Author: Anthony M. Smith

ServicemykarCar purchase and servicing platform BookMyTime has acqui-hired car management startup Servicemykar, according to a press statement.
Servicemykar was founded by Raghavendra Chandrappa. The 10-member team of Servicemykar, as well as CEO Chandrappa, will become a part of BookMyTime.
“With this acquisition, we are ready to expand our operation in terms of service and geography,” said Raghuram Kote, founder of BookMyTime.
The BookMyTime app provides the user with price comparisons of cars, as well as servicing requirements such as providing details of puncture shops and round the clock towing services.
The company, which is currently present in Bangalore, claims to have partnered with more than 182 authorized dealers for servicing as well as 110 dealers for new cars.
In the automobiles space, online classifieds firm Quikr has acquired Step, a platform that connects vehicle owners with service providers nearest to them in September.
Prior to that, Girnar Software Pvt Ltd, which owns CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, and Zigwheels.com, has acquired roadside assistance (RSA) provider Help On Wheels Pvt Ltd in an all-cash deal in April.
The automobile marketplace and repair segment has seen a lot of investor interest recently. In September, Deepak Nathani, co-founder of technology consulting firm Cybage Software Pvt. Ltd acquired a 20% stake in automotive services startup Demyto for an undisclosed amount.
In May, Bengaluru-based Let’s Service raised angel funding from QuEST Global chief operating officer Ajay Prabhu and Julia Computing Inc. co-founder Deepak Vinchhi. The firm provides servicing for a bike- and scooter-owners at authorized service centers.
The same month also saw Mumbai-based MotoMojo secure angel funding from the founders of startup enabler VentesAvenues. The firm connects owners of two- and four-wheelers with service stations through its mobile app.

 

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NEW DELHI: The country’s top two carmakers Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai said they sold over 45,000 units on Dhanteras.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) reported good sales on Dhanteras, considered auspicious for making new purchases.
“This Dhanteras, the customers have done heightened purchases with deliveries of 15,153 Hyundai cars, a growth of 26 percent over last year,” HMIL Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing Rakesh Srivastava told PTI.
He further said: “We expect to have 50,000-plus deliveries for the full month, making this festival season as the best in the last couple of years.”
Good monsoons, better consumer sentiments, and 7th Pay Commission award have fuelled demand for automobiles.
Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

 

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NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 2:
While two-wheeler makers saw some growth in sales during the month of October, many car makers did not report a blockbuster performance.

In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp continued selling six-lakh-plus units consecutively for the last three months and recorded sales of 6.63 lakh units in October, up four per cent against 6.40 lakh units in the corresponding month last year.

‘Pulsar’-maker Bajaj Auto sold 2.13 lakh motorcycles during the month, a five per cent growth year-on-year as compared to 2.02 lakh units in October 2015.

Tamil Nadu-based TVS Motor recorded double-digit growth by selling around 3.09 lakh units (12 per cent up a year -on-year) in October compared with around 2.75 lakh units in October last year. India Yamaha Motor also recorded 22 per cent growth at 86,428 units during the month, as against 70,812 units in October last year.

Passenger vehicle
In the passenger vehicle segment, while companies such as Renault India, Volkswagen India and Nissan India reported exponential growth (because of the low base), companies such as Ford India, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Honda Cars India reported the decline in sales year-on-year. Renault India sold 12,409 units during the month, up 68 per cent, as against 7,396 units in October 2015. However, Ford India and Honda Cars India reported more than 20 per cent decline in sales year-on-year. “As we look for the industry momentum to sustain, Ford remains committed to its strategy of product led innovation, a differentiated customer experience, and breaking the myth on our cost of ownership,” Anurag Mehrotra, Executive Director, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford India, said.

