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Skype’s controversial redesign is coming to desktops – here’s how to try it

It was only a matter of time. After Skype brought its sleek-but-much-maligned new design to Android and iOS, it’s now doing the same for desktop. The company is today opening up a Preview for the new look and features, so it won’t replace the standard Skype – for now.

For those who haven’t been keeping up, the new design is a lot whiter, featuring colorful highlights and gradients, as well as a recurring wave motif. Feature-wise, it apes Snapchat Stories and introduces new tools like in-call image-sharing and reactions. You can read more about the changes in our post about the original mobile update here.

The desktop version includes a few new features of its own, such as the ability to @-message someone to notify them specifically during a group conversation, the ability to react to comments, and a new notifications panel. There’s also a chat media gallery to easily find any files or images that have previously been shared in a conversation.

If you want to try the preview, simply head on over to Microsoft’s Skype Insider page, register using a Microsoft account, and download the appropriate version for Mac or Windows 10.

Personally, I think the new look and approach is a much-needed improvement to the aging platform, which has been slowly losing prominence against the myriad of other chat apps. But while radical redesigns will always upset a group of users (remember Instagram?), the complaints mainly centered around missing functionality and performance bugs.

Desktop users care about functionality more than anyone, so Microsoft isn’t going to satisfy users until it can port all of classic Skype’s features to the new design. The company warns that the new Skype is not complete and there are still many features missing. Here’s hoping it lets the desktop redesign bake for a little longer before making the transition mandatory.

Read next: Android creator Andy Rubin: Essential Phone is now available to order

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Entertainment

Papon row: Avuncular peck or perverse action, incident highlights need to teach kids about good, bad touch

When Papon kissed one of the children — a contestant on the reality show he judges, The Voice India Kids — did he think it would go unnoticed? Was it an avuncular peck on the lips, or a perverse action that took advantage of a child?

It was the candid video uploaded by Papon himself on Facbook that did the singer in. It showed him kissing his child protegee on the lips after he smeared her face with Holi colours. In today’s over-charged touch-sensitive atmosphere, such an action takes on huge dimensions — and rightly so.

Papon. Image courtesy Facebook/@AngaraagPAPONMahanta

Papon. Image courtesy Facebook/@AngaraagPAPONMahanta

Puzzlingly, when Supreme Court advocate Runa Bhuyan filed a complaint against Papon for ‘inappropriately kissing’ the child, the girl’s father jumped to the singer’s defense. And the little girl herself said Papon had kissed her as a parent would have. Did they really find his behaviour acceptable?

While the Papon case is being analysed, let us delve back a bit.  Many of the child stars of the ’60s and ’70s had to endure overt and covert harassment from their “mentors” because their parents couldn’t or wouldn’t protect them. I’ve interviewed many heroines who started off as child stars.  All spoke out about ambitious parents pushing them into filmdom. They spoke of the punishing regime, of being forced to stay up late and mix with adults (who were often consuming alcohol), of being kept away from school and companions of their own age. They were afraid to openly speak about sexual harassment but it was implicit in much of what they said. Jayalalitha for instance often openly spoke about her mother pushing her into films even though she wanted to study.  Those who knew her well spoke about the other kinds of harassment she faced from her mentors.

Social mores change with the times. What was once considered “normal” behaviour could now be considered inappropriate because of changed sensitivities and heightened awareness. Yet, because we have internalised some of these so-called harmless gestures we do not even notice when a child cringes because its cheeks are pinched by a random stranger or it is kissed by an over-loving relative. Society continues to condone such behaviour, which is dismissed as trivial and non-threatening. We have been programmed and brainwashed over generations into believing that unless there is serious physical harm, everything else is acceptable and fun. Our movies still project stalking, street sexual harassment and other forms of violent wooing as romantic overtures. Except for a few cosmetic touches here and there, nothing has changed.

Papon’s lawyer Gaurang Kanth told a TV channel that his client only “gave a peck on the child’s lips” as a gesture of affection. He claimed that the consent of the little girl was not required because Papon thought of her as his own child. Kanth also rather bizarrely added this was like the ancient guru-shishya parampara where Ekalavya gave his thumb to his mentor! What on earth has that equally condemnable act got to do with a grown man kissing a little girl on her lips?

“My definition of kissing is not like yours,” he told the anchor, “I think it is a peck.”

Predatory behaviour is not new. It has always existed. Maybe once upon a time, this whole episode might have been passed off as Holi fun — or even, as Gaurav Kanth said, guru-shishya interaction!  Even the adults watching over the child might have accepted Papon’s kiss as a gesture of affection.  Maybe the child would have rubbed the unwanted touch off her lips in disgust and moved on. But did that make it right?

We forget how we ourselves, as teenagers hid from over-avuncular uncles and gushy aunties or as young adults, shied away from lecherous bosses and colleagues. We forget because we don’t want to remember and we also live with the hope that the world has changed for the better.

But the world remains the same. It is what it was. And the bad touch remains the bad touch. What we have to learn to recognize and teach our children to recognise is the nuance of that touch.

Some have blamed social media for boosting and blowing up this “gesture of affection” into a sexual assault case. Maybe social media did turn its magnifying glass on this event as it has done on many others. But that shouldn’t take our focus away from the inappropriateness of the gesture itself.

Does a grown man who projects himself as a guru and a mentor for young kids have any right whatsoever to kiss on the lips, a child who is under his care? That is the question.

