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Mercedes unveils ‘Vision EQXX’ EV concept with 1000 km range

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The concept car uses less than 10 kWh of electrical energy to travel 100 km. When translated into fossil-fuel consumption, this is around 1 litre per 100 km.

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled an electric concept car, Vision EQXX, which it says will be capable of exceeding a range of 1,000 km on a single charge.

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The German automaker said it plans to take the range and efficiency of electric vehicles (EV) to a new level that will make them suitable for every journey.

Also Read | Mercedes gets nod to use hands-free driving system in Germany

“The Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX is how we imagine the future of electric cars,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius said.

The concept car uses less than 10 kWh of electrical energy to travel 100 km. When translated into fossil-fuel consumption, this is around 1 litre per 100 km, Mercedes noted. Tesla’s Model S 60 consumes 18.1 kWh per 100 km, which equates to about 2 litre per 100 km in fossil-fuel consumption, according to the company.

Vision EQXX’s battery pack holds almost 100 kWh of energy, with an energy density of close to 400 Wh/l, and weighs around 495 kg. It has 50% less volume and is 30% lighter than the battery pack in the automaker’s EQS electric sedan.

In addition to the battery, the electric system that powers many of the ancillaries in the prototype draws extra energy from 117 solar cells on the roof. This can add up to 25 km of range, according to Mercedes.

Also Read | Jaguar Land Rover to develop hydrogen-powered concept car

The concept car was developed by Mercedes’ R&D centres together with engineers from its Formula 1 and Formula E programmes. The development process, which took about 18 months, included advances across all elements of its electric drivetrain as well as the use of lightweight engineering, resulting in a vehicle that weighs around 1,750 kg.

The Vision EQXX’s 1,000 km range means it can be used to travel from Berlin to Paris on a single charge. During recent testing, the automaker’s EQS 450+ electric sedan completed nearly 680 km on one charge. Then there are other EVs available in the market from companies like Lucid and Tesla with ranges up to 840 km and 650 km respectively.

Last year, Mercedes announced that it will go all-electric by 2030. The carmaker said it will have battery EVs in all segments by 2022, and from 2025 onwards, all newly launched vehicle architectures will be electric-only. Additionally, it committed about $47 billion in investments into EVs between 2022 and 2030.



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Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas welcome baby via surrogacy

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The couple, who got married in 2018, made the announcement on social media, requesting for privacy

Actor-singer Priyanka Chopra and musician Nick Jonas have welcomed a baby via surrogacy.

The couple, who got married in 2018, made the announcement on Sunday, on social media.

“We are overjoyed to confirm that we have welcomed a baby via surrogate. We respectfully ask for privacy during this special time as we focus on our family. Thank you so much,” wrote Priyanka, tagging her husband on the post as well.

The actor-model has earlier spoken about her desire to become a mother. In a recent interview to Vanity Fair magazine, she said, “They (kids) are a big part of our desire for the future. By God’s grace, when it happens, it happens.”

Priyanka was last seen in sci-fi thriller The Matrix Resurrections. Next up, she has romantic drama Text For You, as well as television show Citadel in the pipeline.



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Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Second chargesheet names four farmers for ‘lynching’ of 3 BJP men | India News

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BAREILLY: In its second chargesheet in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, a special investigation team (SIT) has named four farmers for the alleged lynching of three BJP workers who were attacked by an angry mob after a convoy that belonged to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni, mowed down five men — four farmers and a local journalist — in Tikunia on October 3 last year.
The SIT had filed a 5,000-page chargesheet against Ashish and 12 others on January 3 and said the incident (the mowing down of four farmers and the journalist) was “premeditated and not an act of negligence”. The four farmers who have now been charged for the lyinching of the BJP workers are already lodged in the Lakhimpur Kheri jail. Three of them have been charged with murder and one for other related offences. Three other farmers who had been arrested earlier were released from jail in the evening on the court’s order.
Giving details about the second chargesheet, a 1600-page document, senior prosecution officer (SPO) SP Yadav told TOI, “In the chargesheet submitted by investigating officer SK Pal, four farmers, Gurwinder Singh, Kamaljeet Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Vichitra Singh, have been named as accused. A closure report was submitted against three farmers, Avtaar Singh, Ranjeet Singh and Kawaljeet Singh due to lack of evidence against them.”
Yadav added, “Gurwinder, Kamaljeet and Gurpreet were charged under relevant sections of the IPC.” sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapons), 149 (offence committed in prosecution of common object),114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 109 (abetment), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 302 (murder), 427 (mischief causing damage), 436 (mischief by fire), and 504 (intentional insult).
“Vichitra Singh has been charged under IPC sections 109, 114, 427, 436 and 504,” he added. The prosecution has requested the court to impound important parts of the case diary under section 173 (6) of the CRPC.





