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Gravity takes over as Asia stocks fall from highs, follow US drop

Warnings from United States Federal Reserve officials about the shakiness of the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and a tumble on Wall Street pulled shares in Asia sharply lower on Thursday. US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said on Wednesday that the US economy remains in a “deep hole” of joblessness and weak…

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Warnings from United States Federal Reserve officials about the shakiness of the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and a tumble on Wall Street pulled shares in Asia sharply lower on Thursday.
US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said on Wednesday that the US economy remains in a “deep hole” of joblessness and weak demand, and called for more fiscal stimulus from the government, noting that policymakers “are not even going to begin thinking” about raising interest rates until the inflation rate hits 2 percent.
Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester echoed Clarida, saying that the US remains in a “deep hole, regardless of the comeback we’ve seen”.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tumbled 1.35 percent in the morning session on broad losses across the region. It is down about 3 percent from a more-than-two-year high reached late last month, but remains more than 41 percent higher than its levels in March as the virus took hold globally resulting in widespread economic shutdowns.
Chinese blue-chip shares dropped 1.09 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.72 percent, Seoul’s KOSPI sank 1.73 percent and Australian shares were 1.18 percent lower.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.74 percent.
‘Blood on the street’
Many analysts believe the rebound in share prices over the last six months is not fully justified by the underlying realities of the global economy.
“Have we overpriced the rebound in the economy? After the stern warning from Clarida, I say we have,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
“I think the market was interpreting a bounce from the bottom as a cyclical recovery, but I don’t think we’re there yet. I still think there’s a lot of blood on the street, especially on Main Street.”
US stocks fell on Wednesday after data showed business activity slowed in September, with gains at factories more than offset by a retreat at services industries.
Investors now await weekly data due later on Thursday, which is expected to show US jobless claims fell slightly but remained elevated, indicating the world’s largest economy is far from recovering.
While Clarida and other Fed officials have called for more fiscal assistance in boosting the economy, analysts say immediate support is unlikely with the US Congress locked in an impasse.
Additionally, a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe threatened the economic recovery in that region pushing equities lower and propping up the safe-haven dollar.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.92 percent, the S&P 500 lost 2.37 percent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.02 percent.
[Bloomberg]In the currency market, the dollar eased from two-month highs touched on Wednesday. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of peers, was a touch lower at 94.348, but edged up against the yen to 105.41.
The euro ticked up to buy $1.1664.
“A stronger USD remains a significant headwind for commodity markets, with investor appetite waning,” ANZ analysts said in a note.
Spot gold – the price of the metal for immediate delivery – hit a two-month low early in the Asian day as the dollar appreciated, but was flat at $1,863.61 per ounce by mid-morning.
Oil prices fell amid uncertainty about demand due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Brent crude dropped 0.89 percent to $41.40 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude was 1.15 percent lower at $39.48 a barrel.

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4 best uses for Amazon Echo in your living room – CNET

Place your Echo somewhere in the living room. Chris Monroe/CNET If you’ve got a living room, you probably spend a lot of time there, which makes it the perfect home for your Amazon Echo (at least better than putting it one of these places). And while you may use Alexa to drop in on other…

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Place your Echo somewhere in the living room.
Chris Monroe/CNET
If you’ve got a living room, you probably spend a lot of time there, which makes it the perfect home for your Amazon Echo (at least better than putting it one of these places). And while you may use Alexa to drop in on other speakers in the house or play music, there are other benefits to keeping an Echo device in the living room.  For example, Alexa can turn your living room into a home theater, and can even let you control all your smart home devices from your couch. We suggest keeping Echo devices away from windows to prevent outsiders from having access to your household Alexa — while a rare occurrence, it is a possibility. Here are the best uses for an Amazon Echo in your living room.

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Your Echo can provide surround sound If you’ve got an Amazon Echo, you can turn your living room into a home theater for when you’re watching movies. Note that you do need to have compatible hardware. This works best if you have multiple Echo speakers in your living room or an Alexa-compatible soundbar. To get started, open the Alexa app and select Devices, tap the Plus icon and select Set Up Audio System. For the best results, you’ll need an Alexa-compatible smart TV or Fire TV to help prevent any lag issues. This also determines whether you’ll select Stereo Pair (connect multiple speakers) or Home Theater (connect speakers to Fire TV) to continue setting up your devices. Follow the onscreen instructions to finish pairing your speakers with your TV.

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Alexa can control your lights Whether it’s plugging your lamp into a smart plug, installing a smart switch or simply using a smart bulb, Alexa can help you turn your lights on and off. This is especially useful when it’s dark and you can’t seem to find the light switch in the middle of the night. For whichever smart device you have, you’ll need to connect it to your Amazon Echo using the Alexa app. To get started, open the app and tap Devices, then select the Plus icon and tap Add Device. Select the device you’re setting up and follow the onscreen instructions. Alexa can control your lights with a smart switch, plug or bulb.
Chris Monroe/CNET
Lock and unlock your front door from your couch If you like to keep your doors locked, even when you’re at home, smart locks can be useful for locking and unlocking your door with just your voice. Even better, you can connect it to your Echo speaker so you can ask Alexa to control your lock without moving from the couch. For example, you’d say, “Alexa. Lock the front door.” For security reasons, typically a smart lock twill lock the door in response to voice commands, but will only unlock it with a PIN code. Family game nights Playing the same board games over and over can get boring. Fortunately, your Echo device is chock-full of fun games you can play, from trivia to investigation games. Some of the games are already integrated into the Echo speaker, but many are Alexa skills that you can enable in the Alexa app. The games are great for family nights when you’re staying home — especially with the temperature cooling down. For some starting ideas, here’s a list of Alexa games we like best. For more tips, here are the best uses for Amazon Echo in your bedroom, the best things you can do with two or more Echo devices and the five best ways to use Amazon Echo in the kitchen.

