inspired design and comes in three stunning colours: Ocean Cyan, Moonlight White, and Black. Additionally, the HONOR 200 boasts a 0-Risk AI Eye Comfort Display, minimizing eye strain with advanced technologies.
  6. Powerful New Tablet: HONOR also showcased its latest tablet during the event, featuring a large 11-inch display, long-lasting battery, and ample storage.

The HONOR 200 Pro is available for pre-order at AED 2499 with exciting free gifts worth AED 1696, including a HONOR CHOICE Watch, Earbuds, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection. The HONOR 200 comes in Moonlight White, Emerald Green, and Black, with prices starting at AED 1599 (12GB+256GB version). Purchases include free gifts worth AED 1496, including HONOR CHOICE Earbuds, MOECEN Band, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection.

This launch marks a significant step forward for HONOR, solidifying its position as a leader in AI-powered smartphone technology.

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Apps

WhatsApp Now Transcribes Voice Messages on Android

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Calling all Android users who dread lengthy voice messages: rejoice! WhatsApp is rolling out voice message transcription to its beta app.

This feature, already available for iOS users since May 2024, is now part of the WhatsApp Beta version 2.24.15.5 for Android. It automatically converts voice messages into text, making it easier and faster to understand conversations.

Currently, transcriptions are supported in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Hindi, with more languages promised in the future. Users opting in will need to download an additional data package to ensure all transcripts are generated directly on their devices, maintaining message privacy.

This update brings Android users closer to iOS users in terms of features and highlights WhatsApp’s commitment to improving the overall user experience.

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