Published Date: Feb 25, 2018 13:16 PM | Updated Date: Feb 25, 2018 13:16 PM


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Entertainment

Sridevi passes away; updates: Daughter Khushi arrives at Anil Kapoor’s residence; celebs, politicians offer condolences

Sanjay Kapoor says Sridevi had no history of heart disease



Sridevi’s brother-in-law and actor Sanjay Kapoor has said the whole family was in shock with the sudden demise of the veteran actress. He also said that she had no history of heart ailment.


The actress, 54, died on Saturday night at around 11 p.m. after suffering a cardiac arrest.


In an interview to Khaleej Times, Sanjay said that she was in the hotel room here when it happened.


“We are completely shocked. She had no history of a heart attack,” he said.


Sanjay landed in Dubai on Sunday morning.


Sridevi was in Dubai to attend the marriage function of actress Sonam Kapoor’s cousin Mohit Marwah, along with husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi. She exuded elegance in her appearances — photos and videos that were now being shared on social media as her “last”.


Her elder daughter Jahnvi, who is due to make her Bollywood debut, was in Mumbai.


Her body is expected to be flown to Mumbai via a special chartered flight on Sunday evening for the last rites but the timings were not confirmed yet, according to official sources.


IANS

Madhur Dixit: The world has lost a very talented person

Hema Malini reacts to Sridevi’s death, to Times Now: “I never thought this would happen. I just met her recently during Padmaavat screening. She was a talented and beautiful actress. Films were her life.”

Film critics like Baradwaj Rangan and Anupama Chopra tweet about Sridevi passing away

The song ‘Hawa Hawai’ from Mr India was possibly Sridevi’s most famous tracks of all time. 

Fans gather outside actor’s residence in Bombay

Bollywood offers condolences for Sridevi’s untimely death


Minutes after the news of her death broke, many Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh took to Twitter to pay their condolences.

The first one, however, was megastar Amitabh Bachchan who in a cryptic tweet wrote, “Don’t know why, feeling a strange restlessness.”

“I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi . A dark day. RIP,” tweeted Priyanka, alongside a still of Sridevi from her superhit film “Mr India”.

Comedian Johnny Lever, while expressing grief, sent prayers to the late actor’s family, which includes husband Boney Kapoor and daughters Khushi and Janhvi.

“Deeply saddened and shocked to hear about #Sridevi Ji. My prayers and condolences to the family,” he tweeted.

“Really Shocked and disturbed to hear that Sridevi Maam is no more. #RIP #Sridevi,” wrote Sidharth.

Actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband — Raj Kundra — posted, “Heartbroken by this news!! She was One of the finest kindest souls I ever knew. Speechless shocked. #RIP#Sridevi this is just not right at all! May god give all the family strength at this darkest hour.”

Riteish tweeted, Terrible terrible news. Am shocked beyond words. SRIDEVI ji No More RIP,, while Sushmita wrote that she has been inconsolable since the news broke. I just heard Maam Sridevi passed away due to a massive cardiac arrest. I am in shock cant stop crying”

Actor Nimrat Kaur tweeted, Absolutely devastated to hear about the passing of #Sridevi. What a dark black terrible moment in time. Gutted.


PTI

She went on a hiatus for 15 years after starring in home production Judaai, co-starring her brother-in-law Anil Kapoor and Urmila Matondkar. It was director Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish in 2012 that marked Sridevi’s comeback.

Her nuanced performance as a middle-class woman, learning to speak English to feel accepted by her family, won accolades, and the film was also a commercial success. Last year, she was seen in revenge-drama, Mom, opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna.


She also shot for a special appearance in superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film, Zero, which releases in December. Sridevi was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, in 2013.


PTI

Sridevi’s beguiling eyes, scintillating screen presence and acting prowess soon made her one of the most sought-after actors in the Hindi film industry. While films like Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Mr India (1987) and Chandni (1989) kept her at the top in the box-office game, her outings like Sadma (1983), ChaalBaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Gumrah (1993) earned her critical acclaim.

Official twitter handle of Congress has also tweeted about Sridevi: “An actor par excellance”

Sridevi was in Dubai to attend a family wedding, of Mohit Marwah’s. She travelled with daughter Khushi Kapoor and husband Boney Kapoor. Her elder daugher Jahnvi Kapoor did not attend the wedding as she was shooting for her debut film Dhadak in India. 


Below is one of the last few pictures clicked of Sridevi during the wedding. She is seen posing with Boney, Khushi and several other family members.

Kamal Haasan tweets about Sridevi as well: “Sadma’s lullaby haunts me now”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted about “the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi”

Rajinikanth tweeted about his “dear friend” Sridevi

Legendary Bollywood actress Sridevi who shot to fame with Bhaaratiraja’s 1977 hit Pathinaru Vayadhinile and rose to become a luminous name in Indian cinema, died late Saturday night succumbing to a massive cardiac arrest in Dubai. She was 54.

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Gadgets

Watch HMD unveil Nokia phones live right here


HMD is holding a press conference at MWC in Barcelona to showcase some Nokia-branded phones. The conference starts at 4:00 PM CET (3:00 PM GMT, 10:00 AM EST).

HMD licenses the Nokia brand so that the company can release smartphones under the Nokia brand. It isn’t the company we used to know and love, but it still says Nokia. So get ready for some new Nokia phones running Android.

You can check it out live via HMD’s official stream above, and stay tuned on TechCrunch.com for ongoing coverage of all the news coming out of MWC.


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