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Translation tools, air purifiers: Face masks go high-tech

This photograph shows Professor Chen Xiaodon from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University talking to an AFP reporter regarding the development of a face mask that can monitor vital health information.—AFPFrom monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the coronavirus-fuelled boom in…

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This photograph shows Professor Chen Xiaodon from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University talking to an AFP reporter regarding the development of a face mask that can monitor vital health information.—AFPFrom monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the coronavirus-fuelled boom in mask-wearing has spawned an unusual range of high-tech face coverings. As masks become the norm worldwide, tech companies and researchers are rolling out weird and wonderful models to both guard against infection and cash in on a growing trend. One of the wackiest comes from Japan, where start-up Donut Robotics has created a face covering that helps users adhere to social distancing and also acts as a translator. The “C-Face” mask works by transmitting a wearer’s speech to a smartphone via an app, and allows people to have a conversation while keeping up to 10 metres (32 feet) apart.

“Despite the coronavirus, we sometimes need to meet directly with each other,” Donut Robotics chief executive Taisuke Ono told AFP. The lightweight silicone device could have immediate benefits for people such as doctors who want to communicate with patients from a distance, the company says. It can translate speech from Japanese into English, Korean and other languages-a function that will become more useful once travel restrictions are eventually eased. But it does not offer protection from Covid-19 on its own, and is designed to be worn over a regular face covering when it goes on sale in February for about 4,000 yen ($40).

research fellow from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technology University wearing a face mask installed with sensors which transmit via Bluetooth readings.Donut Robotics raised nearly 100 million yen ($950,000) via crowdfunding to develop it, a success Ono believes was driven by a desire for innovations to make life easier during the pandemic. “We may be able to fight the virus with technology, with human wisdom,” he said. Another face mask developed in Singapore is aimed at protecting medics treating Covid-19 patients. It has sensors that monitor body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels, and relay data to a smartphone via a Bluetooth transmitter. “Many of these frontline workers will be exposed to patients when they are taking their vital signs,” Loh Xian Jun, one of the scientists behind the invention, told AFP.

“This poses a health risk to the nurses, and we wanted to think about a way to reduce such risk.” Its inventors say the device could also monitor vital signs of migrant workers in crowded dormitories, which incubated massive virus outbreaks in the city-state this year. They hope to trial it in the near future and market it commercially. For those seeking to combat the effects of pollution in smog-choked cities, South Korea’s LG Electronics has developed an air purifier mask.

The futuristic white device, which fits snugly around the wearer’s mouth, nose and chin, is equipped with two filters on either side and fans to aid airflow. The filters are similar to those in the company’s home air purifiers, and can block 99.95 percent of harmful particles. Thousands have already been made available to medical staff and it will also be rolled out in shops in the future, the company says.-AFP

A research fellow from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technology University wearing a face mask installed with sensors.

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Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale: Samsung Galaxy S20+, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy F41, More Receive Price Discounts

Samsung Galaxy S20+, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Tab A 8.0, and Galaxy Watch are available on discounted prices under Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale. The sale is currently live for Flipkart Plus members. Flipkart is also set to offer a Rs. 1,000 prepaid discount along with a 10 percent instant discount for SBI customers purchasing…

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Samsung Galaxy S20+, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Tab A 8.0, and Galaxy Watch are available on discounted prices under Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale. The sale is currently live for Flipkart Plus members. Flipkart is also set to offer a Rs. 1,000 prepaid discount along with a 10 percent instant discount for SBI customers purchasing the newly launched Galaxy F41. Separately, Samsung is hosting a festive season sale through its online store in India to offer deals and discounts on various accessories, wearables, and smart TVs.Discounts on Samsung phonesFlipkart is offering the Samsung Galaxy S20+ at a discounted price of Rs. 49,999 as a part of its Big Billion Days sale. It’s a discount of Rs. 28,000 on its current price of Rs. 77,999. If you’re looking for a Galaxy Note model, Flipkart also has the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ at Rs. 54,999, down from its retail price of Rs. 85,000.Flipkart will also sell the Samsung Galaxy F41 during the sale. As mentioned, customers will get an additional Rs. 1,000 discount on prepaid transactions and SBI customers can avail another 10 percent discount on it.Discounts on Samsung Galaxy Watch and Tablet A 8.0In addition to smartphones, Flipkart’s sale brings the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 Wi-Fi only at Rs. 8,999 that normally retails at Rs. 9,999. Customers can also pick the Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm Bluetooth variant at Rs. 11,990 — a discount of Rs. 8,000 on the current price of Rs. 19,990.Flipkart also has a Smart Upgrade Plan that lets customers purchase Samsung premium phones by paying 70 percent of their price. After a 12-month period, they will have the option to either upgrade to a new phone via Flipkart and return the initial phone purchased, or pay the 30 percent balance.The Flipkart Big Billion Days sale is currently live only for Flipkart Plus members. However, it will be available for regular customers starting Friday and will go on until October 21.Samsung is also hosting the festive sale through its online store in India that brings up to 40 percent discount on the Galaxy S20+, up to 60 percent discount on wireless chargers and JBL speakers, and up to 45 percent discount on various smart TVs including The Frame. There will also be up to 12.5 percent cashback for HDFC, ICICI, and SBI bank customers.The Samsung sale is live and will go on till November 16.Flipkart, Amazon have excellent iPhone 11, Galaxy S20+ sale offers, but will they have enough stock? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

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