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Monday, 30 April 2012

World Wide Web turns 19 | Top 10 interesting facts about the Web

Today, you are able to access numerous webpages through a web browser over the Internet. We use Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google and many other websites often to get information, stay in touch with people and remain updated.

Most of us now heavily rely on the Internet, and the power of Internet is now not hidden from anybody. But do you know the source of this power? Do you know when did you get this power to freely view any webpage?

Around two decades back, on April 30, 1993, CERN, a European research organisation near Geneva, announced that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone, with no fees due.

To mark the 19th anniversary of the World Wide Web (a true milestone in the Internet history), here we bring you interesting facts about the Web:

1.British engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, now Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), wrote a proposal in March 1989 for what would finally become the World Wide Web.

2. On August 6, 1991, the first website went online.

3. A NeXT Computer was used by Sir Tim Berners-Lee as the world's first web server and also to write the first web browser - WorldWideWeb - in 1990.

4. Berners-Lee uploaded the first photo on the Web in 1992. That was an image of the CERN house band Les Horribles Cernettes.

5. It is believed that a turning point in the history of the the World Wide Web began with the launch of the Mosaic web browser in 1993. It was a graphical browser developed by a team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Mosaic is the web browser credited with popularising the World Wide Web.

6. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organisation for the World Wide Web, was founded by Tim Berners-Lee after he left CERN in October 1994.

7. Archie is considered to be the first Internet search engine. It was the first tool for indexing FTP archives, allowing people to find specific files.

8. If you dislike Internet users being addressed to as 'surfers', blame Jean Armour Polly. It was she who coined the term "Surfing the Internet".

9. Pornography constitutes a big chunk of the Web for most of its existence, but the first website on the .xxx domain (meant for adult websites) went online in August 2011.

10. Most people tend to treat the Internet and the Web as synonymous. They, in fact while being related, are not. Internet refers to the vast networking infrastructure that connects millions of computers across the world and the World Wide Web is the worldwide collection of text pages, digital photographs, music files, videos, and animations, which users can access over the Internet. The Web uses the HTTP protocol to transmit data and is only a part of the Internet. The Internet includes a lot that is not necessarily the Web.

Nokia launches dual-SIM Asha 202 at Rs 4,149

Nokia India has announced its latest addition to the Nokia Asha series - the Nokia Asha 202, which is a dual SIM-touch and type phone. It has a 2.4 inch touch screen.

Priced at Rs 4,149, the Nokia Asha 202 features dual SIM swap technology with dedicated SIM manager to personalise the phone and save up to five SIM cards with unique information. It comes with a 2-megapixel camera, music player, FM radio, Nokia Browser, and Bluetooth connectivity, and has expandable memory of up to 32GB.

To enable its consumers to experience faster internet without having to worry about data charges, Nokia has tied up with five lead operators – Aircel, Airtel, Reliance, Tata Docomo and Vodafone – across the country to offer 100 MB of data (each) per month for six months absolutely free.

The Nokia Asha 202 is said to be packed with features and services such as EA games-pack and Nimbuzz chat client for young and social consumers.

The Nokia Asha 202 comes in four colours – black and gold, silver white, dark grey and dark red.

It's not a BlackBerry World anymore

Florida: When Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were running Research In Motion, BlackBerry World was a chest-thumping celebration of RIM's successes and a showcase for the innovations that would assure its continued dominance.

Their successor Thorsten Heins will preside over a very different event.

Five months after replacing the longstanding co-CEOs, Heins desperately needs more time to right the now-struggling company and he likely has next to nothing concrete to offer his restless audience in terms of new products and services.

In late March, Heins embarked on a strategic review of the Canadian smartphone maker's direction in an effort to reverse the growing power of Apple Inc and Google Inc's Android, and to thwart a budding Microsoft/Nokia resurgence.

The company is working furiously to get a next-generation lineup of smartphones on sale, while also seeking licensing deals, partnerships and cost savings of $1 billion this year.

Unless Heins has a big surprise up his sleeve at this year's BlackBerry World, held next week in Orlando, Florida, analysts expect him to focus on products and services already in market. Most of them have so far failed to capture the imagination of investors or consumers.

"It's too early in RIM's strategic review process to announce one particular strategy," IDC analyst Kevin Restivo said. "However, Heins would be wise to provide any kind of news to help staunch the bleeding."

Restivo expects RIM to tout any progress it's made in attracting developers and possibly announce a PlayBook that connects to cellular networks. That would make the 7-inch tablet more portable and give carriers an incentive to promote the device.

Presentation delayed

BlackBerry World - which brings together several thousand RIM partners and customers - was once a must for financial analysts. But this year few are making the trip, in part because RIM has broken with tradition by cancelling a specific presentation for them. Instead it delayed the briefing until the next-generation BlackBerry 10s are on sale, sometime later this year.

