Philips Hue A21 Smart Bulb Debuts With Light Output

Philips Hue A21 Smart Bulb Debuts With Light Output Equivalent to 100W Bulb

Philips Hue A21 Smart Bulb Debuts With Light Output


Signify, the parent company of Philips Hue lights, today expanded the range of its smart lighting solutions by launching the Philips Hue A21 bulb, Philips Hue Centris spot-ceiling lights, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus lightstrip, and Philips Hue Bloom table lamp. Among the fresh models, the new Philips Hue bulb is the showstopper as it is touted to deliver a light output of 1,600 lumens — twice as bright as what we get on an existing smart bulb by the company. There is also Bluetooth support to let users connect the Philips Hue A21 with their phones, without requiring a hub.

Philips Hue A21, Philips Hue Centris, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus, and Philips Hue Bloom price, availability details

The Philips Hue A21 price is set at $19.99 (roughly Rs. 1,500), while the new Philips Hue Centris comes with a starting price of EUR 279.95 (roughly Rs. 24,100). Further, the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is priced at $24.99 (roughly Rs. 1,900) for 1-metre length and the Philips Hue Bloom at $69.99 (roughly Rs. 5,300).

On the availability part, the Philips Hue A21 bulb will be available for purchase in the US and European markets from the middle of this month. The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus, on the other hand, will be available from mid-June in Europe and selected stores in the US. The Philips Hue Bloom will also go on sale in Europe starting mid-June, while its US availability is set for mid-July. The company is yet to reveal the availability of the Philips Hue Centris, though.

Details about the India pricing and availability of the new Philips Hue devices are yet to be announced.

Philips Hue A21 specifications, features

The Philips Hue A21 is designed to address the low-lighting problems of existing Philips Hue bulbs. The smart bulb is capable of producing light output equivalent to a traditional 100W bulb. This is unlike the older models that have light output equivalent to a 60W bulb. Signify claims that the given light output on the new model is perfect “to properly illuminate the kitchen while cooking.”

Philips Hue A21 is designed to address the issues with existing smart bulbs by the company

 

The bulb comes in a soft white colour light. This means that you won’t be able play with any colour adjustments. Further, there is Bluetooth connectivity support — just like the earlier launched Philips Hue A19. The bulb also has an E27 fitting and 17W energy consumption.

Philips Hue Centris specifications, features

In addition to the Philips Hue A21, Signify has brought the new Philips Hue Centris spot-ceiling lights that are designed to produce diffused, adjustable, and focussed accent lightings. Each light in the Centris range can be set and controlled individually and has 350-degree rotation.

philips hue centris Philips Centris

Philips Centris has 350-degree rotation

 

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus specifications, features

There is also the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus that can be cut-off into pieces or re-used as a single lightstrip using the bundled connector. Just like the bulb and spot-ceiling lights, the lightstrip has Bluetooth support. This means it can be used without the Philips Hue Smart Hub. However, you’ll still need the bridge if you want to use the lightstrip with a HomeKit-compatible device, remote access, or using a third-party app. The lightstrip comes in one and two metre sizes.

philips hue lightstrip plus image Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus comes with Bluetooth support

 

Philips Hue Bloom specifications, features

Signify has also brought the new Philips Hue Bloom table lamp that is an upgrade of the earlier Hue Bloom. The new model has a white finish and an improved white light that can be boosted up to 500 lumens and can transform from warm white (2000K) to cool daylight (6500k). There is also Bluetooth support.

philips hue bloom Philips Hue Bloom

Philips Hue Bloom can transform from warm white (2000K) to cool daylight (6500k)

 

The design of the new Philips Hue Bloom is aimed to match with any room decors and colours. Further, the new Hue Bloom has the ability to deep dim (minimum level below one percent) to be a nightlight in your room.


Is OnePlus 8 Pro the perfect premium phone for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Apple, YouTube Unveil $100 Million Funds to Support Black Causes Amid US Protests

Apple-Backed Study Sheds Light on Physical Sales Through App


Apple on Monday released the results of a study that found its App Store spurred $458 billion (roughly Rs. 34.76 lakh crores) in sales last year from categories such as retail of physical goods, ride-hailing, and advertising from which the iPhone maker takes no commission.

