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Cisco job cuts, Paytm Banks’ deadline, Jio’s message to Airtel users & more tech news


Jobs cuts continue in the technology industry. As widely speculated, networking giant Cisco announced job cuts. RBI has ‘good news’ for Paytm Bank users.

Xiaomi, Honor and Motorola launched new phones

. All this and more in Times of India Tech’s weekly tech wrap.

Cisco to cut 4,000-plus jobs

Cisco has announced that it will cut around 5% of its workforce, which amounts to approximately 4,250 jobs.

This decision wasn’t unexpected, as it had been reported earlier that the company was planning to reduce its workforce. Sources familiar with the matter reveal that Cisco aims to focus on high-growth areas. According to the company’s data, it employed a total of 84,900 people at the end of the 2023 fiscal year.

RBI extends the deadline for Paytm Payment Bank to stop operations

RBI has extended the deadline for Paytm Payment Bank (PPB) to stop accepting fresh deposits in its accounts by 15 days. After March 15, 2024, PPB will not allow any further deposits, credit transactions or top-ups. Only fund transfers, Bharat Bill Payment Systems, and unified payments interface facility will be available, and no other banking services will be provided by the bank.

Paytm cannot issue FASTags after February 29

Paytm is no longer authorised by NHAI for issuing new FASTags. People can no longer buy FASTags using Paytm. 32 banks have been authorised by NHAI for purchasing FASTags. People who already have Paytm FASTags should surrender them and get new ones. Paytm FASTags will become non-functional from 29 February 2024. Banks authorised for FASTag purchase include SBI, HDFC, ICICI, Airtel Payments Bank, and more.

Reliance Jio takes a ‘lovely’ jibe at Airtel

Reliance Jio has continued its tradition of sending a Valentine’s Day message to Airtel, but this year the message is directed towards Airtel customers who use their broadband service Xstream. In a post on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), Reliance Jio has advised Airtel Xstream users not to ignore “RED” flags in their relationships and has urged them to switch to Reliance Jio instead.

Google releases the first Android 15 Developer Preview

Android 15

Google has released the first developer preview of Android 15, which includes improved privacy features, productivity tools, and performance optimization. The preview is exclusively available on selected Google Pixel phones and tablets that are powered by Google’s Tensor SoCs. A stable release for Android 15 is expected in October 2024.

Redmi A3 launched in India


Xiaomi launched the Redmi A3, a budget smartphone in the ‘A series’ in India. The phone features a 6.71-inch HD+ LCD screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, Octa-Core Helio G36, up to 6GB of RAM, and a 5000mAh battery with 10W charging. The phone has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and 8MP rear camera with a 5MP front camera. The phone comes in three variants: 3GB + 64GB for Rs. 7,299, 4GB + 128GB for Rs. 8,299, and 6GB + 128GB for Rs. 9,299. The phone will be available from February 23rd at Flipkart, Mi.com, Mi Home stores, and retail stores.

Honor X9b makes India debut

Honor X9b 5G smartphone, Choice X5 Earbuds goes on first sale in India: Price, specs and more

HTech has recently launched the HONOR X9b, their latest mid-range smartphone in India. The phone features a 6.78-inch 1.5K, 120Hz curved anti-drop AMOLED display, Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor and 5800mAh battery. The device is priced at Rs. 25999.

ChatGPT maker OpenAI’s Sora can generate videos from text prompts

OpenAI launched Sora, a video-generation model that creates photorealistic videos up to a minute long from text instructions. Sora can create complex scenes with multiple characters, motions, and accurate details. It can also interpret props and generate characters with vibrant emotions.

RBI asked Visa and Mastercard to halt card payments through third-party companies

The Reserve Bank of India has asked Visa and Mastercard to halt business-to-business card payments routed through third-party fintech firms. The move affects only commercial payments, not all corporate card payments. RBI has not specified why the restrictions have been placed. Visa has confirmed receiving a communication from the RBI and is engaged in discussions to ensure compliance.

