Marree Man still going strong as NASA reveals satellite image

Agencies
January 4,2020

Washington D.C: One of the greatest spectacles of modern art is still thriving in the Australian outback as confirmed by satellite imagery of NASA. The Marree Man is a massive geoglyph depicting an aboriginal hunter, that spans over 2.6 miles in the Southern Australian region.

Discovered by a pilot in 1998, its origin still remains a mystery even to this date.

The Marree Man was given a new lease of life in 2016 when a group of people from the neighboring town of Marree plowed its lines to avert its fading due to erosion.

After NASA shared the image of the art-work that was taken in June, the efforts of the good samaritans turned out to be a total success, reported CNN Travel.

The restoration team believes that the refurbished Marree Man would last longer than its original version.

According to NASA, "They [the team] created wind grooves, designed to trap water and encourage the growth of vegetation. They hope that eventually, the man will turn green."

In a previous article, CNN reported that an entrepreneur by the name of Dick Smith took upon himself to unravel the geoglyph's mystery in 2016. His team combed through all the available evidence but couldn't find anything conclusive.

In 2018 he even offered a 5,000 Australian dollar reward for anyone who knows the identity of its creator.

Nobody turned up with an answer but it was speculated that unknown artist lives in Alice Springs or even might be an American.

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85-year-old Shantabai Pawar displays `lathi-kathi' skills on Pune streets, video goes viral

Agencies
July 24,2020

Pune, Jul 24: Agile and dexterous, 85-year-old Shantabai Pawar wields sticks with absolute ease as she displays 'lathi-kathi' on the streets of Pune.

A video of her, displaying her skills in the Indian martial art form for livelihood, has gone viral on social media.

Pawar told media persons that she learnt the art form when she was only eight and has been practising it since then. The ancient martial art s believed to be linked to Dombari community, a nomadic tribe in Maharashtra.

"I have been pursuing the art of lathi-kathi since I was eight. I have never left it. It is part of me and it is an honour to practice it. My father taught me this. He taught me to work hard," Pawar told media persons.

In the video, the sari-clad octogenarian takes a warrior-like stride and effortlessly rotates a stick several times in a second in her hand and around her head and then does it with two sticks together with a smile on her face. She also tosses a stick in the air and catches it with ease.

The assembled gathering is impressed and enthused.

"People come and say, 'Well done Daadi!' I practice it to earn money for my children and grandchildren," she said.

Pawar leaves her home in the morning in the conditions created by coronavirus and performs the art form on roads and streets.

"I go to various areas to perform the art form and people give money," she said.

The artiste also uses thali and stick to gather the attention of people as most of them are indoors due to conditions created by COVID-19.

Senior citizens have been advised against venturing out due to their greater susceptibility to coronavirus but Pawar said she is not afraid to step out.

"People do advise me to not go out due to fear of COVID-19 but I am not scared. Whenever I step out, I pray to my God and he has kept me safe so far," she said.

Aishwarya Kale, a dancer and the person who uploaded the video on social media, said that it is "only an artist who can understand what help another artist needs".

"I was in that area shopping for some items and it was then I saw her performing and thought that I should film her and upload her video on social media. But I never thought that the video would go viral and she would receive financial help not just from people in the country but overseas as well," Kale told media persons.

"She is now getting honour for her craft that she couldn't get in the last 85 years. I feel good that through my small video, her art form has become viral," she added. 

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BSNL employees to protest against cancellation of 4G tender, non-payment of salaries

Agencies
July 15,2020

New Delhi, Jul 15: The employees union of state-run telecom operator BSNL will stage protests across the country on Thursday on a host of issues including the cancellation of its 4G tender and non-payment of salaries.

All major unions are organising ‘lunch-hour black-flag' demonstrations throughout the country under the banner of All Unions and Association of BSNL (AUAB), said a statement by AUAB. These demonstrations will be organised, by maintaining social distancing and by taking other precautions, like wearing of masks. The BSNL employees will also wear black-badges the whole day on July 16.

The employees body would demand that BSNL should immediately be allowed to roll out its 4G services and the tender should be issued immediately. Further, they want that in the matter of procuring new equipment and upgradation, there should not be any discrimination between BSNL and other private telecom service providers.

Recently, the Centre cancelled the 4G upgradation tender for BSNL as it had decided to come up with fresh specifications for the upgrade process, in a move to keep Chinese technology companies at bay as the border tussle escalated with the northern neighbour.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) would issue a fresh tender for the same, and people in the know said that Chinese companies may not be allowed to participate.

"The agitational programme is being organised to express the deep anguish and resentment of the employees against cancellation of BSNL's 4G tender, cancellation of BSNL's proposal for upgradation of its 49,300 BTSs to 4G, abnormal delay in issuing ‘Add on Order' for 4G equipments, inordinate delay in the implementation of BSNL's Revival Package and against the non-settlement of the burning problems of the employees," said the statement.

The umbrella body of BSNL's employees' unions noted that rolling out of 4G services is the backbone for the revival of this telecom PSU, but the recent cancellation of the tender floated by BSNL for procuring 4G equipment at a cost of Rs 9,300 crore, has brought the company back to square one.

It said that BSNL is already having 49,300 base transceiver stations (BTS), which are 4G compatible and through minor upgradation, all these equipment can be converted into 4G BTSs with an investment of about Rs 1,500 crore.

In addition to this, BSNL could have added another 15,000 BTSs, by placing an Add on Order to the existing mobile tender, it added.