The study, backed by Apple, marks the first time the company has sought to quantify App Store activity that does not produce a commission for Apple. Commissions from the App Store, which is the only way developers can distribute apps to iPhones owned by consumers, have become a key sales driver for Apple as iPhone sales level off.

But Apple’s study suggested the App Store has a broader impact. The App Store generated $519 billion (roughly Rs. 39.38 lakh crores) in billings and sales in 2019, according to the study, conducted by economic research consulting firm Analysis Group. Of that amount, $413 billion (roughly Rs. 31.34 lakh crores) was from physical goods and services.

The study found $45 billion (roughly Rs. 3.41 lakh crores) came from in-app advertising. The remaining 15 percent of overall App Store activity – about $63 billion (roughly Rs. 4.78 lakh crores) – came from digital goods and services such as music and video subscriptions or in-app purchases in games.

Apple takes a commission of between 15 percent and 30 percent for digital goods and services purchased through the App Store. That practice has drawn antitrust scrutiny in the United States and Europe, with rivals such as Spotify saying the practice hurts their business.

To avoid paying Apple’s commissions, rivals like Spotify must ask their customers to sign up for subscriptions on their own website, which adds multiple extra steps compared with paying inside the App Store. Spotify has alleged that created an uneven playing field.

In a conference call with journalists, Apple representatives said the company commissioned the study to gain a better understanding of the physical goods and services activity in its App Store.

General retail apps on iPhones and iPads, including Amazon, generated an estimated $268 billion (roughly Rs. 20.33 lakh crores) in sales and billings, followed by travel apps at $57 billion (roughly Rs. 4.32 lakh crores) and ride-hailing apps at $40 billion (roughly Rs. 3.03 lakh crores).

© Thomson Reuters 2020



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“Be The Light”: Amitabh Bachchan Shares Motivational Post Amid Coronavirus Lockdown


Amitabh Bachchan shared this image. (courtesy amitabhbachchan)

Highlights

  • Big B shared a digitised picture of himself
  • The picture had the text “be the light” written on it
  • Big B trended a great deal on Tuesday with his post

New Delhi:

Amitabh Bachchan, on Tuesday, grabbed a permanent spot on the trends list with his inspirational post for his fans. Big B shared a digitised picture of himself with the text “be the light” written on it on his Instagram profile and it has been boosting the morale of his fans. Big B, who keeps actively spreading awareness regarding coronavirus on his social media profiles, shared the inspirational post as an effort to motivate his fans. Sharing the picture, Big B wrote, “Be the light for all .. do for others what you would expect from others.” Take a look at the picture shared by Big B here:

Big B, who is currently at home with his family due to the nationwide lockdown, keeps his Instafam updated with his home activities. In coronavirus lockdown, Big B has been doing it all – from sharing priceless throwback pictures to keeping up with his fitness routine.

A few days ago, Big B trended a great deal for his pre-workout selfie. “ Chale bhaiya gym .. baad mein milte hain .. gym yahin hai ghar ke bahar nahin, ” wrote Big B. Take a look:

Take a look at these priceless throwback memories shared by Big B:

On the work front, Big B was last seen in the 2019 crime thriller Badla where he shared screen space with Taapsee Pannu. He has films such as Golabo Sitabo, Brahmastra, Chehre and Jhund to look forward to.





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“You Light Up My World”: Virat Kohli’s Birthday Wish For Anushka Sharma Is All About Love


Virat Kohli shared this picture. (courtesy virat.kohli)

Highlights

  • Anushka Sharma turned 32 on Friday
  • Virat Kohli wrote, “You, my love, bring light into this world”
  • He added, “I love you”

New Delhi:

Virat Kohli’s birthday post for his actress-wife Anushka Sharma lit up her day and ours too. The 31-year-old cricketer just dropped a loved-up picture of Anushka Sharma and it is setting major goals. In the picture, Virat can be seen holding a piece of the birthday cake while Anushka looks at Virat with her million-dollar smile. Sharing the snippet from Anushka’s birthday celebrations at home, Virat wrote an equally adorable birthday wish for her. “You, my love, bring light into this world. And you light up my world every day. I love you,” read Virat’s post. Take a look at the super adorable picture here:

Anushka, in a separate post, wrote a little poem wishing for all the sufferings to end. “I wish today, sadness dwindles. I wish today, suffering ends. I know it may not all go away, it does have its own part to play, and the role it dawns comes at a price, with tears and screams and even stifled cries,” read an excerpt of her poem. The NH 10 actress further added, “I wish today, suffering ends, sadness and suffering have been friends. Suffering is the second act. They play on the same life stage making you tumble, slip and fall. But after that comes your rise, and rise you will and be so wise. I wish today, sadness dwindles. I wish today, suffering ends.” Read her post here:

On the work front, Anushka was last seen in Aanand L Rai’s romantic-comedy Zero where she shared screen space with Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. The actress has not announced her upcoming projects yet but her production house Clean Slate Films will back Netflix’s Mai.