M&M sales
However, home-grown Mahindra & Mahindra’s sales jumped three per cent to 24,737 units last month compared to 24,060 units in October last year. “Some of our power brands such as the Bolero, Scorpio, TUV300 and the Pickups have performed well. We have expanded our electric vehicle portfolio (zero emissions) over the last one month by adding the eSupro range and the e2oPlus. We hope to see the growth momentum continue for the remaining part of the year,” Pravin Shah, President and Chief Executive (Automotive), M&M, said. The commercial vehicle segment also showed mixed trend during the month.

 

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BookMyTimeCar purchase and servicing platform, BookMyTime, has acquired car management startup Service year. “With this acquisition, we are ready to expand our operations in terms of service and geography”, said Raghuram Kote, founder of BookMyTime. The BookMyTime app provides users with price comparisons of cars, as well as servicing requirements such as providing details of puncture shops and round the clock towing services. The company, which is currently present in Bangalore, claims to have partnered with more than 182 authorized dealers for servicing and 110 dealers for new cars.

In the automobiles sector, online classifieds firm, Quikr has acquired Step, a platform that connects vehicle owners with service providers nearest to them during September this year. Prior to that, Girnar Software Pvt Ltd, which owns CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com and Zigwheels.com, had acquired roadside assistance (RSA) provider, Help On Wheels Pvt Ltd in an all – cash deal in April, this year. The automobile marketplace and repair segment has seen a lot of investor interest recently. Read more on Investments

The growth of the IT and other industries in India has greatly improved the standard of living of Indian citizens. Many people have now purchased cars or bikes (which have led to huge traffic snarls in all the cities in India) and are able to commute with ease. With greater number of cars, comes a greater need to service them. BookMyTime app has made life easy for people by allowing them to do price comparison of cars before purchasing, thereby ensuring purchase of cheap and efficient cars. It is also easy for people now to find a good car servicing agent to repair and clean their car on regular intervals. Maintenance of cars is essential to optimize their performance and also to make them appear clean and neat. People stuck on roads due to car – punctures or engine breakdowns can also avail help easily by means of BookMyTime’s mobile app. This startup is definitely a useful startup and a visionary one. The government of India should promote more startups like these. Read more on Startup News

 

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Ontario,Nov1: BlackBerry Ltd has signed a deal to work directly with Ford Motor Co to expand the carmaker’s use of its QNX secure operating system, the Canadian technology company said on Monday, as Ford develops increasingly automated vehicles.
The deal with Ford is the first BlackBerry has done directly with a major automaker, though it currently sells its technology to auto industry suppliers.
The company is betting its future on expanding sales of software products, including to automakers and other manufacturers, after largely ceding the smartphone market to rivals including Apple, Alphabet’s Google and Samsung.
Panasonic Automotive currently uses QNX software in the Sync 3 infotainment console that it supplies to Ford.
BlackBerry is hoping the new deal will expand the use of BlackBerry’s software in Ford vehicles as the two companies identify other systems where it might be used.
“We can form the basis of the entire vehicle all the way from the autonomous drive through to infotainment,” John Wall, the head of BlackBerry’s QNX unit, said in a phone interview.
Ford is ramping up its driverless vehicle efforts and plans to offer a fully automated vehicle for commercial ride-sharing in 2021, it announced in August.
QNX’s software is certified for use in autonomous driving and active safety systems, according to Wall.
“In the initial engagements you can think of an expansion into the cockpit; telematics, infotainment, cluster,” Wall said.
BlackBerry and Ford declined to say how QNX might be rolled out into new systems or discuss financial terms of the deal.
A dedicated team of QNX engineers based in Ottawa and Waterloo will work with Ford to expand the carmaker’s use of the Neutrino industrial operating system, as well as an overarching program that can control other operating systems and related security technology, BlackBerry said. “We’re providing the plumbing for the vehicle that is both robust and safe and secure to allow the customers to build their applications on top of that,” Wall said.
Dan Dodge, who founded QNX in 1982, and stayed on after BlackBerry bought the company in 2010, left QNX at the end of 2015. Bloomberg reported in July that Apple hired him as part of its own self-driving plans.

