Technology
Go Pokémon Go...
As I write this piece, Pokemon Go, the latest fad among mobile users is not yet officially launched in India. However, this does not mean that people are not playing this free-to-play location-based augmented reality game on their mobile handsets. We are not against anyone using their mobiles for other purposes than what the device was invented for. However, with augmented reality-type games, there is always a danger to the lives of the player as well as those of others. 
 
According to reports, the Dutch company ProRail has complained that players are entering the railway tracks. Residents of the Sydney suburb of Rhodes were so fed up with the large numbers of players gathering in their area, that they threw water bombs at the visiting players, says another news report. Police, from several countries, have issued warnings about inattentive driving and trespassing, while playing the game. Many people have suffered injuries from accidents related with the game, as per media reports.
 
Now about the game. Pokémon Go was released in July 2016 on iOS and Android-based devices. Using the device’s GPS and camera, the game allows players to capture, battle and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon. These Pokémons appear on the device screen just like in the real world. They can be anywhere and everywhere, like a shop, restaurant or a garden. The player creates its own avatar to play this game which moves as the player roams around the game’s map. Depending on the location the player is moving around in, she would come across the Pokémons. For example, near water, there is a water-type Pokemon  which the player has to capture. In addition, players are required to physically travel to explore the game’s map and visit PokéStops and gyms. The ultimate goal of the game is to complete the entries in the Pokédex, a comprehensive Pokémon encyclopaedia, by capturing and evolving to obtain the original 151 Pokemon.
 
Within 24 hours after its release, Pokémon Go topped the American App Store’s ‘Top Grossing’ and ‘Free’ charts. The average daily usage of the app on Android devices exceeded Snapchat, Tinder, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, says a report. And all this, despite the game suffering from frequent crashes or outages of servers due to high number of users. The funniest part is that people in China, where Pokemon Go is not launched, used IDs from Australian app stores and a GPS spoofing app for Google services, to play the game! This happened across several countries. 
 
My point, especially in the Indian context, is that we do not have the kind of roads and landscapes and the rules for citizens to behave in public spaces. The infrastructure, at places where the Pokémon Go is officially launched and is being played by millions of mobile users, is much better than in India. And, yet, there are accidents and injuries. I can imagine what would happen to a youngster who would play the game on ever-crowded streets of Mumbai (or for that matter any other metros or even a Tier-II city). 
 
Mobiles were basically developed as tool for communication; they are now evolving as an entertainment device. However, this development has come at a cost. A cost for frequently charging (changing in some cases) batteries, high utilisation of Internet data and strain on eyes are just few examples. Not to forget medical treatment charges for injuries caused due to the addiction of playing games or using mobiles while walking on a busy road or a rail station. But, it is you who will be paying the cost.

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Modi to launch PMO app at MyGov anniversary event
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday launch the new PMO app at a function organised by MyGov here, officials said.
 
The app would correspond to the website of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
 
"Interestingly, the team that won the contest to develop the app is a team of young engineering students from Delhi," MyGov Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gaurav Dwivedi said here on Thursday. 
 
The government had launched a two-phased contest in March 2015 on MyGov platform for the development of PMO app. A team of six engineering students from Delhi Technical University won the contest and finally got to develop the app.
 
"Prime Minister Modi would launch the app during the second anniversary function of MyGov that we are organising here on August 6. The event will feature multiple panel discussions and the first ever 'town hall' to be addressed by the Prime Minister," Dwivedi said. 
 
It would be Modi's first 'town hall' address in the country. He had last year answered questions from the audience at a town hall event at the Facebook headquarters in the US. 
 
Those who would get to interact with the Prime Minister in the town hall have been selected from among the regular users of MyGov platform, who have pitched in "quality suggestions" for various government programmes, the official said.
 
"We are trying to get a fair representation of people from across the country. Those who have been active on MyGov platform and have contributed with quality suggestions are being short-listed. But it is not an easy task given that the number of such participants is quite large," Dwivedi said.
 
The day-long event will have panel discussions and see participation from union ministers and senior officials, he said.
 
MyGov was launched by Modi in July 2014 to provide opportunity to the people to participate in multiple theme-based discussions and share their thoughts. 
 
The platform has several groups like Clean Ganga, Girl Child Education, Digital India, Food Security and Healthy India. 
 
MyGov has 3.52 million registered members, 1,82,000 submissions in 491 tasks and 3.40 million comments in 590 discussion themes. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Amin Patel and Sunil Prabhu are top performers among Mumbai MLAs
Amin Amir Ali Patel of the Indian National Congress and Sunil Waman Prabhu of the Shiv Sena have emerged as the best preforming Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Mumbai in an assessment or report-card released by Praja Foundation. Ms Varsha Eknath Gaikwad, also of the Congress ranked third.
 
Praja  evaluated the performance of 31 Mumbai- based MLAs by rating them on four quantitative parameters (Quality of questions asked in the assembly, number of question asked attendance, clean criminal record) and three qualitative perception based parameters (perceived least corrupt, perceived accessibility for the public, perceived performer of the constituency). Final scores of the report was obtained after deducting marks for new FIR cases registered, charge sheet registered and for no annual pro-active disclosures by the elected representatives of assets and liabilities and criminal record.
 
Milind Mhaske, Project Director, Praja, said, “During the last assembly the average scores of the MLA’s showed a decline over the four report cards from 61.23% in 2011 to 59.17% in 2014. We would expect that the current group of MLAs defy the trend and increase their average performance from 65.11% in 2016 by the time we come up with the last report card for this term of the Maharashtra Assembly in 2019.” Mhaske, justifying the methodology of the research, clarified, “We have collected our quantifiable data through RTI applications and commissioned Hansa Research to do a scientific statistical survey from among over 25,215 people of Mumbai to gauge the public perception of the MLAs on the qualitative based parameters.”
 
The complete report card of the evaluated MLAs is given in the table below:
 
 

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