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Access all Dubai Government Services on “Dubai Now”

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The Smart Dubai Office has launched an electronic platform dubbed “Dubai Now” during an interactive workshop titled “Smarter Together”. The platform is meant to act as a one-stop shop for all government services in the Emirate of Dubai.

The state-of-the-art platform is the latest in Smart Dubai’s range of smart services; it complements the Dubai Now app – the integrated platform for the city’s services that cater to individuals – which was launched by Smart Dubai in 2015. All services available on the application will be integrated into the Dubai Now website. The step aims to facilitate round-the-clock and easy access to best-in-class services through new channels, which will reflect on the happiness and satisfaction of the residents and visitors of Dubai.

Dubai Now

Her Excellency Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office, attended the workshop, along with H.E Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government, as well as representatives from some of the most prestigious private organisations in the country and members of the media.

H.E. Dr Aisha noted that the initiative echoes the ambitious vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world. It also follows directive from H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai’s Executive council, who has called for aggregating all of Dubai’s government services in one place, and to position Dubai as a model for smart and happy cities.

“The Dubai Now platform highlights the importance of close cooperation between government and private entities to offer smart services for Dubai residents,” H.E. added. “Building smart cities requires consolidation of efforts among all relevant organisations, to offer best-in-class services. This will ensure top-of-the-line experiences for all users, which helps achieve the Happiness Agenda set by Smart Dubai.”

For his part, H.E. Wesam Lootah said: “By launching Dubai Now, Smart Dubai will work to consolidate and harness efforts among all government entities. We will spare no effort to provide cutting-edge smart services for users. At the same time, we will encourage government entities to strengthen cooperation and provide a unified centre for services in Dubai, one that caters to companies and individuals alike, allowing for government entities to add or upgrade their services directly.”

“Dubai Now is a comprehensive platform providing more than 55 services from 24 government departments, as well as semi-governmental and private entities in Dubai,” H.E. Lootah continued. “The platform is an extension of Dubai Now’s smart application, which allows customers to access government services easily and seamlessly all from one portal. Smart Dubai continues to drive digital innovation in services to ensure their accessibility to all categories of customers.”

The Dubai Now platform targets all members of the public, the business sector, and visitors. It compiles government services and integrates them in an effort to provide easy and smooth access. The platform includes 11 categories of services: security and justice, public transport, payments and bills, visas and residence, driving, health, business and employment, education, housing, Islam, and miscellaneous.

The smart services provided through the platform include locating the nearest car registration centre; payment of traffic violations, water and electricity bills, and Etisalat and Du fees; topping up Salik and Nol cards; accessing Dubai Customs accounts; and services such as “Ajari”, “Makani”, and “Criminal Case Look-up”. The platform also allows users to donate to Dubai Cares, Al Jalila Foundation, and others.

In addition to facilitating access to services for the general public, Dubai Now allows participating government entities to more easily develop their services, and to choose their designs using a smart library with extensive insight into service design and development. Developers will be able to offer services via the platform, as long as they abide by previously set standards. The Smart Dubai Government then approves the services added to the platform, which is set to soon be open to private companies – this serves to crystalise the cooperation between the public and private sectors in the city.

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Hold Onto Your Seats, Android Users: A Fart Button is Coming!

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Get ready, Android users, for a quirky addition to your phone calls: a fart button.

As revealed by 9to5Google, users on the beta update channel of the Google Phone app are discovering a fresh menu during their calls, titled “Audio Emoji.” This unexpected feature equips callers with a soundboard boasting six different sound effects, audible to both parties on the call. Among these effects are clapping, laughter, celebratory cheers, a sorrowful trombone tune, a “ba dum tss,” and, peculiarly, flatulence. Despite the term “emoji,” the only emoji-like aspect is the use of emojis as buttons to trigger the sounds.

Accompanying these audio emojis are brief animations that complement the sound effects. Notably, there’s a rather distasteful depiction of a “chocolate ice cream cone” squelching to the ground amidst buzzing flies. It’s not hard to guess which emoji corresponds to this effect. It appears that these animations may be exclusive to the sender, although their visibility for the receiver is uncertain, especially if they also have audio emojis activated.

The full extent of this feature’s functionality remains to be seen, as it’s gradually rolling out. I didn’t encounter it on my Pixel 8 Pro, and Google hasn’t officially announced it yet.

If you find yourself confronted with the Audio Emoji menu and prefer not to encounter a miniature cartoon poop in your calls, you can deactivate the menu by tapping an “X” located in its top right corner. However, it’s unclear whether this action prevents friends from sending sound effects your way.

Fortunately, there’s a cooldown period between emojis, which means you won’t be bombarded with a flurry of fart sounds followed by a sad trombone and a punchline sound effect. With Google I/O, the tech giant’s premier hardware and software event for 2024, just around the corner, let’s hope Google has more substantial innovations to unveil on May 14th.

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Huawei Launches Painting App Called GoPaint

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Huawei has announced the upcoming launch of GoPaint, a brand-new self-developed painting app designed specifically for tablets. This exciting development marks Huawei’s entry into the digital art app market, further solidifying their commitment to empowering creative expression.

The GoPaint app promises a wealth of features for both seasoned artists and aspiring creators. It boasts a comprehensive brush library developed in collaboration with a top art team, ensuring a diverse range of tools for various artistic styles. User-friendly features and intuitive design make GoPaint accessible even for beginners, with a full set of tutorials included to guide users on their creative journey.

