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Kia gears up to enter small SUV space with Sonet

Kia Sonet is a loaded SUV with many segment-first features. Slated to launch in the middle of September, the South Korean car could bring in the much-needed festive cheer.

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The sub-4 metre SUV space is without a doubt the most keenly contested and popular car segment in India right now. It sells in huge numbers as the cars present here give a great mix of affordability, design and practicality. The latest entrant to the segment is soon to be the launched Kia Sonet, which will be the Korean carmaker’s third and most affordable car yet in the market. Just like its elder sibling Seltos, Sonet’s world premiere was done out of India last week, which clearly shows that Kia is making cars for India and in India for the world.

Looks

The design of the Kia Sonet is the outcome of a collaborative effort between the Kia design centre in Namyang, South Korea, and the design team located in India. At the front is the brand’s now familiar signature design trait, the ‘tiger-nose’ grille which is flanked by ‘heart beat’ LED DRLs and stylish skid plates. Kia says the grille mesh design pays respects to India’s historic strengths in sophisticated mathematics, science and architecture. Adding to the sporty character is the raised hood along with 16-inch crystal-cut alloys. At the rear, ‘heart beat’ LED tail lamps connected with a reflector strip look great. You also have dual faux exhausts, a diffuser and skid plates here. The car is particularly likeable in the GT-Line trim which gets red accents at many places. It will be offered with up to eight colour options and three dual-tone exterior color themes.

Interiors

The Sonet is one featureloaded set of wheels which promises to come with many segment-first features. These include ventilated driver and front passenger seats, a 7-speaker Bose sound system with subwoofer and a 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment and navigation system. A 4.2-inch instrument cluster presents important information like turn-by-turn navigation, tyre pressure monitoring system along with drive and traction mode selection. The cabin also gets a wireless smartphone charger with cooling function and an air purifier with virus protection. However it remains to be seen which of these features will be offered only in the top variants. The GT-Line models are finished with contrast red stitching on the steering wheel, seats and door armrest, while a D-cut steering wheel adds to the sporty appeal. However it cannot be adjusted for reach which is a letdown. The second row gets AC vents and a centre armrest.

 Engines

 There’s something in the Sonet for everyone when it comes to drivetrains. Both Petrol and Diesel engines are on offer and both get manual as well as automatic gearbox options. There are two petrol motors, a 1.2-litre 4-cylinder and more powerful 1.0 Turbo-GDi and one diesel engine which is a 1.5-litre mill. There are five and six-speed manuals, a seven-speed DCT, a six-speed automatic, and the new six-speed intelligent manual transmission or IMT, which is essentially a manual without a clutch. While the same technology was launched with the Hyundai Venue recently, the Sonet becomes the first car in the segment to get Diesel Automatic. The automatic variants also get multi-drive and traction modes.

Connectivity

Connectivity options are aplenty in the Sonet, probably matched only by the Hyundai Venue in the segment. The company says idea is to make driving the car safe, comfortable, convenient and enjoyable. The Sonet is offered with Kia’s signature UVO Connect which comes with as many as 57 features. This also includes Kia’s UVO voice assist feature, which responds to a verbal greeting. This AI-powered voice-recognition technology can be used to operate multiple features like phone calls, weather information, time and date, navigation control and 1st in industry driver window up down through voice command. Many functions can also be controlled externally through a smartphone app or a smartwatch.

 Safety

 More than two-thirds of the Sonet’s body is made up of high strength and advanced high strength steel, creating a lightweight yet robust structure, according to Kia. It will offer as many as six airbags, ABS (anti-lock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control) and ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points.

 The Sonet is slated to launch in the middle of September bang in the middle of the festive season. Looking at what it offers the SUV seems quite equipped to take on its rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford Ecosport, Mahindra XUV 300 and of course the Hyundai Venue. It will only help if the prices are competitive enough and start at around Rs 7 lakh. The Indian Auto Industry that has been facing multiple challenges over the last one year could do well with cars like the Kia Sonet.

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Instagram to develop safety tool to protect users from filthy DMs

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Instagram is developing a new security feature that will shield users against sexually inappropriate photographs in their inboxes. According to The Verge, the “Nudity Protection” tool will work to weed out instances of online harassment known as “cyberflashing.”

Recent days have seen a significant rise in cyber-flashing incidents, which entail sending unwanted sexual messages to strangers, frequently women. By empowering users to automatically reject direct message requests containing objectionable content, this new functionality aims to combat this threat.