In the year since RIM's last Orlando conference, the company has issued a string of disappointing financial results, suffered an embarrassing global network outage and watched its share price tumble by 75 per cent.

Lazaridis and Balsillie quit under pressure in late January, replaced by Heins, a former Siemens AG executive who ran RIM's hardware business for several years.

"Expectations are so low I don't think it's possible to disappoint investors," said National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson. "The conference isn't for investors anyway; it's for customers, developers and partners."

Thompson said RIM may use the event to introduce a marketing chief, which he said was long overdue. RIM is also seeking a chief operating officer.

"The company needs to display confidence and staying power at the show to keep this constituency loyal until the BlackBerry 10 smartphones are launched," he said.

Other RIM watchers privately pointed to subdued comments from a major investor and new board member last week as a hint not to expect much. Prem Watsa, who joined RIM's board in January's reshuffle, said that a turnaround could take three to five years.

Looking ahead

The BlackBerry 10 devices will be RIM's first smartphones to make use of a hardy operating platform from QNX Software, an Ottawa, Ontario-based company that RIM acquired in 2010.

RIM's first test of QNX was its PlayBook tablet, which has languished on store shelves since its launch a year ago. The company is eager to get software developers to build PlayBook applications that could then populate an app store for the new phones.

On the sidelines of BlackBerry World, the company will hand out a prototype BlackBerry 10 device for developers to test their software applications. RIM has stressed that the device's hardware bears no relation to the finished product.

The BlackBerry was once seen as an indispensable business tool but has been eclipsed by more consumer-focused iPhones and Android devices which boast large, vivid touchscreens and hundreds of thousands more applications and games.

RIM had an 8.8 per cent slice of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, according to research firm Gartner, down from 14.6 per cent a year ago. Apple and Android smartphones accounted for almost three-quarters of the market, up from less than half a year earlier.

Meanwhile, a partnership between Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Nokia Oyj (NOK1V.HE) threatens both RIM's corporate heartland and its recent growth markets internationally.

By the time RIM launches its first BlackBerry 10s, its global share could slip to 6 percent, analysts at Canaccord Genuity said in February. They said the small base would make it difficult for RIM to create an ecosystem of applications and content for its new platform.

Recognising it is powerless to stop iPhones and Android devices from invading its once-impenetrable corporate and government business, RIM launched its Mobile Fusion software to enable IT managers to control those devices through RIM's servers. But it has so far failed to go further.

Sources told Reuters last month that former co-chief executive Balsillie had worked for months on a radical shift in RIM's strategy that would have offered use of its proprietary network, including its popular BlackBerry Messenger chat program, for rival devices such as the iPhone.

Heins has since said he believes in RIM's integrated model - in which it runs its own software on its own devices connected exclusively to its global peer-to-peer network - but that he would consider offering that via partnership.

Acer Iconia A500 tab gets Android 4.0 update

Acer has released the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for its Iconia A500 and A501 tablet. If you are an Acer Iconia A500 or Iconia A501 user, you can check for the availability of the update by tapping Menu > Settings > About tablet and then tap 'Check for update' to get Android 4.0.3.

Acer has also released an application to make the process of upgrade easier for the users. The app called 'ICONIA TAB Update Enhancement'can be downloaded from the Google Play app store (Android Market). This app is useful even after you get the update.

The app is meant only for Iconia A500 or A501 users and is required for the ICS upgrade. The app includes firmware updates and application refreshes.

In order to get the best out of your Iconia Tab, installed applications, and prevent system incompatibility, you must apply all application updates before upgrading the firmware. And this app is designed to help you do just that.

Aarushi-Hemraj murder case | No relief for Nupur Talwar, sent to Dasna jail

Murdered teenager Aarushi Talwar's mother Nupur was sent to the Dasna jail on Monday as the sessions court refused to grant her an interim bail and said that it would continue to hear the petition on Tuesday. Nupur had moved the sessions court against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court order which had rejected her bail application in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case.

Nupur, a dentist by profession, broke down on hearing the decision of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shyamlal who rejected her interim bail plea and posted the application for regular bail for hearing on Tuesday.

She would have to spend at least Monday night and was lodged in barrack number 13 of the district jail where her husband Rajesh had earlier spent 50 days after his arrest in the case.

A shattered Nupur, who had the company of her husband and a few relatives in the special CBI court where she was waiting in judicial custody, was taken by women constables in a police van to Dasna jail.

