Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Image of the day

The Archibishop of Canterbury prostrated himself on the ground at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and asked for forgiveness. Reverend Justin Welby tweeted out the photo, saying, “I feel a deep sense of grief, humility and profound shame having visited the site of the horrific #JallianwalaBagh massacre in Amritsar today.” The Telegraph has more on his speech which included the first-ever apology offered by a prominent British figure. 

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The biggest news story today, explained.

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Apple’s not-so-exciting new products

The annual event that typically generates a huge level of interest—even among iPhone haters—turned out to be a bit of a damp squib.

All things iPhone 11: The new line is just a better version of its predecessor. The two more expensive models—iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max—have a new name that no one likes. Their most notable features: three high-speed cameras, 4-5 hours more of battery life, and highest-performing processors to date. Coming soon: a new mode called “Deep Fusion” which uses the phone’s built-in AI processor to stitch together nine simultaneously shot images to capture that perfect photo.

The pricing: is as follows. Plain old iPhone 11 (with only two cameras): Rs 64,900. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max start at Rs 99,900 and Rs 1,09,900 respectively. According to Mint, the new line will launch on September 27 in India at the above prices. But you can expect the price of the cheapest model to fall after the festive season.

The new standard iPad is bigger: It features a larger 10.2-inch display compared with the old 9.7-inch version.

The Apple Watch: will be easier to read as its display turns itself on when you look directly at it.

The best news about Apple TV+: is that it will be cheap and available on non-Apple devices! The service will launch on November 1 and will cost Rs 99/month—that’s what Netflix charges for its mobile-only package. In comparison, Hotstar starts at Rs. 299 per month, while Amazon Prime services cost Rs. 129. The best bit: you can watch Apple TV on any iPhone, iPad or Apple product—and on Amazon Fire TV and Samsung and Sony TVs.

Learn more: Quartz has more details on the products. Mint has the India-specific angle. Digg has the highlights of the Apple event illustrated with cool photos. CNBC explains why the most important news about the latest launch is Apple’s pricing strategy. iMore lists all the cool upgrades we were expecting but didn’t get—and which will likely be launched next year. In other words, it may be smarter to wait. Our favourite new iPhone meme is here


In related news: Outlook Magazine has an in-depth feature on how Indians’ love affair with their phone has spawned a variety of digital disorders. Just the stats they dig up ought to give us pause: Every day, we check our phones 150 times, stream music for 1.5 hours, watch videos for nearly an hour. And we spend 23 hours texting each week! It’s a must read. (Outlook Magazine)

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rushing online to order ‘The Testaments’

Your Kashmir update is here: And it includes the following:

  • India and Pakistan engaged in a war of words over Kashmir at the UN Human Rights Council.

  • In more than 50 interviews conducted by the Associated Press, Kashmiris say soldiers have “inflicted beatings and electric shocks, forced them to eat dirt or drink filthy water, poisoned their food supplies or killed livestock, and threatened to take away and marry their female relatives.”

  • Five political newbies have announced a new party: Jammu Kashmir Political Movement-I—where the ‘I’ stands for India. Their politics remain unclear as is their rhetoric. 

  • Hindustan Times reports on a burgeoning ‘civil resistance’ on the ground.

  • A Kolkata artist recreates Kashmir in Kolkata in a series titled #30DaysofCurfew.

  • In the midst of the communication lockdown, Kashmiris are turning to writing letters to reach their loved ones.


Traffic fine insanity continues: Here’s a quick round up:

  • Truck drivers and their help will now be fined Rs 2000 if they are caught wearing the favoured lungi and banyan. They are required to wear full-length pants, shirts or tees and closed shoes (?!). Because that’s the real problem with truck driving in this country. 

  • In more merciful news: Gujarat has slashed the new traffic fines imposed by the Centre by 90% on “compassionate and humanitarian grounds—other states are expected to follow suit.

  • When life gives you lemons… This guy is making lemonade out of the fact that he received a challan for not wearing a helmet. He drives a car.

  • An on-point clip: Our Transport Minister and champion of high fines driving his scootie. No prizes for guessing what is missing from that picture. 