The report says Meta is going to use machine learning to support people to shield themselves from nude photos and other undesirable messages.

Alessandro Pauzzi, a Meta developer, also shared a sneak peek of the new feature on Twitter.

In a tweet, he shared the screenshot of the possible feature and wrote, “Instagram is working on nudity protection for chats. This technology covers photos that may contain nudity in chats. Instagram CAN’T access photos.”

Confirming this, a Meta spokesperson told The Verge they are working closely with experts to assure these new features maintain people’s privacy while also providing them to control over the communication they receive. The technology won’t let Meta view the actual messages or share them with third parties, the spokesperson mentioned.

When the feature is released, Meta said, users will have the option to enable or disable it at their choice. The feature is currently in the development phase.

A control system for parents of minors using the social networking site owned by Meta in India was recently developed. This function is now considered to be the next development in ensuring users’ privacy and security.

In addition to the current Hidden Words function, which was first launched in 2021, this feature will be available. Users can automatically filter problematic words, phrases, and emoticons into a protected folder using the Hidden Words function. Even DM inquiries that are presumably spammed are filtered out by this tool.

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Prime Minister Modi to inaugurate 5G services on October 1

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5G

The 5G services will be launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 1 at the India Mobile Congress.

In October, the Prime Minister will open a four-day conference where top telecom providers including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea will outline their 5G plans for the nation.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, “the 5G services will launch in India at the India Mobile Congress on October 1.”

The department of telecommunications (DoT) and the cellular operators association of India jointly organise the India Mobile Congress (IMC), one of the major telecom, media, and technology events in Asia (COAI).

This news comes about a month after Reliance Industries Ltd. announced it would invest 2 lakh crore to build out its 5G services in important cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata by Diwali and throughout India by December next year.

The Reliance Jio intends to launch Jio 5G by this Diwali 2022 in a number of significant locations, including the megacities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.

Within the next two months, by Diwali, we will launch Jio 5G across multiple key cities, including the metropolises of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. By December 2023, which is less than 18 months from today, we will deliver Jio 5G to every town, every taluka, and every tehsil of our country,” Ambani told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on August 29.

By March 2024, Bharti Airtel, a competitor of Reliance, intends to roll out its 5G services in 5,000 cities and towns.

“By December, we should have coverage in key metros. After that, we will expand rapidly to cover the entire country,” Gopal Vittal, the chief executive officer of the second largest telecom operator, said earlier this month.

Even though Vodafone Idea purchased spectrum in 17 circles across the nation during the auction month, it has not yet made any announcements regarding its plans for 5G services.

The government’s airwave auction saw Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd emerge as the biggest buyer, spending 88,078 crore, more than twice as much as Bharti Airtel Ltd, which came in second.

By selling 51,236MHz of spectrum at the week-long auction, Ambani’s acquisitions assisted the government in earning a record-breaking 1.5 lakh crore. Wireless operators purchased 71% of the available airwaves in the 72,098MHz band, including 5G spectrum, with the sale of spectrum in the 3.3GHz band generating the highest revenue of 80,590 crore. A total of 39,270 crore, 14,709 crore, and 10,376 crore were generated from the sale of airwaves in the 700MHz, 26GHz, and 1,800MHz bands, respectively.

“We understand that the spectrum purchased is good enough for covering the entire country. So, there’s good reason to believe that in the coming two to three years, we’ll have very good coverage of 5G in the entire country,” telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said after the auction.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is worth the money

Flip 4 is all about its design. It is compact, and the tiny foldable flip makes it unique and worth the pick.