On Tuesday, the sessions court will continue to hear her regular bail application. In case the sessions court rejects her plea, Nupur has the option of approaching the High Court and then the Supreme Court. Her legal team couldn't prevent her from being taken into judicial custody, but now they will make every effort to make sure she gets out as soon as possible.

On a dramatic day of court hopping, Nupur failed to get relief from a Special CBI court before which she surrendered on Monday morning following a Supreme Court directive to her to do so.

In the sessions court, Nupur's lawyer argued that an interim bail should be granted to her because if she is jailed it would affect her reputation. The lawyer said that bail should be granted till the time proper hearing of bail application was done while claiming that the CBI itself has said that the agency does not have enough evidence against her.

Her bail application before the special court was rejected following opposition from the investigating agency. She has been sent to the Dasna jail and will spend at least one night there.

"I am placed in the same situation as my husband since he is on bail I should also be granted interim bail. My roots are in Delhi so I shall not run away. The order itself is challenged since the review petition is still pending before the Supreme Court," her lawyer had argued before the sessions court.

But the CBI countered her by saying that Nupur's bail plea is not a usual case as the accused has been using every pretext to stay away from court and has been preventing the movement of the case. After hearing the arguments the Additional Sessions Judge reserved the bail order.

The CBI had opposed the bail plea of Nupur, saying she had been evading the court and the investigation from the beginning.

Nupur had argued in her bail plea that she was a woman and that she was under tremendous stress and trauma as her daughter had been killed. However, the CBI countered pointing out that Talwars' domestic help Hemraj had also been murdered.

The CBI had further contended that the magistrate court could not grant the bail as the Allahabad High Court and even the Supreme Court have already heard the plea.

Nupur Talwar had earlier on Monday surrendered before the special CBI court in Ghaziabad, following which she was taken into custody.

In her basic plea, Nupur had contended that sending her to judicial custody won't serve any purpose, pointing that her passport was already with court and she had to take permission from the magistrate before leaving Delhi. Nupur has also assured that she will not evade trial proceedings.

Nupur had arrived at the special CBI court in Ghaziabad along with her mother and husband Rajesh Talwar. This came after the Supreme Court directed Nupur to surrender before the trial court while refusing to stay the non-bailable warrant against her.

The Supreme Court is will also hear the review plea of the Talwars on Friday.

The lawyers of the Talwars filed a plea for regular bail for the mother of the slain teenager.

Nupur's husband Rajesh Talwar is on bail till May 7 and the CBI has challenged it as well.

The court had earlier extended the non-bailable warrant against Nupur Talwar till April 30. The CBI had sought an extension of the warrant date and said that Nupur Talwar won't be arrested until the Chief Justice takes up the matter.

She got a temporary breather from the Supreme Court. Her plea against a non-bailable warrant is still pending in the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the Ghaziabad court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Nupur Talwar after she failed to appear before a special CBI court despite a deadline given to her.

Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur have been accused by the CBI of being involved in the murder of their teenaged daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj in May 2008.

Aarushi, 14, was found dead inside her Noida residence in May, 2008 with her throat slit and the body of the Talwars' domestic servant Hemraj was recovered from the terrace hours later.

An outcry against the shoddy investigation by Uttar Pradesh police had led to the then Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh handing over the case to the CBI.

Assam | 35 dead, 75 feared missing in boat accident

Guwahati: At least 35 people were drowned and many more were missing when a boat carrying 250 people capsized in the Brahmaputra river in Assam's Dhubri district on Monday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed condolence and ordered all possible assistance in relief operations. Reports said that three army columns including two medicals teams are involved in the rescue operation.

According to reports, it was one of the worst ferry disasters in Assam. The ferry broke into 2 parts. A clear picture will emerge only on Tuesday morning.

Deputy Commissioner Kumud Chandra Kalita said the boat was crossing the river from the Dhubrighat when it overturned. He said the boat was carrying nearly 250 people. While 35 people drowned, 25 passengers swam to safety. Senior district officials rushed to the spot and rescue operations have been launched.

Kalita said the boat was caught in a severe storm at 4.20 pm. The bodies of the 35 victims, which included several women and children, were recovered and sent for postmortem, he said.

Assam state police chief JN Choudhury says the details were sketchy because bad weather and the remoteness of the area hampered communication.

He says the accident occurred late on Monday on the Brahmaputra river near Fakiragram in west Dhubri district. The area is about 350 kilometers west of the state capital, Guwahati.

Choudhury says strong winds and rain likely caused the accident. Police and paramilitary soldiers have been sent to help with rescue efforts.

Richard Loitam death | Manipur boy fought with friend over an accident, says Bangalore Police

Bangalore: Giving details in the Richard Loitam case, the Bangalore Police has now said that the reason for the Manipur boy's fight with his friend was a two-wheeler accident.