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“Hang In There, World”: Priyanka Chopra Reminds Us There’s Light At The End Of A Tunnel


Priyanka Chopra shared this photo. (Image courtesy: priyankachopra )

Highlights

  • Priyanka Chopra shared a post on Friday
  • She posted a selfie
  • She accompanied her post with a motivational note

New Delhi:

Priyanka Chopra’s latest post on social media serves as the perfect source of motivation we need amid the coronavirus lockdown. The actress, who always inspires her fans to stay positive, shared a motivational post on Friday and urged her fans to look forward to better days because “there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.” Priyanka shared a sun-kissed photo of hers on her Instagram account and accompanied it with a short message for the “world” that read: “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel… Hang in there, world.” In the selfie, the actress looks flawless. She can be seen sporting a grey-coloured sleeveless dress and minimal make-up.

Take a look at Priyanka Chopra’s post here:

Priyanka Chopra, who is a member of Global Citizen, is a part of the virtual concert that will take place on Saturday. One World: Together At Home concert, organised by Global Citizen and WHO in collaboration with Lady Gaga, will help raise funds for WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Shah Rukh Khan is also a part of it.

On the work front, Priyanka Chopra made her debut in Bollywood with 2003 film The Hero: Love Story of a Spy, in which she co-starred with Sunny Deol and Preity Zinta. She has since then appeared in a number of critically acclaimed films like Dom, Fashion, Barfi!, Mary Kom, Bajirao Mastani, Dil Dhadakne Do and Agneepath. She was last seen in The Sky Is Pink. Her career in Hollywood started with American thriller series Quantico, in which she played the lead role. Priyanka went on to feature in Seth Gordon’s action-comedy Baywatch alongside Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. She has also starred in A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t It Romantic. Priyanka Chopra has Netflix’s superhero film We Can Be Heroes and a film with actress-comedian Mindy Kaling in her kitty.





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COVID-19 Crisis Brings to Light the Need for a Much Stronger Public Sector

COVID-19 Crisis Brings to Light the Need for a Much Stronger Public Sector


It is a sign of how bad things are when the editorial board of the Financial Times, the world’s leading business newspaper, carries an editorial calling for “radical reforms… reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades.” The FT editorial of April 3 has advocated, among other things, a more active role for governments in the economy, ways to make labor markets less insecure, and wealth taxes. The FT’s editorial board, increasingly concerned about saving capitalism from itself, had written about the need for “state planning” and a “worker-led economy” last year in August. But the April 3 editorial has garnered much more attention since it comes amidst a massive crisis.

By now it has become obvious that substantial state intervention in the economy—frowned upon by the apostles of neoliberal economics—is back to the center stage across the world.

The situation is such that the public sector, long maligned by neoliberal economists and weakened by governments beholden to neoliberalism, is playing a major role in the fight against coronavirus. Its role would have been much more effective and wide-ranging if it hadn’t been hit hard by decades of fund cuts and waves of privatization. Nevertheless, with the ineffectiveness of private production with profit motive as its driving force to handle a crisis becoming more evident, the public sector, production with state direction, and some amount of planning are making a major comeback.

Public Health Care

The case of the sectors that are directly concerned with health care provision is the most conspicuous, with the inadequacies of private health care during a crisis becoming evident to even right-wing leaders.

We see Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK, repeatedly talking about the need to protect the National Health Service (Britain’s publicly funded health care system). He even said, “there really is such a thing as society,” contradicting Margaret Thatcher, his conservative predecessor who batted for pure individualism in 1987 by saying “There is no such thing as society.”

