Technology

Weekly Bytes | SpaceX’s reusability record, ‘UPI-Help’ on BHIM app, and more


Here’s our curated list of important tech news from this week in byte size.

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket reusability record

A SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster flew for a record ninth time, setting a new reusability record. The aerospace company used the Falcon 9 to launch a batch of 60 Starlink satellites on March 14 from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, U.S, and landed on SpaceX’s ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ drone ship. The SpaceX rocket had previously supported the launch of Crew Dragon Demo-1, RADARSAT Constellation, SXM-7, and five Starlink missions. SpaceX has launched two Starlink missions in quick succession as the company expands its network of internet-providing satellites. On March 11, it had launched 60 Starlink satellites. The firm says reusability allows it to bring down the cost as most expensive parts are put to use again. This week, an engineer working at SpaceX pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud by selling insider tips on the “darkweb.”

NPCI launches ‘UPI-Help’ on BHIM UPI

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched ‘UPI-Help’ for digital payments on BHIM UPI (Unified Payments Interface). It is designed to help BHIM UPI users to check the status of pending transactions and to raise complaints. The help feature is said to resolve complaints online for person-to-person transactions as well. The redressal mechanism will be initially be made available to State Bank of India, AXIS Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank customers, and extended to other banks participating in UPI in the coming months, NPCI said. Paytm Payments Bank and TJSB Sahakari Bank customers will also be able to use UPI-Help soon, it added. In another development, WhatsApp has hired a top Amazon executive to head its payments business in India.

Google releases Android 12 developer preview 2

Google shared Android 12’s first preview last month, and it has released developer preview 2 for the next version of Android with more new features and changes for people to try with their apps. The second preview includes app overlay controls, extended security for lockscreen notification actions, app digest access; rounded corners support; picture-in-picture and bandwidth estimation improvements, easier blurs, colour filters and other effects. “With Developer Preview 2, we’re well into the release and continuing to improve overall stability,” Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google, said in a blog post. For those already running Developer Preview 1 or 1.1, Google is also offering an over-the-air (OTA) update for the latest release, it noted. This week, Google also said it blocked or removed around 3.1 billion ads for violating the company’s policies and restricted additional 6.4 billion ads.

YouTube Studio’s ‘Checks’ tool for creators

YouTube has added a new tool called ‘Checks’ on Studio desktop which is designed to automatically screen uploads from creators for potential copyright claims and ad suitability restrictions, Google noted in a support page. Checks will help creators minimise the number of videos uploaded with copyright claims and/or yellow icons and avoid surprises or worries, it added. If a copyright claim is found, creators will see what they can do to address it by clicking on ‘See details’, and they will also be able to see the content being claimed, including the time stamp it appears at, and the impact the claim has on their video, the company further elaborated. “This [Checks step] does not protect your videos from other potential issues after publishing,” it noted. In another development, Privacy-focussed search engine DuckDuckGo called out Google for spying on users after the latter updated privacy labels on Apple’s App Store to show the type of data it collects from users.

Microsoft programmes to simplify cloud migration

Microsoft has launched Azure Migration Programme and FastTrack for Azure in India to simplify migration to cloud platforms for organisations. Azure Migration Programme, allows companies to plan and implement Azure migration projects using the software firm’s cloud adoption methodologies, tools, and resources. While, FastTrack for Azure is a no-cost, technical enablement programme for seamless migration to Azure, with support for Windows Server, SQL Server, SAP, Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), app modernisation, and data analytics, the Redmond-based company said in a release. “Both programmes have been designed for organisations in the country to enable them bring innovations to market with agility and resilience by leveraging Microsoft Azure,” Shivir Chordia, Azure Business Group Lead, Microsoft India, said in a release. In another update, Microsoft has announced new meeting, chat, and security features in Teams to help people connect and collaborate better on the platform.

You can read more at thehindu.com/technology

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