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I’m fearless as a storyteller: Swati Semwal

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Actress Swati Semwal is also a writer and director, and her upcoming short film is a humorous journey of two sisters from a conservative family exploring their fantasy of a sex toy. She says she is fearless as a storyteller. “Whatever I am today is because of acting, so I give respect to it as a profession and art form, but I am way too passionate about direction,” Swati told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Swati, who has featured as an actress in films like ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ and ‘Fanney Khan’, has made multiple short films in the past. She will also venture into feature film making, and says she is very passionate about being behind the camera. Her short film ‘Abnormal’ tackled the LGBT theme, and ‘Sameera’ — which won two awards at My Mumbai International Short Film Festival — is about a unique love story of a Muslim girl. Her upcoming short is ‘Dildo Laa Rey’, which will come on Net Pix Short, the brainchild of First Step Entertainment Capital on Wednesday.

Starring Aanchal Sharma and Priyanka Arya, Swati’s ‘Dildo Laa Rey’ addresses women’s sexuality and how they should be liberalised and not keep their sexual encounters secret. Swati says she has directed around 15 short films. “I have realised that I am a pretty fearless person in terms of direction. One of my films is about an old lady who is in love with her plant, then there is a Muslim woman in love with Shiva, there’s this new film about two girls who are in search of a dildo, and then one which is a psychological horror,” she said.

While she is trying her hand at different genres as of now, her favourite one is yet to come. She will explore the concept of a travel film with a feature film that she plans to roll soon. “My aim is to be one of the best storytellers… After Anurag Kashyap sir, nobody brought a change (in Indian cinema) and I feel it is kind of stagnant. I want to be the next person to bring in change in terms of storytelling,” said Swati.

As an actress, Swati featured as Kriti Sanon’s friend Rama in “Bareilly Ki Barfi”, and in “Fanney Khan”, she had a role opposite Rajkummar Rao. She walked out of Kangana Ranaut-starrer “Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi” as she wasn’t convinced about the significance of her part. Her struggle, she says, began when she went on the set. “I wanted a platform to perform, but I had restrictions. My aim is not to have those restrictions, and to be the central person on the set and perform because there’s much more in me to give out as an actor,” added the actress, who idolises the versatile Irrfan Khan.


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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review: The best Android tablet. Period.

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The tablet market has been shrinking over the years as the initial euphoria failed to translate into sustained sales for the segment. Whatever is left of the tablet market is monopolised by Apple’s iPad. But that does not mean there are no other good tablets in the market. In fact, Samsung, which had a lot of options in the segment once, has just launched the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 which could give it some traction in the space.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 specifications: 10.5-inch display with 2560 x 1600 resolution at 287 ppi | octa-core Qualcomm MSM8998 | 4GB RAM | 64GB storage | 13MP rear camera with f/1.9 aperture + 8MP front camera | Android Oreo | Four speaker audio | Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) | Bluetooth 5.0 | 7300mAh battery | Nano SIM
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 price in India: Rs 57,900

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a very handy 10.5-inch tablet. I say handy because this is a thin slate that is easy to hold despite its shiny back. The Tab S4 has a bezel and on the top there is a camera with sensors for the face unlock feature. This is a secure and easy way to protect your tablet and should become the standard across all tablets.

Samsung makes the best displays in the world and you can rest assured that it will pack a stunner in its flagship tablet. The HDR ready Super AMOLED display is one of the best in the industry and you will love even using this tablet with its black log screen. The tablet comes with Dolby Atmos tuned by AKG and together with the the display this brings a cinematic experience to your hands. The audio is spatial and you can feel movement from one side to the other. It is a shame that you can’t really use the tablet in full blast when there are other people around.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 comes with its own S Pen which looks nothing like the stylus on the Galaxy Note series. This one is more like a ball pen and is very comfortable to hold. There is a small button for you to select stuff on the screen and that’s very useful too. Like with the Note 9, the stylus is the real big feature of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 too. This is without doubt the best you can buy for a tablet and as natural as it gets. It offers the grip of a regular pen and is pressure sensitive and feels like using a real pen on paper. I got a few artist friends to use this and within minutes they were asking me about the price and even complaining about the equipment they use now to digitise their works.