 

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ALLAHABAD: The auspicious occasion of Dhanteras registered brisk sale in bullion and automobile sectors, with the sale of 1,675 automobiles, including 650 four-wheelers on a single day. In the bullion sector, the enthusiasm of people was up due to low gold prices and lucrative offers.
The showrooms lined up vehicles from an entrance to a footpath, akin to that of utensils as the shops opened on Saturday.
“We had no option as customers had booked their two-wheelers in advance to pick it on Dhanteras all our godowns were full so the vehicles had to be parked on roads,” claimed manager of a showroom.
He said that 45 motorcycles and 40 scooters were sold till late in the evening. Data collected from various showrooms shows that 1,675 vehicles will be on roads from Sunday. In the bullion market, silver coins and idols were purchased most followed by golden and diamond jewellery. The precious stone studded jewellery was also in demand.
“The silver bullion market is expected to register a sale between Rs 30 crore and Rs 40 crores till late at night which is below expectations,” Prayag Sarafa Mandal president Kuldeep Soni said.
He said people purchased silver Laxmi-Ganesh coins or silver products as the token purchase for Dhanteras. Gold was also sold in good quantity but it was the silver which was the common man’s first choice. “People also purchased certified jewellery from showrooms. Traditional jewellers have to sustain the loss this Diwali,” Soni added.

 

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Enumerated below are some of the best tips that you can implement when you are looking for the lowest mortgage rates for your requirements.

Compare The Rates In The Market

It is imperative that you do not finalize the deal with the very first lender that you meet in the course of your search for a mortgage. You have to make sure to make an application with several mortgage lenders so that you can be in a position to compare the different rates that they are offering you first. Additionally, they would also be charging you different fees. This discrepancy needs to be analyzed and calculated in accordance with your requirements. On an average, it is recommended that you get a quote from at least three or four mortgage lenders so that you can be witness to a fair spectrum of the charges that you would have to pay as well as the mortgage rate that you would have to bear. There are many instances where potential home buyers voluntary avoid getting multiple estimates from several lenders as it might seem that it could potentially lower the credit score, however, this is a gross misconception. You would be well within your rights to research the market and the rates that are going to be offered to you without it being detrimental to your credit score.

Maximize Your Credit Scores

Perhaps one of the most crucial determinants when it comes to your mortgage rate is your credit score. Your credit score is indirectly proportional to the interest rate that you will be levied on your mortgage loan. For this reason, it is what is that you maximize your credit score. You would have to be certain to stretch your credit score up to the highest level. You can compute your credit scores through various portals online. There are several ways to amend your credit scores if they are not up to the mark. First of all, it is recommended that you pay off any credit card balances that might not have been charged yet. The available credit that you would have left is commonly known as credit utilization ratio. On an average, the utilisation ratio constitutes for a significant percentage of your FICO score. In simple words, the more of it that you have the lesser your credit score would be. Hence, it is always advised that you pay of your debts as soon as possible so that you can maximize your credit score and get a lower rate of mortgage on your upcoming loan.

Pay Your Balances Off

It is also recommended that you get all your balances paid off. If in case you have a collection account on your credit, you would have to remove that at first. To do so, you could either counter the negative account with the Credit Bureau or you could get the collection accounts removed from the report as an agreement between the collection agency and yourself.

If you have been on the lookout for the lowest mortgage rates in the BC area, you can solicit the services of Super Rates.

 