Noting that in October 2019, the PSU could have rolled out pan-India 4G services, AUAB said: "Being the sole owner of the company, the Government of India also cannot shirk its responsibility in this matter."

"Adding insult to injury, the tender floated by BSNL to procure 4G equipment, has been cancelled by the government, based on a complaint from the Telecom Equipments and Services Promotional Council (TEPC)," it said.

AUAB said that BSNL is already lagging four years behind the private operators, in terms of 4G and the cancellation of the tender is going to inordinately delay the company's 4G launch.

Saying that TEPC's contention has been to bar foreign companies from participating in BSNL's tender, AUAB statement pointed out that when private operators are procuring equipment from multinationals, "why BSNL alone should be compelled to procure 4G equipments from domestic vendors, whose 4G technology is not tested or proven so far."

It alleged a conspiracy to destabilise BSNL by disrupting its rolling out of 4G services.

AUAB further said that even after the lapse of nine months, the implementation of the much publicised BSNL's Revival Package is moving at a snail's pace.

"Except the swift retrenchment of 79,000 BSNL employees under VRS, all other assurances given in BSNL's Revival Package have been put in cold storage."

The management should ensure that the salary payment of the employees is made on the last working day of every month. Deductions made from employees' salary, on account of "society dues", should immediately be remitted, it said.

Regarding the monetisation of the company's assets under the revival package, the organisation said that the land asset should not be handed over to corporates, at "throwaway" prices.

"These lands should be sold in a transparent manner and at the prevailing market rates. They should not be sold at book value or at circle rates. The AUAB will strictly monitor these dealings," it said.

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How bitcoin investors in India are being scammed by fake crypto wallets

Agencies
August 11,2020

With the Supreme Court striking down the restrictions on cryptocurrency trade in India in March this year, there has been a surge in Indians investing in Bitcoin and with this, cybercriminals have started mobile-based fake Blockchain-based crypto wallets to lure and con the rich and the wealthy in the country. These Blockchain-based wallets offer handsome discounts, before conning people of their hard-earned Bitcoin/cash and then going incommunicado, according to industry watchers.

"I have seen so many wealthy Indian falling into the trap of such fake cryptocurrency wallets in the recent past. One gentleman just came to me who lost $50,000 (over Rs 37 lakh) while dealing with one such fake platform," Manan Shah, Founder and CEO, Avalance Global Solutions, told IANS.

One Indian businessman lost a whopping Rs 28 crore in such crypto wallet scam, Shah informed.

A single Bitcoin currently costs $11,000 (over Rs 8 lakh) and Indians are now investing in crores aiming for higher returns.

The modus operandi of such fake wallets is simple. They target people via sending them messages on various social media groups, asking them to sell and buy Bitcoin via their apps.

The scamsters trick them to buy and sell Bitcoin via wallets and offer them trade opportunities with other app users across the world. Once they receive Bitcoin into their systems, they disappear and stop communication altogether.

Most of these transactions are happening via Swift Global Pay (SGP), Insta Global Pay (IGP) and International Global Pay wallets, informed Shah.

Go to the popular question-and-answer website Quora and you will know more about SGP.

"I do not see any genuineness in this wallet. I purchased virtual cards by paying Rs 3.70 kakh on SGP. It was delivered online on 15th July. Till now it is not accepted anywhere online. SGP site chat no response," posted a user that goes with the name Kumar Chvks, Managing Director with an Indian firm.

"Email no response. So only the figures are shown on Dashboard. I tried to withdraw my money in the BTC PayPal and bank. None came till now. It is a clear cheating. Expected to be a scam of 7000 Cr to my estimation," he further posted.

According to Sumit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, CoinDCX which is India's largest and safest cryptocurrency exchange, as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to mature and increase in popularity, they expect more cryptocurrency scam apps to appear and other fraudulent activities emerging.

"Scammers and hackers are getting more sophisticated in their techniques. When installing apps, it is important to stick to some basic security principles, especially when virtual currencies are at stake, Gupta told IANS.

The global cryptocurrency market was valued at $856.36 billion in 2018 and is projected to display robust growth represented by a CAGR of 11.9% during 2019-2024.

According to Gupta, users should only trust cryptocurrency-related and other finance apps if they are linked from the official website of the service, and never enter sensitive information such as log-in credentials and account details into online forms unless they are fully certain of its security and legitimacy.

"Do your due diligence on the app on the number of downloads, ratings on the App Store, recommendations from legitimate publications, etc. before downloading. In addition, users should keep their devices updated, and use reputable mobile security solutions to identify, block, and remove threats from their devices," he advised.

If something seems too good to be true, there is a high possibility that it is a scam and users should avoid it unless verified by a trusted party.

Bitcoin currency holds the major share in the market today, owing to the growing awareness among the Indian investors, coupled with availability of larger returns that is proliferating the market growth.

Moreover, growing usage of alternative currencies such as Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash due to their captivating features and models has been major factors backing the growth in the industry.

CoinDCX has employed the best-in-industry security measures, and has partnered with leading security and compliance providers such as BitGo, providing secure custodianship and multisignature bitcoin wallet service, as well as Onfido, providing fully automated KYC identification that is seamless, protected, and secure.

"CoinDCX's resilient security protocols including geographically distributed cold wallets, withdrawal confirmations, and 2-Factor Authentication, ensure that users' funds are fully-protected at all times as well," Gupta informed.

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