Richa Kapoor

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is worth the money

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is similar, constant but worth the upgrade. After the success of Flip 3, we now have Flip 4. How is it different and what does it offer? What makes it a worthwhile pick? Let’s find out.
On the face of it, it derives from the same design language with no real difference. The form factor of this phone is the real winning element of this device. It is small, easy to carry, and does look very cute, making it without a doubt the best flip you can have.
Samsung has really worked its way right when we talk about the foldable segment. The Flip 4 gets a better camera, battery, and a new chipset.
DISPLAY AND DESIGN:
Flip 4 is all about its design. It is compact, and the tiny foldable flip makes it unique and worth the pick. It does have an oomph factor, which might not appeal to everyone. For those who like the look of it, it’s totally worth it then. It’s the design of this device that makes it stand out. It comes in four colors: Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, and Blue. There’s a single USB Type-C port on the bottom, and only two buttons: a power button and a volume rocker. In comparison to the other flip phones that are available globally, the Flip 4 is worth the money and totally wins in design.
The cover screen gets bigger and better and, trust me, you can do it all on it. Now you do not really have to flip the device open to make the changes. The cover screen lets you use the camera, access widgets, and toggle quick settings. You’ll see the time, date, and battery percentage on the main cover screen. Naturally, you can customise it with your own imagery. There’s also an always-on display option, which is turned off by default. If you swipe in from the left, you’ll see notifications, and from the right, you’ll see widgets. If you swipe down from the top, you’ll get quick settings. You can access the camera via the cover screen, giving you some worthy selfies. Having a proper ultra-wide lens means that you can take great group photos as well.
The Flex mode when your device is at 90 degrees is one such mode, which is great for taking video calls and meetings. A few apps have been optimised for its usage as well, but I used it the most for meetings. It does work like a real mini tablet, which does the job.
CAMERA:
You might not be buying the Flip 4 for its camera. It does have a decent set up, but the strongest point of the device is that you get a dual 12MP sensor, and the main camera has been improved for better low-light performance. The front camera has a 10MP sensor There are two 12MP sensors (f/1.8 and f/2.2 ultra-wide), and there’s no telephoto lens.
The picture quality is average and is majorly meant to just click pictures, not to take some extraordinary shots. It’s great for group selfies via cover screen. You can shoot 720p 960fps slow motion video as well.
PERFORMACE& SOFTWARE:
The new chip set is the highlight of the device. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 includes a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 and 8GB of RAM. You are getting some top-level specs and experience. I wasn’t expecting such a jump for Flip4. It is a great addition and something to appreciate Samsung for. The device worked seamlessly for me without any hiccups. You might buy the flip for the design, but you will love it for its performance as well. (This might not apply to all.)
The battery of the device is good. It could have been better. It does last you 10–12 working hours. You don’t get a charger in the box.
VERDICT:
The question always boils down to whether you want to choose this device or not. Then again, if you are looking for a stylish device that is compact and does have appeal, it fits well in your pocket and handbag, does look different, and it is convenient. You get an updated chipset which works fairly well.
Then this one could be an easy pick. But if you want a device with a good camera and are not inclined towards the flip action, then you might not want to spend Rs 89,999 on this device.

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Keeway launches K300 twins in Indian market

Both the bikes share the same heart and have an aggressive-looking front end with an attractive headlamp unit, an angular fuel tank, split-style seat design, an underbelly exhaust, and a short tail section.

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Keeway launches K300 twins in Indian market

Hungarian two-wheeler maker Keeway has recently entered the Indian market with some premium scooters and motorcycles, which include a cruiser and a bobber in the 300-cc segment. Now the brand has expanded its portfolio with two new bikes, the K300 N and K300 R. While the K300 N is a naked street motorcycle, the K300 R is a racing sports offering. Both the bikes share the same heart and have an aggressive-looking front end with an attractive headlamp unit, an angular fuel tank, split-style seat design, an underbelly exhaust, and a short tail section. But there’s also a lot that differentiates both the motorcycles.

Keeway K300 N
The K300 N runs on a 292cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled system with four valves and EFI, which delivers 27.5 hp and 25 Nm of torque managed via a six-speed gearbox and a slipper clutch to maintain speed around corners while down-shifting. Keeway says that despite being a naked, the K300 N comes loaded with features. The pared-down design shows off the bassinet frame and exposes the aesthetic tubing around the engine, while low-profile fenders cover the slick rear tyres. An inverted telescopic front fork suspension is aided by front and rear disc brakes, while the bike also gets dual-channel ABS.
The K300 N features an upright riding position, a 12.5L angular fuel tank, a higher front end and handlebar-mounted mirrors, giving the rider a commanding view of the road. The bike is 1990 mm long, 780 mm wide, and 1070 mm tall. It has a wheelbase of 1360 mm and comes with a ground clearance of 150 mm. The K300N gets 17-inch wheels on both the front and rear. The fuel tank capacity is 12.5 litres while the seat height is 795 mm.
It is available in three colours – Matte White, Matte Red, and Matte Black. While the Matte White is priced at Rs. 2.65 lakh, the Matter Red is Rs. 10,000 more expensive. The Matte Black has been priced at Rs. 2.85 lakh, ex-showroom.