This launch comes after the resounding success of Huawei’s GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity in 2023, highlighting the growing demand for digital art tools. By leveraging valuable user insights from the industry’s first smart device vendor to launch a self-developed painting app, Huawei aims to elevate the user experience and make artistic creation accessible to all. Their core concept of “Creation of Beauty” underscores this commitment.

Huawei’s decade-long expertise in the tablet market positions them perfectly to launch this innovative app. Their industry-leading tablets, like the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 13.2″, boast features like the first large flexible OLED display and seamless integration with the pressure-sensitive HUAWEI M-Pencil (3rd generation). Combining this cutting-edge hardware with the powerful GoPaint app creates a perfect ecosystem for artistic creation.

Huawei is poised to become a trailblazer in the digital art world by bridging the gap between its innovative hardware and software. The GoPaint app, expected to be unveiled at the HUAWEI Innovative Product Launch on May 7th, signifies a new era for creative expression on Huawei tablets. With its comprehensive features, user-friendly design, and beginner-friendly tutorials, GoPaint empowers both established artists and aspiring talents to unlock their creative potential.

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Shure Launches the new MV7+ Microphone

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Shure has launched its new hybrid XLR/USB dynamic microphone with the launch of the MV7+ Podcast Microphone. The MV7+ is aimed at those seeking to capture broadcast-quality audio in even the most challenging of spaces. With Shure’s cutting-edge Voice Isolation Technology, the focus lies on the user’s voice, avoiding annoying background noises and ensuring outstanding audio for every recording and streaming session.

It also includes a new, innovative onboard Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engine which powers a suite of advanced features, like an improved Auto Level Mode, a Digital Popper Stopper for enhanced plosive control, Real-time Denoiser, and Adjustable Reverb. Thanks to its unique full-touch LED live meter display and numerous customization options, the MV7+ sets a new standard in sound quality and personalization while diving into a vibrant world of colour.

To elevate the user experience to the next level, the MV7+ podcast microphone integrates with the free, new MOTIV Mix Desktop app, Shure’s latest MOTIV software interface. MOTIV Mix provides users with the ability to configure all aspects of the MV7+. The software also offers multi-track recording and routing to support users with greater control of their live streaming and recordings. With MV7+ and MOTIV Mix, it’s easier than ever to sound authentic, freeing up creators to let their imagination shine brightly.

“Modern content creators and streamers are constantly searching for new ways to customize their set-up and sound to set themselves above the pack,” said Sean Sullivan, Associate Director of Global Product Management at Shure. “The MV7+ is our answer to this challenge. It builds off the legacy of the MV7 and delivers broadcast-quality audio in any setting while empowering creators with intuitive customization and control. Through our latest DSP innovations and the new MOTIV Mix desktop app integration, the MV7+ is set to redefine excellence in audio recording for every session.”

New Features and Benefits:

  1. Multi-Color LED Touch Panel: Elevate the audio experience with a customizable LED touch panel. Choose from over 16.8 million colours to visualize your sound levels or engage an ambient pulse effect. A simple tap anywhere on the LED Panel Live Meter instantly mutes the microphone, ensuring privacy and control.
  2. Real-time Denoiser: Leverage the advanced DSP technology of the MV7+ to eliminate background noise. It works in harmony with the microphone’s Voice Isolation to deliver pristine sound, even in less-than-ideal recording environments.
  3. Digital Popper Stopper: Remove harsh plosive sounds to avoid acoustic distractions and a cumbersome physical pop filter on camera.
  4. Improved Auto Level Mode: Intelligent audio adjustment adapts the microphone gain based on the distance, volume, and room dynamics, providing perfectly balanced sound automatically.
  5. Onboard Reverb: Choose from three types of onboard reverb settings–Plate, Hall, Studio—and set intensity levels to add desired depth and richness to recordings.
  6. Hybrid XLR and USB-C outputs: The MV7+ integrates into any setup as it provides hybrid USB-C and XLR output and connects seamlessly with your laptop or phone (iOS and Android), offering unparalleled flexibility and ease of use.

Shure has also announced the new MOTIV Mix software for the MV7+ microphone. This platform allows users to customize the LED panel, access up to five multi-track recording and routing channels, and fine-tune settings like sound signature, gain, and more. A Beta version of the new software will be available to experience with the MV7+ at launch, helping users reduce the number of apps needed to streamline their workflows. Key features of MOTIV Mix include:

  • Multi-channel Mixer: Control multiple channels of audio to record, monitor or use your mixed audio for your live stream.
  • Soundcheck: Check your mic’s gain setting and optimize it with the help of Soundcheck.
  • A redefined Monitor Mix Slider: Mix mic output and system audio playback levels individually.
  • Full access: to advanced DSP features of your MV7+ Podcast Microphone.

MOTIV Mix will soon be compatible with other legacy MOTIV products such as the MV7 and the MVX2U, serving as a building block for forthcoming software innovations and premium features. The MV7+ Podcast Microphone comes in two colours (black and white). The black MV7+ is available now at Shure’s official partners and Amazon. This summer, the white version will be available along with a special bundle, the MV7+ Podcast kit, that includes the microphone in black and a Gator mic stand. Each purchase comes with a 3m USB-C to USB-C cable, a printed quick start guide, and a MOTIV MIX Art Card with download instructions. Other accessories such as a 15-inch USB-C to lightning cable and a replacement foam windscreen are available for purchase individually.

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