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iPhone 7 Plus camera can surpass a DLSR camera. Occasionallyok like Apple wasn’t entirely joking, even if it did make the comparison of the iPhone 7 Plus with a DSLR camera in a fun way when it announced the new iPhones. The phone does have some almost magic-like tricks up its sleeve that can help it click the photos that would be otherwise impossible to shoot with a phone camera.
Before you read further, just one disclaimer. Here at the India Today Tech, we are in the process of reviewing the Canon 5D Mark IV, a state-of-the-art full frame DSLR camera launched in India just several weeks ago. By the way, on the basis of what we have seen, this camera looks like one hell of shooting machine. It’s brilliant, but that is a story for another day. Just for fun, while reviewing this camera, we thought of pitting it against the iPhone 7 Plus, which has recently received an iOS update that adds Portrait Mode to its camera. This mode is creating a lot of buzzes and us though while we test this mode, and the 5D, let’s just compare the two.
The results were astonishing. Now, in no way that this should be taken as something that knocks down the 5D. It’s a great camera and miles ahead of the iPhone 7 Plus. In fact, to make a comparison a bit fair, I curtailed its capabilities somewhat. The 5D Mark IV that I used has a 24-70mm F4 L Lens attached to it. This is a high-end lens and the whole set-up is as pro as they come. But instead of shooting in manual, I put the camera on the auto mode, something which mainstream consumers do. Second, I set the focal length to around 57mm, similar to the focal length of the second camera in iPhone 7 Plus, because at 70mm it would have easily delivered a knockout punch to the iPhone in this test.
The result I got was this.
— The iPhone image has better colors. But that is because of processing. The colors from the Canon shooter are more accurate and if I want, I can get better colours from it by editing the image in something like Lightroom.
— The iPhone image is sharper. This is because of the small sensor size and the way images are tuned by Apple. Due to the small sensor size, for iPhone 7 Plus it is easier to manage the depth of field. The Canon 5D Mark IV is a full-frame camera where to manage the depth of field for better sharpness it is pertinent for a shooter to use the manual mode or at least control the aperture. But I deliberately used the auto mode because that is how most mainstream consumers who have DSLR cameras use them.
— Because the iPhone bokeh aka the blurred background is artificial, calculated by AI, if you look hard enough you can see that there is a sort of disconnect between the background and foreground. In fact, there is even a blemish in the image, result of problems with image processing (notice the solid gray area above the left arm of the teddy). No such issues with the 5D image because in this image the bokeh is the result of pure lens physics.
— With all said and done, the iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode is awesome. For most mainstream consumers, it will be easier to click great looking pictures with an iPhone 7 Plus compared to an advance DSLR camera that requires fiddling with aperture and focal length.
Now, about the Portrait Mode in the iPhone 7 Plus. In this mode, which is still in beta, the phone clicks the photo using the second camera that has a longer 57mm focal length. Apple says it’s 56mm, the EXIF data from the images says it is 57mm. Due to longer focal length, the second camera clicks images that have better bokeh or in other words blurred the background. But it is still not as good as what a good proper camera will capture. So, Apple then uses the data collected with the other camera in the iPhone 7 Plus to calculate better bokeh. This all is done using a dedicated image processing chip and it’s very impressive the way Apple can calculate this in such precise manner. The overall result is pretty nice, although this mode is still in beta and there could be issues such as the solid gray in the following image. Use the slider to see how the image is Before and how it was After the Portrait Mode processed it.

But overall, not bad Apple, not bad at all.

 

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Microsoft-To-Reveal-VR-Headset-Plans-In-DecemberUS tech giant Microsoft is planning to hold two WinHEC events in December that will reveal its virtual reality (VR) headset plans for Windows 10, a media report said Robot Tip.
The Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) is a series of technical conferences and workshops, where Microsoft elaborates on its hardware plans for Windows devices.

“Microsoft has partnered with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Asus to produce VR headsets that plug into Windows 10 PCs and provide the Windows Holographic shell and experience,” technology website TheVerge reported on Monday.
Both the events are designed for hardware manufacturers to better understand the software plans for Windows Holographic, a mixed reality platform built around the API of Windows 10.

If the Microsoft can convince VR headset makers to let Windows Holographic power its headsets, then the company can create a platform around VR to sell games and apps all powered by Windows 10.
The initial devices will start shipping after the Windows 10 Creators Update is made available to download in March 2017 and will function like VR headsets that connect to a PC, and will support six degrees of freedom and inside-out tracking.