Moto G04, cheapest phone running Android 14 launched in India

moto g04

Motorola’s budget smartphone, the Moto G04, is now available in India. It features a 6.6-inch HD+ LCD screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, Unisoc T606 SoC, 8GB RAM, and 5MP front camera. The phone runs on Android 14 and comes with 3 years of security updates. It has a 16MP rear camera, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh battery with 15W fast charging, and is water-repellent. The phone is available in 4GB/8GB RAM and 64GB/128GB storage, expandable up to 1TB. The 4GB + 64GB version is priced at Rs. 6,999, and the 5GB + 128GB version costs Rs. 7,999. The phone is available from Flipkart, motorola.in, and retail stores starting from February 22nd at 12PM.

Xbox is bringing four exclusive titles to PlayStation and Nintendo

Xbox is bringing four of its exclusive titles to rival systems PlayStation and Nintendo, confirmed by Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Gaming chief. The games are community-driven titles Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment, as well as smaller games that were never meant to be platform exclusives, Sea of Thieves and Grounded. This does not mean there will be no Xbox exclusive titles in the future. Spencer believes that over the next 5-10 years, there will be fewer console-exclusive titles locked to a single system. The move to other platforms will generate additional revenues that can be reinvested into Xbox’s own portfolio of studios and games. These four games will serve as a test case to gauge player reaction and sales potential.

iMessage, Bing and Edge gets exemptions from European Union’s Digital Markets Act

Apple and Microsoft have won exemptions for their iMessage and Bing search engine from the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA, which takes effect in three weeks’ time, requires tech companies to allow third-party apps or app stores on their platforms and make it easier for people to switch to rivals. Following a five-month investigation, the European Commission found iMessage, Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising “did not qualify as gatekeeper services,” while Apple’s App Store, iOS operating system, and Safari browser will continue to be classified as gatekeepers, as will Microsoft’s Linkedin social network and Windows operating system.

Apple removes this movie piracy app from App Store

Apple took down the Kimi app from its App Store as it was found to be deceptive. The app was designed to enable its users to stream pirated movies and had a similar interface to the older Popcorn Time app. The app’s easy-to-use filtering options and download feature were able to bypass Apple’s review team, raising concerns about the security of the App Store.

Nvidia briefly surpassed Google to become the third-biggest US company

Nvidia briefly surpassed Google-parent Alphabet in stock market capitalization to become the third-biggest US company. The company’s stock has seen a 231% increase in the past 12 months, making it the top spot among the S&P 500 components.

Mark Zuckerberg reviews Apple’s Vision Pro headset

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, claimed that the Meta Quest 3 is a better mixed reality headset than Apple’s Vision Pro, despite costing $3,000 less. He praised the Quest 3’s lighter weight and more accurate physical controllers, but acknowledged that the Vision Pro has higher-resolution visuals and more cameras. Zuckerberg positioned the Quest 3 and its open ecosystem against Apple’s closed model.

Instacart to cut 250 jobs

Instacart has recently announced that it will be eliminating around 250 jobs, which accounts for approximately 7% of its total global workforce as of January 31, 2024. The objective behind this restructuring plan is to create a more streamlined organisational structure at the company. This move will allow teams to focus more on advertising campaigns and other significant projects, and to invest more in promising initiatives.

ChatGTP gets “memory” to remember all the chats

OpenAI is testing a new “memory” feature for its AI chatbot, ChatGPT, which can store and recall conversations to provide personalised responses. The feature enables ChatGPT to remember user preferences, past conversations, and other details. ChatGPT builds its memory by automatically flagging useful details from conversations and users can also explicitly tell the chatbot to remember specific information.

Mozilla laying off 5% of staff

Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox web browser, has stated that it will be cutting around 5% of its workforce, leading to the loss of 60 jobs. These job cuts will affect those in product development roles.

YouTube introduces new video remix tool

YouTube has introduced a new feature called “Remix” that enables users to include clips and audio from official music videos into their Shorts, which is YouTube’s answer to TikTok. This move comes at a time when TikTok is experiencing licensing conflicts with prominent record labels such as Universal Music Group. The remix feature is now widely available on the YouTube mobile app.

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