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Xbox Chief Plans to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation After Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

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Microsoft recently announced that it will be acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion (roughly Rs. 5,10,990 crore). The wheels have been set in motion, and the deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023. Activision Blizzard currently has famous titles like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch under its belt. However, one of its most notable franchises is Call of Duty. This acquisition has cast some clouds over the multi-platform nature of the Call of Duty games. Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, has mentioned in a recent tweet that they have been in talks with leaders at Sony to address these concerns.

In the tweet, Spencer confirms the intentions of Microsoft “to honour all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard”. He mentions that Sony PlayStation will keep getting Call of Duty games, for the time being. Similar concerns arose when Microsoft acquired Zenimax Media in September 2021. Zenimax Media is the parent company of Bethesda that is renowned for titles like Dishonored, Doom, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls. At that time also, Microsoft chose to honour the existing agreements relating to Deathloop that launched as a PlayStation 5 exclusive.

The acquisition of Activision Blizzard also hints towards Microsoft’s desire to dominate the mobile gaming space. Activision currently owns the mobile gaming studio King, developer of the Candy Crush games. Activision has also been able to successfully launch Call of Duty: Mobile for Android and iOS.

Recent reports have suggested that Microsoft plans to bring as many Activision games as they can to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Additionally, it is likely to turn some of these games into Microsoft exclusives. However, PlayStation fans of revered titles like Elder Scrolls and Call of Duty might have to buy an Xbox console to play future titles from their favourite franchises when these agreements run their course.


PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which is the best “next-gen” console in India? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.





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GM aims to launch personal self-driving car by mid-decade: CEO

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GM’s new Ultra Cruise hands-free driving system will also debut in 2023 on another new EV, the Cadillac Celestiq ultra-luxury sedan.

General Motors Co aims to introduce a “personal autonomous vehicle” by mid-decade, Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Wednesday.

(Sign up to our Technology newsletter, Today’s Cache, for insights on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, business and policy. Click here to subscribe for free.)

The self-driving vehicle for personal use is being co-developed with GM’s majority-owned Cruise, Barra said at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in a remote keynote message focused on the twin themes of vehicle electrification and autonomy.

Also Read | Mercedes gets nod to use hands-free driving system in Germany

Barra said GM’s expanding portfolio of electric vehicles, including the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup and the BrightDrop commercial vehicle range, also features two new Chevrolet crossovers, a $30,000 Equinox EV and a slightly larger Blazer EV, both of which will be introduced in 2023.

GM’s new Ultra Cruise hands-free driving system will also debut in 2023 on another new EV, the Cadillac Celestiq ultra-luxury sedan. Barra said Ultra Cruise will use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Ride compute platform for advanced driver assistance.

Also Read | Qualcomm inks car chip deals with Volvo, Honda and Renault

At last year’s CES, Cadillac raised a few eyebrows with two futuristic concepts, including a flying car. At this year’s event, Barra unwrapped a third Cadillac concept, the InnerSpace, described as a self-driving, two-passenger luxury coupe.

A fourth Cadillac concept, the OpenSpace, was teased in a brief video as a “vision for the next decade and beyond.” It was described by a GM insider as a “luxury hotel room on wheels.”