The police also said that Richard was injured after the two-wheeler accident.
"We have gathered some information during the investigation. Richard and his friend Spoorti Ranjan had a two-wheeler accident. He was injured. Richard and his friend Vishal had a fight over the vehicle accident. They were watching an IPL match, when one more student joined and hit Richard. Some others came and pacified them," Bangalore rural SP, D Prakash said.

He also said that a case of unnatural death has been registered, "A complaint from the hostel warden says that Richard's death was unnatural. We have registered a case of unnatural death."

The SP also said that Richard and his friend did not take proper care of themselves after the accident. "They went to the hospital only after 2:30 am and came back. They again went the next day, but did not take proper care."

He said that two of Richard's friends, Vishal and Sayed Afzal Ali, who were accused in the case will be arrested only after Richard's final medical report is out. "The post-mortem was done by two doctors. There were both old and new injuries. He had some brain injuries. The doctors are still examining and waiting for the pathological examination report. Vishal and Syed Afzal Ali are the accused in the case, they are also students. We are yet to arrest them. They will be arrested only after the final medical report," Prakash said.

Richard, a second semester student of the Acharya NRV School of Architecture in Bangalore North, was found dead on his hostel bed on the afternoon of April 18.

On the night of April 17, he reportedly quarrelled with his hostel mate Vishal Banerjee over watching an IPL match. Another student, Sayed Afzal Ali, intervened and hit Loitam on the face and head. Following the altercation, Loitam returned to his room and was found dead the next day.

Air fares from Mumbai to soar from Tuesday

Mumbai: The cost of air travel from the city will go up by Rs 600 for those flying to overseas destinations and by Rs 100 for domestic travellers with the levy of development fee from Tuesday.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed all the air-carriers to collect development fee from passengers and subsequently deposit the same with Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which is managing the airport, a Aeronautical Information circular issued on Monday said.

The circular comes with the Government giving its approval to the levy of development fee of Rs 100 from the domestic passengers and Rs 600 from the overseas travellers.

The levy is purely on ad-hoc basis and valid for 23 months, starting from May 1, the circular stated.

The central government had in February 2009 allowed MIAL to collect Rs 100 and Rs 600 from domestic and international passengers.

However, the Supreme Court on April 26 last year held that no DF could be levied or collected from the embarking passengers at major airports unless an Authority determines the rate of such DF.

Later, the MIAL had requested tariff regulator Airport Economic Regulatory Authority to fix the DF saying any delay would affect developmental work being carried at the airport due to shortage of funds.

31 per cent Indians suffer from poor quality of life | Survey

Washington: Almost 31 per cent of Indian adults comprising 240 million people say they are "suffering" because of poor quality of life, according to a Gallup survey, though the country had a high growth rate of 6.9 per cent.

The gap between the haves and have-nots may actually be widening, the survey said, releasing the results of its recent opinion poll in which nearly three-fourths or 73 per cent of the respondents perceived corruption as being widespread in the government.

The polling firms' research categorised Indian respondents into three blocs "thriving," "struggling," and "suffering," according to how they rate their present and future lives.

The poll indicates that the poorest and least educated are the ones who have considered themselves as belonging to the suffering class.

"The key factors affecting Indian citizens' well being are income, education and employment- all linked and influenced by the work place," Gallup chairman and CEO Jim Clifton said.

Research reveals that Indians considered a 'good job' as being employed full time for an employer and in early 2012, 43 per cent of Indians had these good jobs.

Some of the increase in suffering between 2011 and early 2012, it said, may be attributable to the timing of the 2012 survey, which was conducted before harvest time in parts of India, when many farmers likely had gone without pay for several months.

However, that so many Indians rate their lives so poorly may seem inconsistent with the country's high levels of economic growth and its rising-star status in the global economy.

The survey was based on interviews with about 5,000 Indians, age 15 or older, between January 29 and March 8. Its error margin was 1.7 percentage points.

Bill to make divorce easier introduced in Rajya Sabha

A bill was on Monday introduced in the Rajya Sabha to amend existing laws to make divorce easier, with BJP opposing the legislation on the ground that certain provisions could be "dangerous" for women.

Introducing the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said by amending the Hindu Marriage Act, 2007, and the Special Marriage Act, 1954, the government proposes to make divorce easier in case of irretrievable breakdown of marriage among consenting adults.

The Bill also has made provision under which adopted children will have rights on par with biological off springs of a couple in case the parents go for a divorce. It also gives a woman a share in her husband's property.

Initiating the debate, Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Arun Jaitley objected to some provisions of the Bill saying it "will create hardship for women" and encourage misuse and exploitation of women.

