TecQ is our weekly round up of the technology stories
1. Sundar Pichai Now Leads Alphabet Into Future But Faces Challenges
On 3 December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was made the head of parent company Alphabet as well. But the bigger news here is that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have officially given up on their public duties for the company they started from a garage in Silicon Valley more than two decades back.
But it seems that the change at helm has been in the works for a while, and Pichai, after becoming the CEO of Google was most likely being groomed for this day. However, the change brings about different questions, especially with respect to the role of both Sergey and Larry, and what’s their main reason for letting one man take the reigns of Google as well as Alphabet.
Read the story here.
2. Pablo Escobar’s Holding Company Promises a Folding Phone for $350
At a time when manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, Motorola and others are coming up with their folding phones – with a foldable display – the latest entrant in the foldable phones is, a rather unusual one.
Famous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's brother, Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria has decided to take on smartphone makers, with his latest offering – the Escobar Fold 1. That is not the only astonishing fact about this device. At a claimed $350 price tag, the Escobar Fold is significantly cheaper than other offerings in the segment.
The phone runs on Android 9 and has a 7.8-inch AMOLED FHD Plus screen when folded.
Read the story here to know more about this unique device.
3. Millions Share Angst As HDFC Netbanking & Mobile App Not Working
This week, HDFC netbanking and mobile app was unusable for a couple of days, and its users in the country had a hard time getting their dues paid.
After couple of days of remote silence, the private banking entity reached out to its customers via a tweet where it mentions that a ‘technical glitch’ is the reason for the downtime of its digital payment platforms.
Post the 2016 demonetisation, digital platforms have become a convenient source of making payments on-the-go, and their unavailability is a big headache for over 50 million customers that the HDFC Bank caters to in the country.
Considering HDFC says its ‘experts are working on it on top priority’ it’s hard to explain a three day downtime, that too during the first week of the month.
Read the story here.
4. Reliance Jio Reveals New 4G Prepaid Plans, Wants Users to Pay More
Just a few days before the new plans come into effect, Reliance Jio on Wednesday shared details of how much its prepaid users will be paying from 6 December onwards.
Even though Jio doesn’t support voice calls through traditional standard like its rivals, the telco has also decided it’s time to increase its data prices. Unlike Airtel and Vodafone Idea, Jio decided that it will offer the new revised prices from end of this week and mentioned that its tariffs will be increased up to 40 percent.
This means, Jio will continue to offer its data plans at marginally cheaper rates than its competition.
Read the story here to get all the details.
5. SBI Will Finally Move to Chip-Based Debit Card By End of 2019
It’s been almost 12 months since private banks in India have replaced magnetic stripe debit cards with chip-based cards for making payments secure.
However, the State Bank of India (SBI), which is recognised as one of India’s largest banking entity, has taken its own sweet time to make the switch, and only few days back it announced that its users will have to move to chip-based cards by the end of this year.
So, even as banks like HDFC, ICICI and PNB among others replaced their card technology last year, SBI has somehow delayed it by almost 12 months.
These plastic payment cards came with a magnetic strip at the back, which were swiped to make payment, as well as use it for taking out cash from ATMs. But this archaic feature was easy to hack into, leaving millions of users vulnerable to card thefts or skimming without their knowledge.
Read the story here.
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