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‘Hridayam’ movie review: Might not stir your soul, but will keep you entertained

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Vineeth Sreenivasan is in familiar territory, displaying his knack of keeping the audience engaged, even when telling stories that we have seen many a time before on-screen

When a Vineeth Sreenivasan movie is about to arrive, one can sense the all-round feel-goodness from miles away, right from its carefully-crafted promos to the songs, which arrived in good old audio cassettes this time. It was apt, since nostalgia of various kinds happens to be his other selling point. Yet, there were points in Hridayam when Vineeth displayed more than a desire to break free of that cheerful, heartwarming mould and let his characters run wild, laying bare their demons. But then, the characters seem to get sudden realisations about the kind of movie that they are in, and get back to radiating goodness.

Also Read | Get ‘First Day First Show’, our weekly newsletter from the world of cinema, in your inbox. You can subscribe for free here

The film has been conceived as different phases in the life of Arun Neelakandan (Pranav Mohanlal), that has shaped the person that he is at present. Rather than banking on a solid plot, the script takes us along on a journey which stretches to probably a decade or more from Arun’s life, beginning from his heady days in an engineering college in Chennai, to his life as a married man. Taking almost as much space in the narrative is Darshana (Darshana Rajendran), with whom Arun falls in love early on during their college days.

It is a love story which is quite short-lived, hitting the rocks even before the honeymoon period is over, but the impact of which remains with them, and by extension in the narrative. This also brings out the worst sides in both of them, but Vineeth, the writer, holds them back at various points from being destructive and taking the movie away from its ‘feel-good’ purpose.

Hridayam

  • Director: Vineeth Sreenivasan
  • Starring: Pranav Mohanlal, Darshana Rajendran, Kalyani Priyadarshan

For instance, the brooding Arun, who exhibits a wild streak, mysteriously starts tidying up the hostel room and studying hard one fine morning, although it is not clear what prompted the change. In the latter half, which chronicles Arun’s post-campus life, things are not so eventful with everything, including his relationship with Nithya (Kalyani Priyadarshan), proceeding a bit too fast. In the end, one wonders whether Arun has changed much at all from his early campus days, for the whole point of the movie was his transformation.

But for all the lack of depth that Vineeth is often accused of, he has a certain knack of keeping the audience engaged, even when telling stories that we have seen many a time before on-screen. He gets it right in the packaging and the pacing. Hesham Abdul Wahab’s also music adds a lot of verve, although there were points one wished the background music was toned down a bit and the violinist given some rest.

Though there is still room for improvement, Pranav has certainly come a long way from his initial solo outings, in which even his parkour skills could not make up for the lack of expressions. Here, he is much more assured and comfortable, managing to carry the film for a good part, even though Darshana steals the show whenever she gets an opportunity.

Hridayam might not stir your soul, but Vineeth has delivered enough to keep you entertained, which is no mean task when you have a runtime close to three hours.

Hridayam is currently running in theatres



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india gate: Netaji statue to be installed at India Gate, likely in August | India News

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NEW DELHI: A statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate in what marks a fitting recognition of the legendary freedom fighter who had captivated the country with his determination to liberate it from British occupation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that he will unveil a hologram statue of Bose, Netaji to legions of his admirers, at the same place on his birthday on January 23 evening.
The statue, made of Z black granite from Telangana, will be placed at the canopy at India Gate in August this year, TOI has learnt. Visitors will be able to see the hologram statue only at night. Once installed, the grand statue will be clearly visible from Raisina Hill.
“At a time when the entire nation is marking the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, I am glad to share that his grand statue, made of granite, will be installed at the India Gate. This would be a symbol of India’s indebtedness to him,” Modi tweeted, tagging the model of the statue.
Government sources termed the decision to honour Bose a move by India to “reclaim its history” as the canopy had once featured a statue of England’s King George V, which was removed and shifted in 1968 to Coronation Park at Burari in Delhi.
The honour for Netaji is expected to go a long way to salve the hurt of his devotees who have been sore that the freedom fighter has been denied recognition due to him.
Significantly, the PM had hit out at the earlier Congress governments saying that leaders of previous dispensations constructed new things only for their families whereas his government is building monuments of national importance.
“After Independence, new things were constructed only for a few families from Delhi. But today, the country is leaving behind that narrow thinking, building new places of pride, giving them grandeur. It is our government that built the Babasaheb Memorial in Delhi and the APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial in Rameswaram. Similarly, the places associated with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Shyamji Krishna Varma have been given grandeur.





