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Homedics Sound Spa review: For some sound sleep

The Kashmir Monitor





I do travel a lot these days and one of the issues while sleeping in strange hotels is the fact that there is no guarantee you will get a good nights sleep. But it is mostly because there are odd noises that keep you up all night, not the cacophony of garage trucks, highway traffic and noisy neighbours that I am used to at home.

But I certainly don’t miss it, or any other noise for that matter, when I hit the sack. However, it seems there are those who need to be lulled to sleep with the sounds of nature they crave for.

The Homedics Sound Spa is a sleep solution for such people. This portable device, which works on battery too, has preset sounds which you can turn on according to your preference.


So there is the sound of crickets in a summer night, a brook, the ocean, rain, thunder and strangely white noise, if that is your sort of thing. You can set volume on this small disc-like device and snore away as it plays the ambient sound of your choice.

The audio quality, however, is not that great. It is actually at par with what you would expect from a transistor doesn’t have the digital sharpness we are used to with Bluetooth speakers these days. But I don’t think the users here are looking for quality that much.

The device comes with a timer for 15, 30 and 60 minutes so that the device can also go to sleep once you are in your slumber. I am sure there are those who need some help getting some shut-eye. I too have had the problem, but for me it is better to hear silence than sound of any kind.

For those who have trouble going to sleep and crave for the tranquility of a thundery storm, the Homedics Sound Spa is something they can easily pack in their bags. At Rs 1,990, it is not that heavy on the wallet either.

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Taapsee Pannu Turns Cover Girl For The Peacock Magazine

The Kashmir Monitor



Taapsee Pannu is a force to reckon with, she has proved her metal with her nuanced performances across all genres, and now looks stunning on the latest cover spread of leading magazine cover.

The actress Tapsee Pannu is looking stunning, gorgeous and classic on the February cover of The Peacock Magazine. The official handle of the magazine dropped the cover on social media.

They captioned it, “Coup de foudre Is love at first sight with this power house performer @taapsee renditioning as a modern Indian couture bride for the #februaryissue of @thepeacockmagazine_”


On the cover the actress is sporting a stunning outfit by Falguni Shane Peacock with Jewellery by Neha Lulla and make up by Savleen Manchanda, the actress looks like a dream on the cover.

Taapsee has emerged as the new-age Bollywood starlet over the last few years. Her seamless transition between the girl-next-door and a power pact protagonist, speaks volumes for her versatility.

On the work front, Taapsee Pannu is currently promoting her second out with Amitabh Bachchan, titled Badla, the film is directed by Sujoy Ghosh. It is a crime thriller film produced by Red Chillies Entertainment in association with Azure Entertainment. It is slated to release on 8 March 2019.

She is also shooting for “Saand Ki Aankh” which also stars Bhumi Pednekar and Prakash Jha in leading roles.

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B-town celebs admit they promote political parties

The Kashmir Monitor



More than 30 Indian film and TV industry actors/artistes agreed to spread the propaganda of political parties through their social media accounts for money, which they asked to be paid in cash, in other words in untaxed black money, it has been revealed in a sting operation.

Actors Vivek Oberoi, Shakti Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Amisha Patel, Mahima Chaudhary and Sonu Sood, and singers Kailash Kher, Abhijeet and Mika were some of those caught on camera accepting the deal for toeing the agenda of a political party or endorsing it for money.

The celebrities were caught on camera accepting the cash-for-tweet offer during a sting operation conducted by media portal Cobra Post over a period of 3-4 months last year.


Cobra Post released the sting operation in a video documentary titled ‘Operation Karaoke’, in which actors, dancers, singers and models were caught accepting the offer for promoting political parties through hidden cameras.

The reporters, acting as agents working on behalf of the Congress, the BJP or the Aam Aadmi Party, made an offer to pay 10-20 per cent of the decided sum in cheque or bank transfer, and the rest through cash, which the celebrities accepted.

