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Thursday,29-September-2022

International

Google searches may be a predictor of domestic violence: Study

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Google searches are an effective tool to track and predict domestic violence, especially in times of crisis, such as the period that followed the Covid-19 outbreak, suggests a research.

When the Covid pandemic broke out and countries experienced a strict lockdown, news stories started reporting anecdotal evidence about women forced to live under the same roof with abusive partners.

A team of Italian researchers, including from Bocconi University in Milan, analysed the relations between Google searches for nine domestic violence-related keywords on one hand, and calls to the Italian domestic violence helpline 1522 and to the emergency number 112 in Lombardy.

The selected keywords were: 1522, abuse, home & abuse, home & rape, feminicide, rape, domestic violence, gender-based violence, and sexual violence.

The idea underlying the study is that the Internet — and Google in particular — may offer a medium to anonymously voice concerns about abusive partners and collect relevant information, the team wrote in the paper published in the European Journal of Population.

Calls to the helpline measure potential risk of experiencing domestic violence, while calls to the emergency number measure actual violence.

The frequency of queries for the keywords were consistently positively and significantly correlated with helpline calls across the whole investigated time period (2013-2020), with a time lag between search and call of around one week.

But their predictive power increased after the Covid-19 outbreak, when traditional help mechanisms became harder to reach.

The team also observed a worrying socio-economic divide.

“Forecasts proved more reliable among high socio-economic status populations because they are better than other socioeconomic strata at googling effectively in this context,” said Selin Koksal, a doctoral candidate in Public Policy at Bocconi.

“It may be the case that individuals with lower socio-economic status use dialect or less targeted keywords, which could prevent them from reaching accurate online resources for seeking help,” Koksal added.

The study advises policymakers to track domestic violence-related searches and to accordingly intensify their support activities, both reinforcing services where and when searches become more frequent and raising awareness through the media.

“They could also intervene in favour of disadvantaged people,” Koksal said, “by promoting internet literacy and, in the short run, convincing Google to show domestic violence support services among the top results, as it has done in the US.”

International

WhatsApp working to let users create polls in group chat

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Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp is likely working on a new update that will allow users to create polls in chat.

With this feature, which is under development, group participants will be able to share polls with other members of the group. It will be possible to add up to 12 options but this value may change before the release of the feature, reports WABetaInfo.

This feature is under development so it is not ready to be released to beta testers.

As per the report, an entry point for the feature will be available within the usual chat action sheet where you can find all other media sharing options and it opens the section that we spotted during the development of WhatsApp beta for Android 2.22.10.11.

A recent report said that WhatsApp is likely working on a feature that will add a new camera shortcut for iPhone users on their app.

A screenshot showed that the camera shortcut is placed within the navigation bar and it will show up for those users that can already create a community in the future.

It looks exactly like the one implemented on WhatsApp beta for Android (but since there was a bug, it has temporarily been removed in another update), the report had said.

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International

Rupee ends 6 paise up against US dollar at 79.52

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The Indian rupee ended 6 paise up, at 79.52, against the US dollar on Monday following stronger regional currencies and risk-on sentiments ahead of inflation data.

At the Interbank foreign exchange market, rupee ended at 79.52, as against 79.58 against the US dollar.

“Indian rupee appreciated for the third day in a trot following stronger regional currencies and risk-on sentiments ahead of inflation data. The market is expecting a surge in inflation to 6.9 per cent from the previous 6.7 per cent amid higher commodity prices,” said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.

The Dollar index, which gauges the the strength of greenback against the basket of six major currencies, was at 107.942.

“Inflation will take centre stage this week as major economies unveil CPI updates. DXY has sharply cooled off from 110.78 to below 109.00 levels with hawkish ECB lifting the euro. But DXY may find support at 108.20 levels,” said Kunal Sodhani, Vice President, Global Trading Center, Shinhan Bank.

“Prices have been taking support near 79.90-80.00 mark strongly and faced resistance near 79.50, which is the 50 dma mark, if prices starts trading higher above 79.50 on rupee then further rise in rupee can be seen which can take price of rupee towards 79.00 levels,” said Jateen Trivedi, VP Research Analyst at LKP Securities.

Brent crude oil prices were at $93.78 a barrel by the closing of Indian market hours.

Meanwhile, Benchmark indices ended sharply up on Monday following firm global cues.

Sensex ends up 321.99 points, or 0.54 per cent, at 60,115.13, and Nifty closed 103.00 points, or 0.58 per cent, up at 17,936.35. As many as 2,189 shares advanced, 1,394 shares declined, and 176 shares remained unchanged.

Titan, Axis Bank, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel, Infosys were major gainers on the Sensex. BSE LargeCap was 0.64 per cent up, and BSE SmallCap and MidCap closed 1 per cent and 0.89 per cent up.

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Entertainment

‘House of the Dragon’ premiere registers close to 10 million views

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 The series premiere of ‘House of the Dragon’ attracted unprecedented eyeballs. It drew in 9.99 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max after premiering, according to Warner Bros. Discovery.

This viewership tally includes linear airings, as well as HBO Max streams during premiere night, reports ‘Variety’.

HBO says ‘House of the Dragon’ drew the largest audience in the pay TV channel’s history, including content that debuted before the streaming era, as well as HBO shows that have since premiered on defunct digital platforms HBO Now and HBO Go, as well as their successor HBO Max.

According to ‘Variety’, ‘Game of Thrones’ has remained HBO’s biggest hit of all time since concluding in 2019, and as its prequel series, ‘House of the Dragon’ is arguably the project to get the most marketing and fanfare from the network since.

As a result, series premiere ‘Heirs of the Dragons’ outperformed the ‘Game of Thrones’ series premiere, which brought in 4.2 million viewers in 2011.

And while it’s perhaps unfair to compare ‘House of the Dragon’ to the heights its predecessor eventually reached, ‘Game of Thrones’ was watched by a record-breaking 17.9 million people with the premiere of its eighth and final season, there’s another, more recent HBO series that’s worth including in the conversation.

‘House of the Dragon’ is based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel ‘Fire & Blood’.

The series is set 200 years before the events of ‘Game of Thrones’ and tells the story of House Targaryen.

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