PakWired News Weekend Roundup – Episode 12

We hope you all had a peaceful and happy entry into the new year. And it has brought with it some very good news amidst all the chaos and commotion in the region. So without further a due, grab a mug of coffee and enjoy the read! :)

Period Covered: January 02 (Saturday) to January 08 (Friday)

1. Analyzing Pakistan’s Internet Architecture

Summary: Why do Internet users in Pakistan have to cope with slow speeds and frequent disruption? How many undersea Internet cables land in Pakistan? Can Pakistanis expect good times ahead? These and other questions have been discussed in a special analysis by PakWired which highlights the existing Internet architecture in the country and the steps being taken by state authorities and private stakeholders to improve the situation. Click here to read.

2. Netflix, now in Pakistan!

Summary: World-renowned online video streaming service Netflix has launched services in Pakistan, giving movie buffs and TV drama enthusiasts access to a host of award-winning content in HDR format. Mr Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix, made the revelation durng a keynote address at CES Tech Show in Las Vegas. For those unfamiliar with Netflix it is a subscription-based service. After its service formally begins in a few months this year, the first month will be free with later packages including Basic ($7.99), Standard ($9.99) and Premium ($11.99).

3. NED UET gets a 3D Printing Lab

Summary: The NED University of Engineering and Technology (NED UET) in Karachi recently inaugurated its first 3D printing lab called “MakerStudio”, benefits of which will be made available for external users too, besides university research fellows. The university management said that MakerStudio will encourage students, faculty members and 3D printing enthusiasts to use its facility for course work or other informal activities. Printers used in MakerStudio are locally assembled.

4. Mobilink giving ICT education to women in KP

Summary: Mobilink’s philanthropic offshoot, Mobilink Foundation, has partnered with The Institute of Social and Policy Sciences AND Guarantco to impart ICT-based education via mobiles to women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The program is called “SMS-based Adult Female Literacy Program”. More than 4,000 women in 8 districts across the province will be given this education. The initiative is the outcome of the ‘Make Your Mark’ initiative, part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy of Mobilink’s parent company VimpelCom Ltd.

5. The Reels Pakistan offers online ticket reservation through EasyTickets

Summary: The Reels, the first online portal devoted to Pakistan’s rising film industry, recently announced that its readers will now be able to book their cinema tickets in advance through EasyTickets, powered by ROZEE.PK. This facility is currently available in 5 cities, namely Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Karachi and Faisalabad.

6. DietSensor, an app to count calories

Summary: DietSensor Inc. unveiled its signature app-powered gadget DietSensor which can scan your food items and inform you about how many calories they contain. The app was developed by Astrid and Remy Bonnasse discovered their daughter had Type-1 diabetes. The DietScanner prototype helped them monitor her carbohydrate intake. The app relies on SCiO, a handheld molecular scanner developed by Consumer Physics. DietScanner can only tell you the calorie count of homogeneous products such as a slice of bread, a donut, a roti, etc but not about, say, a tandoori paratha or beef burger with cheese.

7. The end of Internet Explorer?

Summary: Microsoft announced on its website that the latest version of Internet Explorer (version 11) will be the last to get back-end support and updates. The company had introduced a new browser called “Edge” for Windows 10. This means, effectively, that Internet Explorer is being phased out after more than 20 years of service. We feel really sad on hearing this news. To be honest, only a small minority of people use IE but it was essentially the grand-daddy of all available browsers back during its initial years. Popular alternatives such as Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome have greatly dominated the browser industry since long.

8. Microsoft building its own SIMs for Windows

Summary: Speaking of Microsoft, the company is planning to ease LTE access for users of its Windows 10 devices. To do this, it will unveil SIM cards which will run through a cellular data app currently in testing phases. Microsoft reportedly intends to establish dedicated mobile virtual networks which will enable users to connect with “partner carriers”. If true, it might be similar to the Apple SIM which allows users of select iPad Wi-Fi and cellular moels to choose a data plan from partner carriers through the click of a button.

9. AI startup Emotient purchased by Apple

Summary: Apple has purchased Emotient Inc, a California-based startup which uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology to assess people’s emotions by analyzing their facial expressions. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, an Apple spokeswoman confirmed the news without sharing further details. Emotient CEO Ken Denman declined to comment.

10. The 10 biggest startup opportunities in 2016

Summary: News number 10 of this week’s roundup is a list of 10 sectors which can hold potential goldmines for budding entrepreneurs, including ‘wearable technologies’, ‘counter terrorism technologies’ and ‘smart homes’. The list is compiled by James A. Martin at CIO. It follows past trends and forecasts coming trends this new year. Click here to read it.

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