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News in Short

News in Short - 25-June-2020

Facebook acquires Mapillary

Date: 25 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Facebook Inc has acquired Swedish mapping technology company Mapillary, which collects images from tens of thousands of contributors to build immersive and up-to-date maps.
  • Mapillary crowdsources the images, ingesting pictures contributed from smart phones and other types of cameras, and uses "computer vision" technology to stitch them together into a three-dimensional map.
  • Many consider that information key for self-driving car technology. It would also underpin Facebook products under development like augmented reality glasses and virtual reality headsets.

Amazon signals entry into alcohol delivery

Date: 25 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Amazon.com Inc has secured clearance to deliver alcohol in West Bengal, signaling the U.S. e-commerce giant's first foray into the country's multi-billion-dollar sector.
  • Over the years, Amazon has expanded its e-commerce operations in India as more and more people go online to shop for everything from groceries to electronics. The company has committed $6.5 billion in investments in India, one of its key growth markets.
  • India's top two food-delivery startups, Swiggy and Zomato, started delivering alcohol in some cities last month.

Indian origin scientist to head US National Science foundation

Date: 25 June 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Indian-American scientist Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan took charge as Director of National Science Foundation (NSF), a day after US President Donald Trump appointed him as head of the top American body supporting fundamental research in non-medical fields of science and engineering.
  • He is the second Indian-American ever to be nominated to the prestigious science position. The first was Mr. Subra Suresh who served from October 2010 to March 2013.
  • Mr. Panchanathan earned a bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Madras in 1981 and in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1984.
  • He then earned his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1986 and a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Ottawa in 1989.

Actor Ian Holm dies

Date: 25 June 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Ian Holm, a versatile British actor whose long career included roles in Chariots of Fire and The Lord of the Rings has died. He was 88.
  • Holm appeared in scores of movies big and small, from costume dramas to fantasy epics. A generation of moviegoers knows him as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
  • He won a British Academy Film Award and gained a supporting-actor Oscar nomination for portraying pioneering athletics coach Sam Mussabini in the hit 1982 film Chariots of Fire.

Wasim Jaffer appointed coach of Uttarakhand cricket team

Date: 25 June 2020 Tags: Sports
  • Former India Test opener Wasim Jaffer has been appointed as the head coach of Uttarakhand cricket team for the forthcoming domestic season.
  • One of the stalwarts of domestic cricket, Jaffer played a key role in Vidarbha's twin title wins in 2017-2018 and 2018-19 seasons.
  • Jaffer played 31 Tests for India, managing to score 1944 runs at an average of 34.11 with 11 fifties and five centuries. He is one of the few Indian batsmen who has a double hundred in the West Indies.