Home services startup Taskbob shuts shop

NEW DELHI: Unable to reach the desired scale and profits, Mumbai-based home services startup Taskbob has shut shop.In an internal communication, Taskbob co-founder and CEO Aseem Khare said the company shut down its operations as of January 19 due to unforeseen circumstances. "...due to unforeseen circumstances, Taskbob will be shutting down its operations as of 19th January. Thousands of startups have mushroomed across the country and many of them have successfully raised funding from investors in the last two-three years. However, high cash-burn forced many others to scale down, shut operations or sell their business. "...even though Taskbob is shutting down operations, the Taskbob spirit will stay alive... we have shared the list of all Taskbob verified service professionals - across electricians, plumbers, carpenters, appliance repairmen, house cleaners, car cleaners, drivers, etc on the Taskbob App.These are carefully screened, background verified & police verified, trained and skilled.

January 20, 2017 05:04 UTC

Three killed, 20 hurt after car strikes pedestrians in Melbourne

A man deliberately drove into a street crowded with pedestrians in Australia’s second-largest city on Friday, killing at least three people and injuring 20 others, police said. The chaos began in the early afternoon, after a man was seen driving in erratic circles in the middle of a major intersection in downtown Melbourne. The man was arrested at the scene and there was no further threat to the public, Bateson said. “At this present stage, we ask the public to avoid the city,” Bateson told reporters. Several officers could be seen standing over a man lying on the sidewalk, clad only in his underwear, his hands apparently handcuffed behind his back.

January 20, 2017 05:03 UTC

India beats US, No. 1 in Google Play app usage

BENGALURU: Mobile users in India downloaded the most number of apps from Google Play app store in 2016. With over 6 billion app downloads, India, which was in the third position in 2015, surpassed the US, according to a report by global app analytics firm App Annie. China is not part of the Google Play (Android) rankings because the country has blocked Google. However, it was Number one in iOS (Apple) app store downloads.The report indicated that India could widen its gap with others in Android app downloads given its still low penetration of smartphones. Out of the total of 900 billion hours spent on Android apps in 2016, 150 billion hours were spent by Indians.

January 20, 2017 05:00 UTC

Three killed, 20 injured after car drove into Melbourne pedestrians

Australian police said three people were killed and at least 20 injured after a man deliberately drove a car into pedestrians in the centre of Melbourne. The incident was not related to terrorism, Victorian police told reporters at a press conference on Friday. Australian media reported that the car was driving erratically before the incident, which occurred during the city's busy lunchtime, and at least one shot was fired. Melbourne is currently hosting the Australian Open tennis grand slam and is packed with thousands of extra tourists, only a few blocks from where the incident occurred. Victoria police said that the tennis tournament was open and operating normally.

January 20, 2017 04:59 UTC

Infosys: Infosys 'releases' 9,000 employees due to automation

BENGALURU: Infosys has "released" 8,000-9,000 employees in the past one year because of automation of lower-end jobs, the company's human resources head Krishnamurthy Shankar said. Infosys added 5,700 people in the first nine months of this fiscal, compared to about 17,000 in the same period last year. In the December quarter, Infosys' total employee strength actually declined -an extremely rare occurrence for India's No. The total strength fell by 66 to 1,99,763.Most big IT services companies are investing heavily in automation of processes in their traditional businesses like BPO, application management and infrastructure management. The company's global HR head Saurabh Govil said in November that some 3,200 people were released through automation to do more innovative work.

January 20, 2017 04:57 UTC

Google: ​India number one in Google Play app downloads, usage​

Mobile users in India downloaded the most number of apps from Google Play app store in 2016. With over 6 billion app downloads, India, which was in the third position in 2015, surpassed the US, according to a report by global app analytics firm App Annie.Brazil took the third spot with a little over 5 billion downloads. China is not part of the Google Play (Android) rankings because the country has blocked Google. 1 in iOS (Apple) app store downloads.The report indicated that India could widen its gap with others in Android app downloads given its still low penetration of smartphones. Out of this, approximately 60 billion app downloads came from Google Play, which saw an increase of almost 10 billion last year.

January 20, 2017 04:56 UTC

'Star Trek: Discovery' to feature Spock's father Sarek

Upcoming American TV series Star Trek: Discovery will feature Spock's father, Sarek as an important character. This is the second time the debut date of the date has changed. Sarek's is the first character to get on board the new series, who has appeared previously in the Trek franchise. Actor James Frain, who played mayor Theo Galavan (aka Azrael) on Fox's Gotham recently has been cast for the role, sources say. The series will start shooting in Toronto next week.

January 20, 2017 04:55 UTC

Behind the bull story: Depoliticisation of campuses

After a statewide protest by SFI, the government set up an inquiry committee which submitted that the body was not that of Udayakumar. This depoliticisation is at the core of the jingoism that we see. "Vandalism shown by some students of Pachaiyappa's College and Presidency College is also the result of depoliticisation," says Gnani. Karunanidhi got a taste of this in 1974 from a men's arts college near Spencer's, and shifted it to Nandanam. Quaid-E-Millath College for Women today stands where the men's college was.Chandru says the DMK not just depoliticised campuses, it also diverted youngsters' attention from greater social issues to Tamil causes.