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Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G Review: Unbelievable Charging Speeds

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Xiaomi is starting the new year with the launch of the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G, which it claims is India’s fastest charging smartphone. While multiple manufacturers have been pushing faster charging as a selling point, Xiaomi is the first company to launch a smartphone capable of 120W fast charging in India. The 11i HyperCharge 5G is supposed to charge completely in just 15 minutes. So, is this phone just a one-trick pony, or can it take on the competition in other aspects as well? I put it to the test to find out.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G price in India

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G is available with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and both variants have 128GB of internal storage. The base variant is priced at Rs. 26,999 in India, while the other one is priced at Rs 28,999. Xiaomi is offering a Rs. 1,500 early-bird discount, and SBI card holders can claim an additional Rs. 2,500 cashback at the time of launch.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G design

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G is a large phone and has a new design with flattened sides. It is still comfortable to hold in the hand as the corners are rounded, so they don’t dig into your palms. The polycarbonate frame of the 11i HyperCharge doesn’t feel cheap, but the weight of 204g is noticeable.

You get a big 6.67-inch display on the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G. It has a small hole-punch cutout near the top, and thin bezels all around. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is well placed and my thumb rested on it naturally. The volume buttons are also within reach. While the right side has all the buttons, the left side is bare. The phone also features stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an IR emitter, and a USB Type-C port.

xiaomi 11i hypercharge back panel Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G Review

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G has a matte finish on the back which hides fingerprints

 

The back panel of the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G is made out of glass which gives it a premium look. I had the Camo Green variant, which has a matte finish. The colour shines through when light hits the surface at the right angle. The camera module is big and is sure to grab a lot of attention.

While the glass back manages to hide fingerprints quite well, Xiaomi does bundle a transparent case in the box, along with the large 120W charger.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G specifications

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G sports a 6.67-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz maximum refresh rate. It has a peak brightness of 1200nits and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Xiaomi has picked the MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC to power the 11i HyperCharge 5G. This is a new SoC and can also be seen powering the Vivo V23 Pro in India.

The internal storage is expandable using a microSD card in the the hybrid dual-SIM tray. Xiaomi also offers a memory extension feature that uses part of the internal storage as RAM. On my unit, this feature allowed me to add an additional 3GB of virtual RAM, and it is enabled by default. The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G packs in a 4,500mAh battery which is a slightly lower capacity than the one in the Xiaomi 11i 5G launched alongside it. These two models are identical other than their different battery capacities and maximum charging speeds.

xiaomi 11i hypercharge fingerprint scanner Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G Review

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner

 

In terms of software, the phone runs MIUI 12.5 on top of Android 11. My unit had the November Android security patch. MIUI has multiple customisations and I also noticed a large number of preinstalled apps. You can uninstall these apps which helps declutter the interface. When you swipe right from the homescreen, you’ll see Xiaomi’s ‘App Vault’ by default. This can now be swapped to show the Google Discover news feed or disabled altogether.

Theming is possible on the 11i HyperCharge 5G, so you can customise the interface to your taste. Some of the other features include Dual Apps, which lets you run two instances of the same app, and Game Turbo, which lets you access all your games in one place, manage device performance, and block calls and notifications while gaming.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G performance and battery life

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G’s AMOLED display is crisp, with good viewing angles and brightness. The high refresh rate makes scrolling and motion in supported games super smooth. The 120Hz setting isn’t enabled by default though. The speakers are loud and stereo sound added to the overall video watching experience. I found the side-mounted fingerprint scanner to be quick, and it only needed one tap to unlock the phone. Multitasking was a breeze and I was able to switch between multiple apps without any hiccups.