The stylus offers many features for the artistically inclined, from regular notes to Penup which lets you create art on top of photos and even share it with like-minded people. I personally loved the ability to take notes easily — the options show up as soon as you bring the pen near the tablet. At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 with its stylus seems like best stylus option for creative people. Like on the Note 9, there is the Screen Off memo where you can just take notes without even waiting for the tablet to switch on.

Then there is the option to buy a book cover for the tablet that offers a sturdy keyboard for input and protect the tablet from unnecessary damage. However, this book cover from Samsung also triggers the Dex mode which makes the tablet work like a desktop with the stylus almost transforming itself into a mouse. This improves productivity as you can type faster, drag and drop elements like on a desktop and use apps in a more familiar PC mode. I highly recommend picking up the cover, despite the additional cost. And you can use a converter to use a larger screen if needed.

The Samsung Tab S4 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm processor and you will not have any surprises when it comes to sheer processing power. A lot of the stuff the tablet does with ease, including the near natural input using the stylus require processing power that is fast and smooth. And this tablet has no issues handling any of that. Also, it stays cool with most of the stuff you make it do.

The tablet has a 7300 mAh battery that can last you a full day of high-power usage, binge watching movies, writing, scribbling and listening to music. This is an LTE tablet and the availability of a stable network does impact the battery life a bit, but with a battery this large there is always some juice left for critical use.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is in my books the best Android tablet you can buy. The Dex mode makes it more productive that other tablets and the S Pen is unparalleled across mobile devices. The only question to be asked is why more people are not using Android tablets.

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Xiaomi to launch new Mi 8 Youth Edition variant on November 16

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Xiaomi launched its Mi 8 Youth Edition smartphone in China earlier this year with 4GB RAM/64GB internal storage, 6GB RAM/64GB internal storage and 6GB RAM/128GB internal storage. The company will launch a new 4GB RAM/128GB internal storage variant in China on November 16 according to a post made by them on Weibo. The device is also soon expected to be launched in the global markets rebranded as the Mi 8 Lite.

The company is yet to reveal this new variant’s pricing and availability details. Xiaomi Mi 8 Youth Edition comes in three different variants – 4GB RAM/64GB internal storage, 6GB RAM/64GB internal storage and 6GB RAM/128GB internal storage priced at CNY 1,399 (approximately Rs. 14,500), CNY 1,699 (approximately Rs. 18,000) and CNY 1,999 (approximately Rs. 21,000), respectively.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Youth Edition sports a 6.26-inch full HD+ display with a resolution of 2280×1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19:9. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor paired with Adreno 512 GPU. The device runs Google’s Android 8.1 Oreo operating system with the company’s own MIUI skin on top. All of this is backed by a 3,350mAh non-removable battery.

The device features a dual camera setup on the back consisting of a 12MP primary sensor paired with a 5MP secondary sensor. On the front, it features a 24MP sensor for taking selfies and Face Unlock. Both the front and back camera modules come with AI capabilities.

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Huawei to launch augmented reality glasses within next two years: Report

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Huawei is planning to launch a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses within the next one or two years. In an interview with CNBC, Huawei’s Chief Technology Officer Richard Yu has confirmed that its first-ever augmented reality (AR) glasses are actively being developed, designed to work in tandem with the smartphone.

Even though the executive sees a pair of AR glasses as the next big thing in the tech world, they won’t really be going to replace the smartphone. According to Yu, the technology isn’t mature enough right now but that might change in the near future. “In the beginning you may feel AR … is nothing. But in the future you will see more and more the value of that,” Yu told CNBC.

Yu is of an opinion that the technology will be mature enough in another year or two and that’s when Huawei will bring its own augmented reality (AR) glasses to the market. For now, Huawei wants to bring more augmented reality features to smartphones.

Huawei isn’t the first company that has set its eyes on developing augmented reality glasses that can impose digital information on the real world through advanced lenses. Apple too is interested in this area. It’s being said that Apple is secretively working on a pair of augmented reality glasses and the global launch is expected to happen sometime in 2020. Back in April, a CNET report claimed that Apple is working on a combined AR/VR headset with an 8K per-eye resolution and 2020 launch.

In fact, Loop Ventures analyst Gene Munster believes that Apple is optimistic about the prospects of AR. He expects the Cupertino company to release augmented reality glasses in 2021. Apple recently acquired a small Colorado-based company Akonia Holographics, which has been focused on making lenses of augmented reality. Late last year the Tim Cook-led company reportedly acquired VR startup Vrvana.

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