Science & Technology

Apple Inc said on Tuesday it will raise prices of apps and in-app purchases on its App Store from next month in all of the eurozone and some countries in Asia and South America. The new prices, excluding auto-renewable subscriptions, will be effective as early as Oct 5, Apple said in a blog post. The United States tech giant periodically adjusts its prices in different regions and reduced prices for eurozone countries last year to adjust for currencies and taxes, dropping starting prices for many apps to 99 euro cents from 1.09 euros. The latest price rise increases those starting prices to 1.19 euros. A rapid rise in inflation, interest rates and energy prices this year has hammered the yen, the euro and most emerging economy currencies. The euro has dropped to two-decade lows this year and has been languishing around parity against the dollar for weeks. Apart from eurozone countries, the price increases will hit Sweden and Poland in Europe; Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea and Vietnam in Asia; and Chile in South America. For some countries like Vietnam, the price increase was due to new regulations relating to collecting tax from consumers, Apple said. Apple, which launched its latest generation of iPhones earlier this month, has been developing its services business to reduce dependency on its mainstay smartphones. Revenue from Apple’s services business, which includes the App Store, has been growing at a rapid pace in the last few years and now hovers around $20 billion per quarter.

اگرچہ پاکستانی صارفین موبائل انٹرنیٹ کی سست رفتاری کا رونا روتے ہیں، تاہم انٹرنیٹ کی اسپیڈ پر نظر رکھنے والے عالمی ادارے کی رپورٹ کے مطابق پاکستان خطے کے دیگر ممالک سے آگے ہے۔
انٹرنیٹ اسپیڈ پر نظر رکھنے والے امریکی ملٹی نیشنل ادارے اوکلا کی اسپیڈ ٹیسٹ کی سال 2022 کی رپورٹ کے مطابق پاکستان خطے کے دیگر ممالک بھارت، سری لنکا، بنگلا دیش اور افغانستان سے موبائل انٹرنیٹ میں آگے ہے۔
رپورٹ میں موبائل انٹرنیٹ کی اسپیڈ میں 139 ممالک کو شامل کیا گیا ہے، جس میں پاکستان 116 ویں نمبر پر ہے۔
افغانستان اور بنگلادیش موبائل انٹرنیٹ کے حوالے سے دنیا کے 10 بدترین ممالک میں شامل ہیں۔
رپورٹ میں بتایا گیا کہ پاکستان میں موبائل پر انٹرنیٹ کی ڈاؤن لوڈنگ کی اوسط رفتار 14.63 ایم بی پی ایس جب کہ اپ لوڈنگ کی اوسط رفتار 9.38 ایم بی پی ایس ہے جو کہ خطے کے دیگر ممالک سے زیادہ ہے۔
حیران کن طور پر انٹرنیٹ ٹیکنالوجی آلات اور سسٹمز کے حوالے سے پاکستان سے کئی گنا آگے رہنے والے بھارت میں بھی موبائل انٹرنیٹ رفتار سست ہے اور وہ فہرست میں پاکستان سے دو قدم پیچھے ہے۔
بھارت مذکورہ فہرست میں 118 ویں نمبر پر ہے جب کہ سری لنکا 121 ویں، بنگلا دیش 130 ویں جب کہ افغانستان 138 ویں نمبر پر ہے، یعنی افغانستان بدترین ممالک میں دوسرے نمبر پر ہے۔
اسی طرح رپورٹ سے معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ برانڈ بینڈ انٹرنیٹ کی رفتار کے حوالے سے پاکستان پڑوسی ملک بھارت سے بہت زیادہ پیچھے ہے۔
برانڈ بینڈ یا فکسڈ انٹرنیٹ کے حوالے سے پاکستان 182 ممالک میں سے 150 ویں نمبر پر ہے جب کہ بھارت اس فہرست میں 72 ویں نمبر پر ہے۔
اس فہرست میں صرف افغانستان ہی پاکستان سے اسپیڈ میں پیچھے ہے جب کہ سری لنکا اور بنگلادیش بھی فکسڈ انٹرنیٹ کی رفتار میں پاکستان سے کہیں آگے ہیں۔
موبائل انٹرنیٹ کی اسپیڈ سب سے زیادہ تیز یورپی ملک ناروے میں ہے جب کہ دوسرے نمبر پر متحدہ عرب امارات (یو اے ای) اور تیسرے نمبر پر بلغاریہ ہے۔
موبائل انٹرنیٹ اسپیڈ کے حوالے سے 10 بہترین ممالک میں پانچویں نمبر پر قطر، ساتویں نمبر پر کویت اور نویں نمبر پر سعودی عرب ہے جب کہ دسویں نمبر پر چین ہے۔
اسی طرح فکسڈ انٹرنیٹ رفتار کے حوالے سے امریکی ملک چلی پہلے نمبر پر ہے اور اس کیٹیگری میں پہلے بہترین 10 ممالک میں ایک بھی مسلمان ملک شامل نہیں۔
برانڈ بینڈ انٹرنیٹ اسپیڈ کے حوالے سے متحدہ عرب امارات 15 ویں، کویت بیسویں جب کہ سعودی عرب 38 ویں نمبر پر ہے۔

MOSCOW: Russia has decided to quit the International Space Station “after 2024”, the newly appointed chief of Moscow’s space agency told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
The announcement comes as tensions rage between the Kremlin and the West over Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine and several rounds of unprecedented sanctions against Russia. Russia and the United States have worked side by side on the ISS, which has been in orbit since 1998.