He said an alternative argument should be factored into while studying the Bill as it was heavily loaded in favour of one of the parties and both the victim and the perpetrator are treated equally.

"The person causing irretrievable breakdown can also seek divorce," he said, highlighting several drawbacks in the Bill and feared the measure will be "very dangerous for Indian jurisprudence".

Jaitley said the bill should have been drafted keeping in mind that there are not enough support system for women in Indian society.

He said if one of the parties created conditions for divorce, the other party would be forced to accept and apply for divorce. The creator of the condition will get benefited while the other would be the victim.

Najma Heptulla (BJP) opposed the deletion of the 'cooling off' period as it allowed an opportunity for reconciliation.

"Until we give enough protection to women, this will be very dangerous for women," she feared.

She said irretrievable breakdown in marriage should be "codified" and should not come as "a tool in the hand of the husband".

Switzerland to share secret bank accounts details with India

In a development that will boost the fight against black money menace, Switzerland has agreed to provide details of secret bank accounts of individuals sought by India even on the basis of limited information.

Under a mutual agreement reached on April 20 between the two countries, Switzerland has agreed to give liberal interpretation to the provisions concerning identities of Indian citizens.

"... it is sufficient if the requesting state identifies the person by other means than by indicating the name and address of the person concerned, and indicates to the extent known, the name and address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information," a Finance Ministry release said on Monday.

Under the existing bilateral treaty, the requesting country has to compulsorily provide the name of the person under examination and the name of the foreign holder of the information.

These are part of the identity requirements without which the information would not be shared by the other country.

"This was a restrictive provision and not in line with the international standards," the release said.

The agreement was signed under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries.

"This agreement is beneficial to India because it gives liberal interpretation to the identity requirements for exchange of information which India will be seeking from Switzerland and is in line with international standards," the release said.

The pact would allow liberal interpretation of Article 26, concerning exchange of information.

"The conditions as clarified by Switzerland, will enable India to get information even if we have only limited details regarding the person having bank accounts in Switzerland," the release said.

India had inked the pact with Switzerland to revise their bilateral taxation treaty in August 2010. The revised treaty was approved by Swiss Parliament on June 17 last year.

The new agreement was signed by Sanjay Kumar Mishra Joint Secretary (Foreign Tax & Tax Research division), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Juerg Giraudi, Head of Division of International Tax Affairs, Swiss Federal Department of Finance. The Cabinet had earlier approved the mutual pact on March 23.

"... this mutual agreement will apply from the date on which the amending Protocol which was signed on August 30, 2010, has come into effect April 1, 2011," the release said.

As per data from the Swiss National Bank, the total deposits of Indian individuals and companies in Swiss banks stood at about $2.5 billion at the end of 2010.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

1.4 lakh jobs in railways next year | Mukul Roy

Suri: Railway minister Mukul Roy on Sunday said that 1.4 lakh people would be recruited in the railways next year.

"In the coming year, 1, 44,000 people will be employed in the railways," Roy said after laying the foundation stone of a road over bridge and foot over bridge at Nalhati in Birbhum district.

More than 75,000 jobs were created in the railways in the past six months and more people would be recruited, he said.

Referring to the road over bridge, he said, "This project was demanded by local MP Satabdi Roy. In response to her request, Mamata Banerjee sanctioned the project when she was the railway minister".

The project started late as the previous Left Front government did not cooperate with the railways, he said, adding that to implement the project the cooperation of the state government is required.

This road over bridge will be an example of joint venture between rail and the state government, Roy said.

Yahoo India launches new Flickr Uploadr version for PC and Mac

Yahoo India announced the launch of Flickr Uploadr, a new feature that enables simpler, easier, and faster upload of photographs on Flickr. The feature available for both Pro and Free users on the photo storage and sharing service, currently supports Firefox 8, Safari 5, and Chrome 6 browsers.

The new Flickr Uploadr runs on an advanced HTML 5 browser technology. Uploadr simplifies the process of adding photos by allowing drag-and-drop. It provides preview thumbnails, so that users can use the intuitive drag and drop interface to manage and re-order photos before adding it to the Photostream. Photographs can be zoomed, rotated and sorted by title.

While the Uploadr feature has been around for some time now, this new, updated version makes adding photos to your collection just a little be easier.

Flickr is a key component of Yahoo!'s overall product strategy and the photo-sharing site continues to develop across multiple devices and platforms.

The Flickr Uploadr is the third in the series of updates, which began with the Justified Layout launch and addition of the embedded photo editing tool by Aviary. The new feature allows users to add titles, descriptions, tags, and organise photos in different sets.