 

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It hasn’t been even a month since the iPhone 7 was launched in India and already there are rumors rife about what will be there in the next iPhone.
Many believe that it will be called the iPhone 8 as it will be the 10th anniversary of Apple’s ground breaking smartphone.
This is of particular importance as the new iPhone 7 has been seen as a timid update over the iPhone 6S. Now, it is still early days in what we believe to be an almost yearlong cycle of rumors but there is already quite a bit of information out there.

OLED Screen
An OLED screen is almost a sure shot on the next iPhone. Sharp executives have already been hinting that the next iPhone could have an OLED display which will be manufactured by it.
They have also hinted that they now have the ability to make OLED displays in the US. OLED screens also make sense from a power consumption point of view as they are known to guzzle less power than typical LCD screens used in iPhones.
Nikkei is also reporting that in addition to the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models there could be a 5-inch screen that will also have a 2.5D cover glass.
One can also expect an increase in screen resolution as Apple hasn’t bumped up the resolution of the screen on the iPhone since the iPhone 6. This will be of particular importance if Apple wants to make a deep bet in the VR space.

New design
A new design for the iPhone 8 is a given considering Apple didn’t redesign the iPhone 7 casing this year. A redesign is also in order particularly for the larger Plus model as the bezels on the top and bottom of the screen are humongous and it feels much larger to phones that have a similar screen size.
There is chatter that Apple may either use a polished metal body just like the Jet Black model on the current iPhone 7 or may opt for a glass back which is something it has done in the past with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
There is also a growing belief that Apple may use a ceramic body on the next iPhone. Apple already uses ceramic on the Apple Watch series 2 Edition and as we have witnessed on phones like the new Xiaomi Mi Mix, it will enable Apple to build a glossy phone which will be more resistant to scratches and damage than say a phone made out of glass or metal Sci Burg.
Perhaps, Apple could make a special edition 10th anniversary model which will be made out of ceramic. Whatever be the case a new design is almost a certainty and even long time Apple watcher Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI securities claims the same.

Wireless charging
While Samsung and LG have been making phones with wireless charging for years, Apple hasn’t used this technology in its phones. That being said, with the Apple Watch, it started using the technology and it has filed patents which indicate that is working on some kind of long range wireless charging technology which works on the basis of near field magnetic resonance.
This indicates that Apple could actually use wireless charging in the next iPhone. It has been working with a start-up called Energous which is also known as its charging chip called WattUp.
Foxconn has also reportedly started testing wireless charging tech and if it were to make enough of these, chances are that Apple may unveil this feature in the special edition of the next iPhone.

Better cameras
The camera on the next iPhone could be in for a bigger update. While the dual camera setup was unveiled in the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is yet to fully unlock the potential of the dual cameras, which not only enable optical zoom but also a bokeh effect that one associates with DSLR cameras.
Apple is likely to further these capabilities on the next generation iPhones. Ming Chi-Kuo who is known for his reliable sources in Apple’s supply chain believes that while there will be updates to the camera, the dual-lens setup could remain exclusive to the larger iPhone 8 Plus model.

No home-button, Touch ID with Ultrasonic sensor
Apple is expected to adopt an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner for Touch ID in the next iPhone. Xiaomi’s Mi 5S smartphone already uses this technology and in the case of the iPhone, Apple’s motivation could be propelled by the fact that it may want to have an edge-to-edge screen on the next iPhone which may not leave room for a home button which has been a signature of the iPhone since it first came out in 2007.
Apple could augment this with a new taptic engine which may be able to reproduce more complex tactile vibrations. This would again be necessary if Apple planned to get rid of the home-button as it could use the taptic engine to replicate the click. It has already started to do this on the current iPhone 7.

A11 Processor
Apple will likely ship the next iPhone with A11 processor. This processor is expected to be made on a 10nm manufacturing process, which should make it faster and smaller at the same time.
Already, the iPhone pretty much the fastest mobile CPU by a country mile and one should expect more of the same from it next year. Its lead in the ARM chipset space is quite massive, even over companies like Qualcomm which have been making mobile processors for Android smartphones for years.

 

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