“Of course, we will fulfil all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been made,” Yury Borisov, who was appointed Roscosmos chief in mid-July, told Putin.
“I think that by this time we will start putting together a Russian orbital station,” Borisov added, calling it the space programme’s main “priority”.
“Good,” Putin replied in comments released by the Kremlin.
Until now space exploration was one of the few areas where cooperation between Russia and the United States and its allies had not been wrecked by tensions over Ukraine and elsewhere. Borisov said the space industry was in a “difficult situation”.
He said he would seek “to raise the bar, and first of all, to provide the Russian economy with the necessary space services”, pointing to navigation, communication, and data transmission, among other things.

Sending the first man into space in 1961 and launching the first satellite four years earlier are among key accomplishments of the Soviet space programme and remain a major source of national pride in Russia.
But experts say the Russian space agency remains a shadow of its former self and has in recent years suffered a series of setbacks including corruption scandals and the loss of a number of satellites and other spacecraft.

Borisov, a former deputy prime minister with a military background, has replaced Dmitry Rogozin, a firebrand nationalist politician known for his bombastic statements and eccentric behaviour.

BRUSSELS: Google parent Alphabet has offered to let rival ad intermediaries place ads on YouTube to address a crucial part of an EU anti-trust investigation that could pave the way for it to settle the case without a fine, people familiar with the matter said.

The European Commission opened a probe last year to examine whether the world’s largest provider of search and video was giving itself an unfair advantage in digital advertising by restricting rivals’ and advertisers’ access to user data.

The EU competition watchdog singled out Google’s requirement that advertisers use its Ad Manager to display ads on YouTube and potential restrictions on the way in which rivals serve ads on YouTube.

It is also looking into Google’s requirement that advertisers use its services Display & Video 360 and Google Ads to buy YouTube ads. YouTube posted $6.9 billion in sales in the first quarter of this year. Google has been discussing remedies with the commission since last year in a bid to avert a fine that could reach 10 per cent of its global turnover, a person familiar with the matter said last year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (R) looks at a newly redesigned MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22 at Apple Park on June 06, 2022 in Cupertino, California. — AFP CUPERTINO: Apple Inc on Monday announced it would more deeply integrate its software into cars, while the iPhone maker rolled out a slew of features for collaboration and safety.

Apple also announced that its new MacBook Air laptop was redesigned around its new M2 silicon processor, which it says is 35pc faster than the previous M1 chip. The new laptop will be 2.7 pounds (1.2 kg) and have a 1080p high-definition camera to provide better images on video calls. The MacBook Air will start at $1,199, Apple announced at its annual software developer conference.
The M2 chip will also power the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which will start at $1,299 and be available next month. Prices are $100 lower for education customers as Apple targets the back-to-school market.

Apple showed off a new car dashboard that it said would be able to display major instruments such as speed and gas mileage. Apple said automakers such as Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Corp are planning to use the new CarPlay software in upcoming models.

Apple also announced that users can buy now and pay later for purchases. Apple Pay Later will be available anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted and managed through the Apple Wallet. Users can make four equal payments with no interest or fees. Apple also added an edit button to iMessage for sent messages, beating Twitter to a long-requested feature.

The tech giant is also adding a tool called “Safety Check” to turn off access to sensitive information for people in abusive situations. Apple introduced a new technology called Passkeys to replace passwords on websites. Apple said Passkeys are safer than traditional passwords because Passkeys are never stored on a web server. The company said it is working to enable the use of Passkeys with non-Apple devices.

Apple also introduced tweaks to popular apps including live sport scores on Apple TV, making the shared video-watching app available in messaging and shared tabs on its browser.
More than an hour into the presentation, Apple shares were up less than 1pc, similar to their level at the start.

Apple did not provide any hints about future devices such as a mixed-reality headset. Such a device would be Apple’s first entry into a new category of computing device since the Apple Watch shipped in 2015 and would put it in direct competition with Meta, which has disclosed plans for a mixed-reality headset code named “Cambria” to be released this year.

BRUSSELS: EU countries and lawmakers are set to agree on a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones on June 7 when they meet to discuss a proposal that has been fiercely criticised by Apple, people familiar with the matter said.

The proposal for a single mobile charging port was first broached by the EC more than a decade ago after iPhone and Android users complained about having to use different chargers for their phones. The former is charged from a Lightning cable while Android-based devices are powered using USB-C connectors.

The trilogue next Tuesday will be the second and likely the final one between EU countries and EU lawmakers on the topic, an indication of a strong push to get a deal done, the people said.

The EU lawmakers also want to include wireless charging systems to be harmonised by 2025, while the EU countries and the Commission want a longer lead-in period for technical reasons. Apple was not immediately available for comment. It has previously said the inappropriate use of dated international standards stifles innovation and that forcing users to change to new chargers could create a mountain of electronic waste.

Meta Platforms Inc's image-sharing platform Instagram was down for thousands of users on Thursday, according to outage-tracking website
More than 6,000 users reported issues with Instagram on Downdetector, which tracks outages by collating status reports from several sources including user-submitted errors on its platform. The outage may be affecting a larger number of users.
According to the website, 84 per cent of reports flagged trouble with accessing the Instagram mobile application.
Meta Platforms said it was working on the issues. “We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing Instagram,” Meta said in a statement.

“We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
Major social media services including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were hit by a massive outage in October last year, impacting hundreds of millions of people.
In an apologetic blog post, the vice president of infrastructure at Meta, then known as Facebook, Santosh Janar­dhan, said that “configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication”.

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