Bangalore | PM's close aide TKA Nair caught in land row

Bangalore: One of the close advisors of the Prime Minister, TKA Nair was caught in a land row on Sunday. A story that appeared in the Hindu newspaper on Sunday morning claimed that the BEML Employees' Co-operative Society allotted plots to TKA Nair's niece and friend in south Bangalore at throwaway prices.

KS Periyaswamy, a stakeholder, claims that the Cooperative Society was put under pressure by BEML Chief VRS Natrajan to make these allotments.

Periyaswamy even wrote to the PMO and the President alleging that the allotments were made to ensure silence of the PMO on the Tatra Scam. Nair's niece and family friends later returned the plots in December 2010.

Periyaswamy said, "TKA Nair is one of the most corrupt officers in the country. He works in tandem with many political leaders and he is working in the PMO. I wrote to the President and the PM saying that Natarajan is involved in many scams and the nexus between Natarajan and Nair... they have worked on nearly 6000 files. For allotment of BEML sites, they should work in BEML for 5 years, be a resident of Karnataka for 10 years. So the land was allotted to complete strangers like Nair's people. Even if they have withdrawn their allotments, they are still guilty. CBI is made to sleep over all these charges because of Nair's influence. AK Antony is a helpless person. There are 40 other MoD officials who have plots thanks to Natarajan, this is a big scam. They are all selling the nation."

TKA Nair has issued a denial, saying, "To the best of my knowledge no irregularity or illegality was involved in the allotments. I have requested the PMO to obtain all the relevant facts of this matter through the Department of Defence Production."

Head injury turns college dropout into a maths genius!

Washington: In an incident which appears be a perfect plot for any reality-based fiction work, an American college dropout after being brutally attacked by a group of street robbers has turned a mathematics genius.

It happened after 41-year-old Jason Padgett's brain was damaged in a brutal attack by muggers. He was left concussed after being ambushed outside a karaoke club and repeatedly kicked in the head, the Daily Mail reported.

Now, wherever Padegtt looks, he sees mathematical formulas and turns them into stunning, intricate diagrams he can draw by hand.

He is the only person in the world known to the skill, which experts say, was caused by his head injury. They believe the damage to Padgett's brain has left him with a "remarkable gift" for figures.

To understand how Padgett's brain works, neuroscientist and philosophy professor Berit Brogaard and her team flew Padgett to Finland to run a series of tests.

His brain scanning showed damage that was forcing his brain to overcompensate in certain areas that most people do not have access to.

Brogaard, who is based at the Centre for Neurodynamics at the University of Missouri-St Louis, said the result that Padgett is now an acquired savant, meaning brilliant in a specific area.

"Savant syndrome is the development of a particular skill, that can be mathematical, spatial, or autistic, that develop to an extreme degree that sort of makes a person superhuman," the professor added.

UP | 18 killed in bus accident in Gorakhpur

Gorakhpur: In a tragic incident on Sunday, nearly 18 people were killed when two buses rammed into each other on a busy road in Gorakhpur. The mishap took place at Chiluwatal area, when a private bus and a state roadways bus collided into each other, injuring many.

The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital.

The police were, meanwhile, investigating the accident.

Lallan Singh, Additional SP, Gorakhpur, said, "Nearly 16 people have been admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Eighteen people have died in the accident. The maximum brunt was taken by the private bus. It has been badly damaged."

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Akhilesh's laptop, tablet poll sop to materialise soon

Taking a step towards providing free laptops and tablets to students who have passed class X and XII, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has formed a committee to oversee their purchase and subsequent implementation of his Samajwadi Party's poll promise.

The committee, headed by chief secretary Jawwed Usmani, would be entering into detailed negotiations with Information Technology (IT) majors and try to "get the best deal" for the state.

The high-powered committee, other than the chief secretary, would have nine principal secretaries, including those of Information, Finance, IT, Planning, and Higher Education besides secretary (Secondary Education), among others.

The committee would first be inviting proposals for the supply of some 47 lakh tablets and laptops and would then hold discussions to scale down the prices, since the poll sop of the Samajwadi Party (SP) is likely to bear a price tag of Rs 4,555 crore. The number of class XII students in the state is pegged at 18.19 lakh while the number of class X students is 28.14 lakh.

The government, at the highest level, has already explored the possibility of procurement of laptops and tablets with IT major HCL whose chairman Shiv Nadar and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have already held "preliminary parleys" on the matter, an official said.

While the IT giant has expressed its willingness to supply the required number of laptops and tablets to the state, the government wants to "explore the market" further.

"The chief minister has made it amply clear that we need to go for competitive bidding and to get the best and cheapest and we are working in that direction." Secretary Secondary Education Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma, a member of the committee which is overseeing the implementation of the ambitious project, told IANS that the work was "underway in right earnest and right direction".