I ran synthetic benchmarks to see how the MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC fares compared to the competition. In the AnTuTu, the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G scored 4,26,791 points. It also scored 742 and 2240 points in Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. In graphics benchmarking app GFXBench’s T-Rex and Car Chase scenes, the 11i HyperCharge 5G scored 82fps and 21fps respectively. The Motorola Edge 20’s (Review), with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC, scored higher in each of these tests.

xiaomi 11i hypercharge 120W charger Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G Review

Xiaomi bundles a large 120W charger with the 11i HyperCharge 5G

 

I played Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) on the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G which defaulted to the HD graphics and ‘High’ frame rate settings. The game was playable at these settings without any issues and I did not notice any stutter. After playing the game for 26 minutes, I noticed a six percent drop in the battery level which is very good. The smartphone wasn’t warm to the touch either.

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G offered good battery life and easily lasted beyond a day with my usage. In our HD video loop test, the phone ran for 15 hours and 57 minutes. Charging the phone was ridiculously quick with the supplied 120W charger. The 11i HyperCharge 5G got to 72 percent in just 10 minutes but then it took a total of 20 minutes to charge completely. I had to toggle Boost Charging Speed in the Settings to take advantage of the fastest possible charging speed with the 120W charger, which isn’t enabled by default.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G cameras

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G has a triple camera setup consisting of a 108-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.89 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. For selfies, it has a 16-megapixel front shooter. The camera app is similar to what we’ve seen on other recent Xiaomi smartphones, and all the expected shooting modes are present, along with quick toggles for HDR and AI. The Macro toggle is still hidden in a sub-menu which makes it easy to miss.

xiaomi 11i hypercharge camera Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G Review

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G sports a triple camera setup

 

Daylight photos taken with the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G were good. The phone was quick to accurately meter light and lock focus, however, it tended to boost sharpness and contrast in the final image. This caused a watercolour-like effect on objects in the shadows. The ultra-wide-angle camera offered a much wider field of view, and photos looked good on the phone’s display, but there was a noticeable drop in image quality compared to shots taken with the primary camera.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G daylight sample (tap to see full size)

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G ultra-wide-angle sample (tap to see full size)

 

Close-up shots were crisp, and the phone managed colours well. Subjects also had good separation from the background with a soft depth effect. Portrait mode photos had good edge detection and the phone allowed me to set the level of blur before taking a shot. Macros are captured at only 2-megapixel resolution but I was able to get very close to the subject.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G closeup sample (tap to see full size)

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G portrait sample (tap to see full size)

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G macro sample (tap to see full size)

 

Low-light photos taken with bright light sources nearby turned out well, and objects at a distance were recognisable. However, colours were off. With Night mode enabled, the output had slightly better details and colour.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G lowlight sample (tap to see full size)

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G Night mode sample (tap to see full size)

 

Selfies shot with the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G had good details, and the Portrait mode did manage good separation between the subject and the background. Low-light selfies were average.

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G daylight selfie sample (tap to see full size)

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G low-light selfie portrait sample (tap to see full size)

 

Video recording maxes out at 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie shooter. Stabilisation was good during the day, but at night, there was jitter in clips recorded when walking around. Overall, the cameras fared better in daylight compared to low-light conditions.

Verdict

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G has made headlines for its super-fast charging capability, and this is the biggest selling point of this smartphone. It seems unreal that a smartphone’s battery, that too one of a relatively high capacity, can be filled completely in just 20 minutes. I reckon this will be extremely handy for people who travel often. The only catch here is that you will need to carry the big 120W charger with you at all times.

The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G commands a premium for its 120W fast charging technology. It does not have any direct competition yet, so if you are willing to spend some money, go for it. If this one feature doesn’t really matter for your usage, you could instead take a look at the regular Xiaomi 11i 5G which costs a fair bit less. It’s nearly identical to the HyperCharge model, but supports 67W fast charging instead (which is still quite quick). The OnePlus Nord 2 (Review) and the Poco F3 GT (Review) are worth considering if you want more performance for the price.




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