January 20, 2017 04:52 UTC

Note ban leads to 15% dip in healthcare spends

MUMBAI: Demonetisation led to a drop of 10-15% in healthcare spend, with patients deferring elective surgical and medical procedure, while overall, the impact was more pronounced in small towns.While retail sales of drugs witnessed a slight dip, the diagnostic services suffered a drop of around 15%. There has been no drop in surgeries, and all surgeries over the last month have been undertaken as planned. "At Nightingales, in the chronic diseases care, part of our business continues to see growth. However, in elective procedures like physiotherapy, we do see consumers delaying their treatment. "In cases of emergency procedures, in patients interests, we had started accepting payments by cheque, net banking, debit, credit cards and also enabled payments from Android and iOS phones".

January 20, 2017 04:51 UTC

Melbourne: 3 dead, 20 hurt after car ploughs into Melbourne shoppers

MELBOURNE: Three people died and 20 others were injured Friday when a car ploughed into pedestrians in the heart of the Australian city of Melbourne , police said.A man deliberately drove his car into people at the Bourke Street mall, but the incident was not terror related, Victoria Police's Acting Commander Stuart Bateson told reporters. "I can confirm that we believe this is connected to an earlier stabbing in the southern metro region. "We have the offender in custody. There is no further threat to the public at this stage," he added.

January 20, 2017 04:47 UTC

Zinedine Zidane blames himself for Real Madrid C.F.’s back-to-back defeats

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insists he is responsible for the European champions’ back-to-back defeats as they look to return to winning ways when Malaga visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Read More | How Manchester United ousted Real Madrid C.F. Worryingly for Zidane, Madrid’s lacklustre display in midweek came about despite the fact he picked almost a full strength side. However, the star front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are likely to all start once more. Meanwhile, two of Spain’s in-form sides Sociedad and Celta face off in the battle for European places on Sunday.

January 20, 2017 04:39 UTC

Motherson Sumi to acquire PKC Group for $609 million

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January 20, 2017 04:35 UTC

Bishan Bedi, Farokh Engineer set to be named BCCI administrators: Sources to India Today

(In historic move, BCCI selection committee pruned to three members)Interestingly, Bedi and Engineer, while great cricketers, go against the very grain of the reforms process which was recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee. The Lodha reforms recommend no one above 70 can hold an administrative position in the BCCI or any of the state associations. Given the three cricketers are all over 70, ousted BCCI office bearers who are not eligible to hold office because of their age will surely have a lot to say. (Thakur's removal was a logical consequence: RM Lodha)The Supreme Court had cracked the whip on a defiant BCCI on January 2nd, for not complying with its orders to implement the Lodha Committee report. The court sacked its president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke in a historic judgement passed in the new year.

January 20, 2017 04:34 UTC

Mumbai gets 75 more WiFi hotspots

Days after launching free WiFi connectivity across Mumbai at 510 locations, the Maharashtra government has now activated 75 more hotspots in the city, taking the tally up to 585. The state government had activated 510 hotspots across public places on January 6, making Mumbai the first Indian city with WiFi connectivity. “The list of WiFi hotspots has now reached 585 as we have added 75 more,” Gautam told HT. This is being done to achieve the target of 1200 active WiFi hotspots across Mumbai by May 1, the principal secretary said. READ MORENow, an app to help find Mumbai WiFi hotspotsMumbai is first WiFi city in India, gets 500 hotspotsIn Mumbai: 1,200 WiFi hotspots ready for launch before BMC polls

January 20, 2017 04:33 UTC

Angelique Kerber: Top seed Kerber blasts into Australian Open fourth round

MELBOURNE: World number one Angelique Kerber set up a last-16 clash with American Coco Vandeweghe at the Australian Open after blowing Kristyna Pliskova off court Friday.The German defending champion, who was taken to three sets in her opening two rounds, smashed the hapless Czech 6-0, 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena Kerber will now face the volatile, racquet-smashing Vandeweghe, who ended the Grand Slam dreams of Canadian comeback queen Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. "It was not so easy today, she is a tough opponent who serves well and hits the ball strongly. I tried to stay focused until the last point," she said.Kerber added that she watched some of the Vandeweghe-Bouchard match, and would be ready for the American on Sunday. "It will be tough against Coco. We have played a few times before but I'm ready and I'm feeling good," she said.The 35th-ranked Vandeweghe threw a temper tantrum in her second-round clash against Pauline Parmentier, slamming her racquet into the ground three times when she gave away a break point.But despite her fiercely competitive nature, she largely kept her emotions in check against Bouchard, only throwing down her racquet once, but not smashing it.The women's draw at Melbourne Park has been blown wide open with the early upsets of third seed Agnieszka Radwanska and fourth ranked Simona Halep.But worryingly for Kerber, Serena Williams -- the woman she beat in last year's final, and then replaced as world number one -- is still in the hunt and looking ominous.Williams, chasing a 23rd Grand Slam title, raised a lone index finger after her round two win on Thursday in a gesture many interpreted as the American indicating she still considers herself number one.Top seed Kerber had never met Pliskova before, although she did beat her twin sister Karolina in the final of the US Open last year.The German, who turned 29 this week and was serenaded on court with "Happy Birthday" after her second round win, was always in charge.Ranked 58, the Czech has never gone beyond a Grand Slam third round before and Kerber raced through the opening set in just 20 minutes.It looked like a similar scenario in the second set when she immediately broke and held serve to win her eighth game in a row.But Pliskova woke up and unexpectedly got a break herself, but was unable to stop the world number one romping to an easy victory in under an hour.Bidding to be the first woman to defend her Australian title since Victoria Azarenka in 2013, Kerber had a tough time in her opening two rounds.It followed an indifferent lead-up to Melbourne with early exits in Brisbane and Sydney this month.

January 20, 2017 04:27 UTC

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