Sources say that the state government is working on a time-bound schedule and that the tablets and laptops might begin to roll out sometime around September. "It is a massive exercise, right from procurement, stocking to distribution and it will definitely take some time," an official said. The chief minister is learnt to be monitoring the project directly.

China's search engine market reaches $877 million

Beijing: The size of China's search engine market hit 5.53 billion yuan ($877 million) in the first quarter of 2012, according to new statistics.

The figure represents a 70.4 per cent year-on-year increase, but a 4.7 per cent decline compared to the last quarter of 2011, showed the statistics from Analysys International, a Beijing-based tech and internet information provider.

Dong Xu, an analyst with the firm, attributed the quarter-on-quarter decline to the traditional seasonality of Internet use.

Thanks to its good overall performance, however, the keyword section has attracted steady advertising budgets, Xinhua quoted Dong as saying.

Keyword advertising also meets the needs of brand marketing with advertisers, who are gradually recognizing its promotional value. Therefore, China's search engine market will keep a stable development, he added.

Airtel launches e-commerce portal 'Airtel Shop'

Airtel's online shop offers products and services like mobile phones, mobile and broadband plans, Digital TV services etc.

Airtel has launched its new e-commerce portal, called Airtel Shop, which will offer deals on mobile handsets, digital TV, and broadband connections at

Users will be able to buy Airtel plans for mobile, broadband and DTH service through the website. We expect that Airtel users will get special offers through this site.

The teleco claims to offer up to 33 per cent off on mobile devices with exclusive Airtel plans, up to Rs 500 cash back on new broadband connections and Rs 250 cash back on new digital TV connections.

However, mobile phones sold through the site will be made available and delivered by NSI Infinium Global, a courier service provider, with which Airtel has formed a partnership.

Chennai | Man killed for complaining about loud TV

Chennai: A quarrel pertaining to turning down television volume between neighbours led to a murder at Pallikaranai on Friday. Police said Tarun (27), a van driver with a textile store at T Nagar was a tenant in a house at Kamakshi Nagar, Pallikarani.

He had asked his neighbour, an auto driver Marimuthu to turn down the volume of his television. A wordy duel ensued when Marimuthu refused to comply and stabbed Tarun with a small knife puncturing his heart.

Tarun was taken to a private hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police have arrested Marimuthu.

Lakshmi Mittal retains top spot in UK rich list

London: Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and his family retained their top spot as Britain's richest for the seventh year in succession while the combined worth of the country's 1000 wealthiest individuals defied double-dip recession to reach record levels during the last year.

Mittal, 61, and his family's worth came down by 4,814 million pounds, but they were still the richest in Britain with a net worth of 12.7 billion pounds, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, which annually releases the worth of Britain's wealthiest individuals.

Mittal is marginally ahead with the Russian iron ore magnate, Alisher Usmanov, who takes the second place with an estimated worth of 12.3 billion pounds.

Indian-origin industrialist brothers, Sri and Gopichand Hinduja were the fourth richest in the list with a net worth of 8.6 billion pounds, 'The Sunday Times' said in an advance release on Saturday.

The newspaper's research reveals that the rich got richer over the last year, despite a global recession the combined worth of the country's 1,000 wealthiest people was 414 billion pounds, which is an increase from last year of 4.7 per cent.

Rich List compiler Philip Beresford told Sky News: "Obviously it's very difficult in this age of austerity...and the rich seem to be getting richer and richer. However, I would caution against bashing the rich because a lot of the people on this rich list are based here, they're investing in companies here, and if they get richer hopefully the rest of us will get a bit more prosperous on the rising tide of wealth."

The number of billionaires in the list is 77, with individuals needing to have at least 72 million pounds to make the top 1,000 individuals.

After Mittal and Usmanov, third on the list is Chelsea owner and oil baron Roman Abramovich, with a net worth of 9.5 billion pounds. The richest woman is former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli, with 7.4 billion pounds, while the Duke of Westminster's property portfolio is worth 7.3 billion pounds.

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling's worth has risen by 30 million pounds in the last year to 560 million pounds, putting her 148th on the rich list.

The top ten richest individuals in Britain are (in pounds): 1 - Lakshmi Mittal and family - 12.7 billion. 2 - Alisher Usmanov - 12.3 billion. 3 - Roman Abramovich - 9.5 billion. 4 - Sri and Gopi Hinduja - 8.6 billion. 5 - Leonard Blavatnik - 7.58 billion. 6 - Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli - 74 billion. 7 - The Duke of Westminster - 7.35 billion 8 - David and Simon Reuben - 7.08 billion. 9 - John Fredriksen and family - 6.6 billion. 10 - Galen and George Weston and family - 5.9 billion.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Mangalore college bans burqa in class

Mangalore: In a decision that may trigger a controversy, a local college has banned girl students from wearing burqa in classes and while writing exams, but allowed them to wear the outfit in its campus.