Britain and many other countries in Western Europe have had relatively robust public health care systems. In many of these countries, such as ItalySpain and the UK, public health care systems have suffered in recent years because of fund cuts and privatization of public facilities. Apart from the policy vision of the leaders of these countries themselves, they also came under pressure from the technocrats of the European Commission, who repeatedly demanded spending cuts on health care. Along with the easy-going attitude displayed by many of the Western governments in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, such weakening of the public health care systems have made their response to the coronavirus outbreak a more arduous task. For now, the governments of Spain and Ireland have temporarily taken over their private hospitals to deal with the crisis.

The case of the United States, with its private, insurance-based health care system, is far worse. Not only was a sufficient number of testing kits unavailable in the United States for months, but the costs of testing and treatment remain prohibitive for a large section of the population, particularly to the 30 million uninsured and 44 million underinsured. This means that many people simply wouldn’t be able to afford to get tested and treated, endangering the health and lives of themselves and others.

The difference between the United States on the one hand, and China and South Korea on the other, comes readily into the picture here. Testing and treatment for coronavirus is free in China, which was crucial in the country’s success in bringing the epidemic under control. South Korea has done extensive testing, which was made available for free. Treatment costs were covered by the government and the insurance companies.

The Importance of the Public Sector, However, Goes Much Further

In times of crises such as the present one, which is comparable to war, the ability of economies to produce (or at least source) and distribute things becomes critical. Two kinds of things assume particular importance:

  1. Essential things that are necessary for the immediate sustenance of the people. These include food and medicines, and in turn, the things necessary to produce them. If there are large gaps in the supply and distribution of these things, there would be a famine. If the gap is smaller, there would still be many unnecessary deaths. Even leaders who are otherwise callous about starvation deaths would be concerned about such an eventuality during a crisis, because social tensions that could rise as a result of this would make it even more difficult to tide over the crisis, whether it is a war or a pandemic. During the Second World War, Britain resorted to rationing to solve this problem. The people of India were squeezed to finance the Allies’ war in South Asia with Japan, and the result was the Bengal Famine, which took the lives of 3 million people.
  1. The kind of things that are necessary to tide over the crisis. During times of war, armaments would be the most crucial among these. In the case of the coronavirus crisis, the main things would be items like ventilators, masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and medicines to treat the symptoms. Large gaps in the supply of these things would be disastrous. In the case of a war, such gaps could lead to defeat in war. In the case of a lethal pandemic, people would die in huge numbers, as we see right now. We could say this is an industrial famine of sorts contributing to the casualties, with countries unable to make ICUs, ventilators and masks fast enough in adequate quantities, and in many cases, to set up hospitals and quarantine facilities quickly enough.

It is in this context that leaders of government who ideologically disagree with state intervention in the economy are seen taking direct action in commandeering private companies to produce necessary things.

Thus we see Donald Trump, who had initially resisted the pressure to use the Defense Production Act—a wartime law—to mobilize private industry, finally using the law to direct General Motors to produce ventilators.

The government of Italy directed its only producer of ventilators, Siare Engineering, to ramp up the production of ventilators for the country, and sent engineers and other staff members from the Ministry of Defense to help with production. The company canceled all its orders from abroad to produce for the country.

Countries with a large public sector, robust industrial capacity, and the ability to effectively intervene in the market would be at a considerable advantage here. That is the case with China, which put the state-owned China State Construction Engineering to work to construct two emergency quarantine hospitals at breath-taking speed. The state ensured the flow of products such as grain, meat and eggs into the Hubei province while it was under lockdown, and coordinated the production and distribution of masks and other medical products. Once the outbreak within the country was under control, it began supplying masks and ICU equipment to other countries in need.

India, a large country with a poor health care system, does not have enough masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its health workers. The number of ICU beds and ventilators available in the country is very low. For a population of 1.34 billion, it only has 31,900 ICU beds available for COVID-19 patients, according to the country’s Health Ministry officials. To compare, Germany, with 82.8 million people, had 28,000 ICU beds as of mid-March.

If the number of COVID-19 patients in India surges, hospitals and their critical care facilities will be overwhelmed. The public sector Bharat Electronics Limited has been asked to produce 30,000 ventilators to meet the urgent need. Hindustan Lifecare (another public sector company) and the Rail Coach Factory under the Indian Railways are going to manufacture ventilators. The public sector Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which the government has tried continuously to weaken in the recent years, is now producing masks, sanitizer and coveralls for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It has also developed a ventilator prototype and is preparing for production.