Vidya Balan, Raza Murad, Arshad Warsi and TV actor Saumya Tandon were the only ones who refused the offer.

Celebrities were offered Rs 2 lakh to Rs 20 lakh per message according to their brand value. Some celebrities even asked the reporters-cum-agents for up to Rs 20 crore citing the sway they hold on the Twitter sphere.These celebs agreed to promote the party — any which was proposed to them — to create a favourable environment before the 2019 general elections. They swore to keep the entire exercise a secret and the agenda hidden.

“This way, you (celebrities) are manufacturing an opinion through social media. If you reveal that you have taken money for the promotion that you are doing, it would be fine… If we go by the trend, these people may not shy away from propagating a communal agenda either,” said journalist and former Aam Aadmi Party member Ashutosh during the press conference.

He compared the celebrities who accepted the deal to “trolls” and called trolling a “paid syndicate mafia”.

Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of Caravan magazine, also addressed the reporters and termed the incident a telling foreboding of the “dangerous times” ahead.
“We are going to see the consequences of this in the coming elections,” he said.

The impact most of these celebrities can have through their handles in denting or boosting a party’s image can be gauged from the number of followers almost each of them has on Twitter.

Amisha Patel has 3.95 million, Vivek Oberoi above 2 million and Sonu Sood 1.5 million followers on Twitter.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon X55, Second Gen 5G Smartphone Modem, Announced Ahead of MWC 2019

The Kashmir Monitor



Qualcomm has announced its second-generation Snapdragon X55 5G cellular modem and a suite of 5G solutions for network operators and device manufacturers, including its own 5G test networks. The company has made these announcements just ahead of the MWC 2019 trade show in Barcelona next week. The new Snapdragon X55 modem will serve as the follow-up to the Snapdragon X50, which will be seen in smartphones launching as soon as this week. According to Qualcomm, the second-gen Snapdragon X55 will allow network operators and smartphone manufacturers accelerate the pace of 5G rollouts across the world.

The Snapdragon X55 uses a 7nm manufacturing process and supports networks ranging from 2G to 5G in a single chip. It supports the 5G mmWave and sub-6GHz frequency bands and will work on standalone 5G networks as well as those that use 4G backends, which will be the most common as the new technology is being introduced. It promises downloads of up to 7Gbps and uploads of up to 3Gbps with compatible 5G networks and also supports Cat 22 LTE for up to 2.5Gbps downloads when used with matching 4G networks. Power efficiency is improved compared to the Snapdragon X50,

Qualcomm says that all major frequency bands used around the world are supported, including the TDD and FDD standards, which will help manufacturers develop devices for global markets quickly and easily. The company has also launched suitable antenna modules and RF transceivers that can be used in conjunction with the Snapdragon X55.


The company expects to see its new products in smartphones, laptops, tablets, portable hotspots, AR/VR and automotive products very soon. The Snapdragon X55 modem and complementary products will be sampled to manufacturers in the first half of this year, and the products they develop should be ready to ship by the end of 2019.

In a press statement, Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm Incorporated, said “Qualcomm Technologies is spearheading the first wave of 5G launches with our first generation 5G mobile platform… We expect our 5G platform to accelerate 5G commercial momentum and power virtually all 5G launches in 2019 while significantly expanding the global 5G rollout footprint.”

5G devices and networks have been in development for several years, and many of the first 5G smartphones are expected to launch or at least be announced at MWC 2019 and in events leading up to it. 5G promises not only to increase cellular data speed but also drastically cut latency to enable highly responsive applications such as autonomous vehicle control, virtual reality experiences, and much more.

Samsung is expected to launch at least one 5G-enabled Galaxy S10 variant this week, OnePlus has confirmed that it will demonstrate a 5G prototype device at MWC, and other brands including Huawei, LG, ZTE, Lenovo, Xiaomi and Vivo are also likely to make announcements.

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February 2019
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