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Lapsing of H-1B visas makes techies jittery, Technology News, ETtech

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Lapsing of H-1B visas makes techies jittery
Indians currently in the United States on H1-B visas could face some testing times in the next few weeks.

For several, the H1-B visas have lapsed or are likely to do so soon.

They are in a peculiar situation, as the current ban on all incoming flights to India for two more weeks means they cannot return, in the process becoming illegal immigrants in the United States once their visas expire.

Several immigration lawyers are working with people whose visa status have changed in the last few weeks.

“It is a very unfortunate situation for them. Their visas are over or denied and they cannot leave the US. They cannot work and they are accruing unlawful time… Their whole life is on hold,” said Nandini Nair, an immigration attorney at law firm Greenspoon Marder.

The bigger challenge, however, is if H-1B visa holders are fired.

Normally, they have a 60-day grace period in which to find another job. But, practically no one is hiring in the current environment.

Certain IT groups are lobbying to extend this to 180 days, but it is anybody’s guess whether that will be approved.

“Most H-1B workers are from India and cannot travel home with children who are US citizens as many nations announced an entry ban, including India. H-1B workers cater to the economy at large, mainly supporting the IT Industry with high tax contributions,” according to a petition by recruitment firm Hire IT People, to the White House.

Indian nationals account for nearly two-thirds of H-1B visa holders in the US.

Since Donald Trump took over as US President, American technology firms have been favoured for the coveted work permits over Indian IT services firms.

“We have come across a few cases where people have lost their visa status and are advising them to apply for a B-1/B2 tourist visa which gets them six more months in the country legally,” said Matthew Maiona, immigration attorney at Maiona Ward.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently being flexible on several visa and immigration requirements, but has not specifically addressed the issue of what happens when a worker on an H-1B is laid off.

Given the unprecedented situation, Maiona said the agency was likely to issue a tourist visa to tide over the next few months.

A senior official of the Department of Homeland Security said recently that the agency was aware of the unusual situation.

“And so, USCIS … is accounting for the challenges that travel restrictions all over the world, not just in the United States, are placing on individuals’ abilities to sincerely abide by the terms of their visas,” the official said. “So, we do understand that, and I think you’ll find USCIS to be very accommodating.”



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Apple iPhone 12 series design, camera, colour revealed in video, hints at 120Hz ProMotion tech and 10-bit colour depth- Technology News, Firstpost

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Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 will be — like every year — a benchmark event. A video, doing the rounds on YouTube, has given consumers an idea of what the phone might look like.

The video, made by designer Mauro Battino and YouTuber ConceptsiPhone, has been labelled as a “100% Final Design” trailer.

A report by HypeBeast mentions that the renders of the new designs seem to have borrowed heavily from the popular iPhone 4 model, but enhance it with more pronounced edges and angles, as well as a smaller notch which does not intrude upon the screen.

 Apple iPhone 12 series design, camera, colour revealed in video, hints at 120Hz ProMotion tech and 10-bit colour depth

The iPhone 11.

The iPhone 12 Pro is likely to sport an all-new Super Retina XDR display. A host of internal specifications of the smartphone have also been revealed. The device will be powered by the Apple A14 Bionic chip and have 5G support.

The video also confirms the rumoured 120Hz ProMotion technology and 10-bit colour depth.

The iPhone 12 Pro will come with a quad-camera setup at the rear. The fourth module is the LiDAR scanner that will give the smartphone improved AR capabilities and allow real-time 3D environmental mapping. The device will have a zoom lens, wide lens and ultra wide lens.

According to another report by iDropNews, Apple is reportedly replacing the midnight green colour with a navy blue colour option. The report also adds that the 5.4-inch standard iPhone may package a full-size display into a smaller form. The iPhone 12 Pro models, however, will sport either a 6.1-inch screen or a 6.7-inch screen.

A report last week mentioned that Apple may delay the launch of iPhone 12 series by at least two months. The devices in the series are expected to arrive in November instead of the traditional mid-September timeline.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.



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Italy’s ‘Immuni’ COVID-19 contact tracing app uses Google, Apple tech

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The exposure notification app uses Bluetooth to swap codes between mobile devices. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and they mark that status on Immuni, it will alert people who have been in close proximity with that person. They’ll be advised to self-isolate and get tested for the virus themselves to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Concerns have been raised that the app will violate people’s privacy. However, the Italian government says the app doesn’t collect personal or geolocation data. Data stored on smartphones is encrypted, as are connections between the app and the server. All app-related data, whether on people’s own devices or servers, must be deleted when it’s no longer needed, or by the end of the year at the latest. 

Although Immuni isn’t mandatory, the more people who use it, the more effective it will be, the government said. However, a survey conducted late last month suggested that just 44 percent of Italians will or probably will download the app.

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New tech can map cholesterol metabolism in brain – Latest News

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A team of researchers led by Swansea University in the UK has developed new technology to monitor cholesterol in brain tissue which could uncover its relation to neurodegenerative disease and pave the way for the development of new treatments.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, in animal models shows the major locations of cholesterol in the brain and what molecules it can be converted to.

“Although our work was with a mouse, the technology can similarly be used in humans in a research lab or a clinical setting, and could have revolutionary value when linked to neurosurgery,” said Professor William Griffiths who co-led the study.

Dysregulated cholesterol metabolism is linked to a number of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

It is known that cholesterol is not evenly distributed across different brain regions.

However, there has been no technology available to map cholesterol metabolism in defined locations of the brain at microscopic levels, and to visualise how it changes in pathological niches in the brain.

In the new study, researchers described an advanced mass spectrometry imaging platform to reveal spatial cholesterol metabolism in mouse brain at micrometre resolution from tissue slices.

The researchers mapped not only cholesterol, but also biologically active metabolites arising from cholesterol turnover.

For example, they found that 24S-hydroxycholesterol, the major cholesterol metabolite in the brain, is about 10 times more abundant in striatum than in the cerebellum, two regions involved in different ways in voluntary movement and cognition.

“Tissue excised during surgery could rapidly be profiled by our method in-clinic and used to distinguish healthy from diseased tissue, informing the surgeon on the next step of the operation,” Griffiths said.

According to co-author Professor Yuqin Wang, this technology which precisely locates molecules in the brain will further our understanding of the complexity of brain function and how it changes in neurodegenerative disorders”.



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