Keeway K300 R
This K300 R gets a sleek aerodynamic design with a short windshield, compact handlebars, an aesthetic bassinet frame and drag-reducing fairings to cut through the air. Sleek lines and an aggressive riding position make it a sports bike designed to be ridden on the road, according to Keeway. The K300 R weighs 165 kg and runs on the same engine as the naked motorcycle. Here too, you get a slipper clutch to maintain speed around corners.
The bike is 2010 mm long, 750 mm wide and 1080 mm tall. It has a wheelbase of 1360 mm and comes with a ground clearance of 135 mm. The K300N gets 17-inch wheels at the front and rear. The fuel tank holds 12 litres, and the seat height is 780 mm.
A centre-aligned mono rear suspension provides 46mm of travel, and the plush fork with hydraulic damping offers 110mm of cushion. Minimalist fenders cover the front and rear tyres. Just like the 300N, the 300R also gets front and rear disc brakes along with dual ABS. The K300 R is also available in three colours – Glossy White, Glossy Red, and Glossy Black. At Rs. 2.99 lakh, Glossy White is the cheapest option on offer, while Glossy Black is priced at Rs. 3.20 lakh, making it the most expensive offering. Sitting between the two is Glossy Red, which has been priced at Rs. 3.10 lakh, ex-showroom. Keeway motorcycles and scooters are being sold at Benelli showrooms across the country and deliveries will begin at the end of this month. The brand is already selling the Vieste 300 and Sixties 300i retro-styled scooters in India, apart from the V302C and K-light 250V motorcycles.
The author is a senior editor at carandbike.com.

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Apple website down for some users; error 403 and 404 reported

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Apple’s website is not working for some users across the world, and some users have reported that the site is not able to fully load and even the images are not getting loaded. Some users have also reported encountering a ‘403 error’.

In the early morning of Thursday, many users used the microblogging site, Twitter, and flagged about Apple’s website malfunctioning. The reason for the problem might be due to the release of the iPhone14 series. Users who are pre-booking the phone might be the reason for the trouble. The iPhone 14 series is going to be on sale on Friday.

A Twitter user claimed, “The Apple website is going 403, and the Apple UK site is 404. This is where they announce that the iPhone 14 announcement wasn’t complete and that it actually includes USB-C and 100W fast charge/s.”

Another user named Wilfully D tweeted, “https://apple.com/ios/ios-16/features/is throwing a 404 error. It looks like Apple wants to keep the features hidden. # 404 # apple # iOS16

The iPhone 14 costs Rs. 79,900 while the iPhone 14 Plus costs Rs. 89,900. On the other hand, the iPhone 14 Pro’s starting price is Rs. 1,29,900 while the Pro Max’s price starts at Rs. 1,39,900. The Pro series has several high-end features, including a 48 megapixel camera as well as a screen that will always stay in a low-power mode.

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The Delhi government launches a database of all e-vehicle charging points and battery swapping facilities

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The Delhi government announced on Tuesday that they have launched an open database facility for all their electric vehicle (EV) charging points and battery-swapping stations across the capital, which will allow people across the city to identify and access them more easily.

The open database is now available at https://ev.delhi.gov.in/openev/ and displays the location of approximately 2,500 charging stations in Delhi, with each new charging station added to the portal in real-time once operational.

A transport department official said, “The database can be accessed by registered entities or individuals for submission and retrieval of historical and real-time information pertaining to public charging and swapping infrastructure.”

Another official said, “For accessing dynamic data, a private API (application programming interface) key will be instantly shared when the request is submitted. A decision on authorising the request will be provided within 48 hours of submitting the request.”

Under the Delhi government’s EV policy, which was notified on 7 August, 2020, its transport department had stated plans to develop an open and publicly owned database which would offer real-time information on public charging infrastructure.

After the launch of the portal, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said, “In 2021, the Delhi government came up with an open database for bus transit in the city, which was a big success. The same is being used by Google, Uber and many more companies. With the launch of the open database for EV charging today, Delhi is making a move towards solving the biggest problem of EV users, which is range anxiety. It will enable them to now use their favourite apps to locate more than 2,500 charging points and battery swapping stations across Delhi, and this number is expected to reach 18,000 by 2025.”

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