Timely reminder re pants: Many Indians are opting to wear lungis because they can’t afford to buy pants—including impoverished truck drivers, we presume. Hell, they’re even cutting back on soap and toothpaste. Watch this eye-opening NDTV report from rural Uttar Pradesh. In related news: The Finance Minister says the auto industry is collapsing because millennials would rather take a cab. Millennials ruin everything.

Trump fired his National Security Advisor: John Bolton, the man best known as the architect of George Bush’s many foreign policy blunders—including the Iraq war. His firing is good news because Bolton was gearing up to start a new war with Iran. Just keeping it in the neighbourhood, we guess. A related and pertinent read: ‘Trump is not Well’ from The Atlantic which makes a strong case for a serious personality disorder.

Remember Tabrez Ansari? He was lynched by a mob which accused him of theft and forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’—all of which was captured on now-verified video. He later died of injuries when the police arrested him and not his attackers. The Jharkhand police has since dropped the murder charge. The reason: “One, he did not die at the spot… the villagers did not have any intent to kill Ansari. Second, the medical report did not substantiate the murder charge. The final post-mortem report said Ansari died due to cardiac arrest and that a haemorrhage in the head was not fatal. The second medical opinion said the cause of death was a combination of cardiac arrest and the head injury.” Of course, none of those medical events would have occurred if he hadn’t been tied up and beaten for hours. Honestly, what does it take to murder someone these days? (Indian Express)

A Goldman Sachs fraud in Bangalore: A VP has been charged with swindling the company of Rs 38 crores. And he’d been working at the company for only four years! Beware of investment bankers with an online poker habit. (Times of India)

Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments’ is here! The sequel was launched at midnight to great excitement and fanfare—so much so that even the London skyline was all lit up. The rave reviews are here and here. And oh look! It’s Atwood looking amazing in couture.

Indians really heart their weed: Delhi and Mumbai are the most ardent fans, consuming 38.2 tonnes and 32.4 tonnes of marijuana in 2018. But Dilliwalas are way ahead of the rest, coming in at #3—ahead of Los Angeles, and behind only Karachi and New York. (Quartz)

Gentlemen, an important public service announcement! Please do not rub toothpaste on your penis. No, it will not help you last longer in bed—and will instead burn your most precious body part. Then again, this may be an entirely Brit thing. (Daily Mail)

Rejoice, Indian students in the UK! You can now work up to two years in the country after you finish your degree. See? BoJo is good for something. (Times of India)

Rejoice, Amazon shoppers in Mumbai! The company has tied up with the local train authorities to set up pick-up kiosks in four train stations: the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM), Thane, Dadar and Kalyan. (Quartz)

Take a self-driving car for a spin: This neat interactive tool from Washington Post lets you do just that. No, we won’t be buying one anytime soon.

Your daily quota of sunshine items: includes the following:

  • This 77-year-old woman who broke the world record by becoming the oldest person to sail around the world—“solo, nonstop and unassisted.”

  • This perfect father-daughter bonding dancing moment.

  • The fun discovery that we are officially in the midst of Palindrome Week.

  • Nope, that’s not Jupiter. That’s a good ole dosa.

  • Nope, that’s not a vintage boho dress. Dat be a kurti—minus its essential accompaniments. 

  • The new Japanese Kit-Kat bar swaps plastic for paper. Added bonus: you can make a lovely origami with it.

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Everything we don't know about human desire

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An art history of pornography

The world’s most critical technological innovation, the Gutenberg press, was invented in order to widely distribute the bible. But it soon found an equally popular purpose: the circulation of pornography to the masses—and in the form of prints of great Renaissance artists, no less.

Read: How Renaissance Artists Brought Pornography to the Masses | Artsy

Sex, Love etc 2

The science of heartbreak

Can scientific research help you get over being dumped? Well, there’s certainly plenty of it out there, and here’s a guide based on all that gyaan. It even includes something called a ‘placebo effect’ based on a study involving, umm, nasal spray?! 

Read: The Scientific Way to Get Over a Breakup | Forge

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