Within India, it is the state of Kerala that has dealt with the pandemic in the most effective manner. In the Left-ruled state, which has resisted the policy of privatization pushed by successive central governments, public sector companies are manufacturing hand sanitizer and gloves, and have raised the production of essential medicines. Kudumbashree, a massive government-backed organization of women’s collectives with 4.5 million members, is making masks, which the public sector is helping distribute. Mass organizations of youth and popular science activists are pitching in by making hand sanitizer. Volunteers supported by a state-led initiative have developed a respiratory apparatus that could free up ventilators.

It is not as if making masks, sanitizers and gloves requires advanced technology. But industrial capacity is needed to churn them out in large numbers, or at least large mass organizations, class organizations or collectives that can mobilize people to manufacture them. The inability of the United States to even ensure the supply of such items stands out in this regard. Four decades of neoliberalism seem to have led not only to the undermining of industrial capacity useful for public purposes, but also to the hollowing out of collective energies.

Need for Production Capabilities and Societal Control Over Them

In short, the lesson is that in times such as these, a society needs two things.

  1. It needs production capabilities. During a time of crisis, if a country doesn’t have the necessary industrial capacity, it will be in trouble even if it has money to buy if the other countries that do have the production capabilities block the export of the required goods. This is what is happening right now to so many countries, such as Italy and Serbia. (In the mad scramble for resources, there have even been reports of countries offering higher amounts to buy masks ordered by other countries, and of some countries even seizing shipments for themselves.) Not only is industrial capacity needed, but some excess capacity is also required in some crucial areas. As the public health expert T. Sundararaman pointed out recently, the public health care system needs to have unused capacity, which will allow it to expand and take on the extra load when there is an emergency. Excess industrial capacity in China, which is often seen as a problem (including by sympathetic observers), turned out to be useful, with the country being able to manufacture essential goods to not just meet its own demands, but also that of other countries.

    But relying on market forces doesn’t give any guarantee of industrial capacity being built up. The kind of production capabilities built without planning would be haphazard, and may not cover the needs of an emergency when it presents itself. India, which adopted a strategy of substantial economic planning during the first few decades after independence, only to abandon it in the recent decades, is witnessing this to its peril right now.

  1. The society, or the state as the representative of society, needs to be able to control the production facilities. When a crisis hits a country with production capabilities in the private sector, the state can invoke emergency powers to bring them under control. But it would be a painful process, especially in countries where the private corporate sector is not used to submit to discipline. Given the enormous influence that the corporates have over the state itself, the state might try to prolong having to invoke such emergency powers, as was seen in the United States, and that could have disastrous consequences. India has the worst of all possible worlds—cronyism is rampant, industrialization has not taken off (whether it is because of cronyism or in spite of it need not detain us here), and the public sector has been undermined.

     

    Even when the state is trying to play a more active role, its efforts could be undermined by private firms acting in their own self-interest of maximizing profits. This was seen in the United States, where private companies were engaging in price gouging, by selling masks that are normally sold for 85 cents for $7, leading to the New York state governor to call upon the federal government to nationalize the acquisition of medical supplies. He said that the U.S. government should order factories to produce masks, gowns and ventilators; otherwise the situation would be impossible to manage. The state using private facilities can be costly as well, as was seen in Britain, where the National Health Service is paying 2.4 million pounds per day as rent to private hospitals for 8,000 beds.

Does calling for more domestic production capabilities that the state can control mean that every country should be left to fend for itself? Certainly not—every country cannot produce everything; smaller countries would find it particularly difficult. International trade would be needed for countries to procure things that they cannot produce for themselves. But as the developments of the recent months show, today’s trade regime has nothing to do with solidarity, and it provides no guarantee of countries being able to access goods during an emergency. This is no accident. Lack of solidarity is embedded in the way capitalism has developed, with the bulk of the world’s wealth concentrated in the hands of a few countries, and within countries, in the hands of the super-rich. This system has to be overhauled for a regime of solidarity to emerge. Production and its fruits becoming less concentrated in some regions of the world and in the hands of a minority would pave the way for power relations to be less unequal, which is a precondition for real solidarity among people and societies.

Along with socialized health care, an immediate stop to privatization, and a stronger, expanded public sector should become part of the transitional demands of the left as we search for an exit from the pandemic crisis.



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