The management of St Aloysius College, an autonomous educational institution, has decided to ban burqa from this academic year.

"The wearing of burqa is banned only while attending classes and writing exams. However, students can wear it in the campus," principal Fr Walter Andrade told PTI.

Defending the decision, he said, "We want to maintain the sanctity of exams and also discipline in classrooms."

An official of the college, however, refused to comment on whether the ban clause has been inserted in the prospectus to be given to students at the time of seeking admission.

"There is a difference between a scarf and burqa," the official said.

Govt issues notification making Sachin Rajya Sabha member

The Home Ministry on Friday issued a notification formally nominating master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga as members of Rajya Sabha.

The notification was issued a day after President Pratibha Patil gave her approval to the government's proposal to make them members of the Upper House.

The names of Tendulkar, Rekha, and Aga were sent by the Prime Minister to the Home Ministry which forwarded them to the President for her approval.

Article 80 of the Constitution provides for nomination of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters such as literature, science, art and social service.

Indore | 63 pc rise in crorepatis in one year

Indore: Indore witnessed a sharp rise in the number of crorepatis (those with annual income of Rs 1 crore or more) in the just concluded fiscal -- from 260 to 423, amounting to a 63 per cent growth.

These millionaires were not from the political class, because most ministers file returns in the state capital Bhopal, said Chief Income Tax Commissioner, Indore Division, Surendra Mishra.

Many of these persons were real estate businessmen, he said. The number grew last fiscal because more people were filing returns now, he said.

Though the number of surveys (raids) carried out by the IT sleuths here declined from 249 in 2010-11 to 95 in 2011-12, the unaccounted income admitted by tax evaders was Rs 323.85 crore last fiscal, against Rs 222 cr in 2010-11, Mishra said.

Assessees having income above Rs 10 lakh also recorded a growth of 42 per cent (8,752 in FY 2011-12 as against 6,158 in FY 2010-11).

Corporate Tax collection stood at Rs 983 cr in 2011-12 against the target of Rs 1,270 cr, Mishra said, adding that this was because many big corporates shifted offices to Mumbai.

Total direct tax collection of Indore division in last FY was Rs 2,033 cr against the target of Rs 1,600 cr.

Man arrested after 3-hour siege in central London

London: Police say they've arrested the suspect at the centre of a three-hour siege which shut down part a busy part of central London. The capital's Metropolitan Police say the 49-year-old man is now in police custody and that searches of the building are ongoing.

One eyewitness claimed on Friday that the man burst into the office of a training company saying he was ready to blow himself up.

Earlier, heavily armed, masked police surrounded a site in central London on Friday after a woman reported that a mentally unstable man had walked into her office threatening to blow himself up.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that police were called to Tottenham Court Road, a busy central London avenue, just before noon and have sent a negotiator to the site. Office supplies, including computer monitors, were being thrown from the building's fifth-floor window.

The area was cordoned off, nearby buildings were evacuated and a police sniper was stationed on a rooftop near the building.

"It's unclear if other people (are) in the building," police said in a statement, adding they aren't treating the incident as terror-related.

The Huffington Post, whose offices are just off Tottenham Court Road, said its building was among those evacuated. It quoted one witness as saying that a man had walked into her office "strapped up in gasoline cylinders."

"Basically he threatened to blow up the office," Abby Baafi, 27, told the website. "He said he doesn't care about his life, he doesn't care about anything, he's going to blow up everybody."

Construction worker Martynas Vristiuk, 26, said he was out smoking a cigarette when a window above him was shattered and someone began throwing computer monitors into the street only 3 meters (yards) from where he was standing.

"He threw 10 computers," Vristiuk told The Associated Press, adding that one was tossed onto a police car.

Fellow worker Dennis Gorsanenko, 23, said he was at a construction site adjacent the building in question when a police officer ordered everyone out. "He said: 'There's a guy with a bomb on his belt.'"

Baafi, whom The Huffington Post identified as an employee of the training company Advantage, said she recognized the man as a former customer.

"He's not quite stable, not mentally stable," she said.

A phone message left with Advantage was not immediately returned.

Inside the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Maruti's first foray into the MPV segment, the Ertiga has been launched in India at a price of Rs 5.89 lakh for the base petrol variant, ex-Delhi.

The Ertiga is being offered in six variants – three with a petrol engine and three with a diesel and will square off against the Innova and Xylo. It will be available in seven colours.

The Ertiga uses familiar parts and bits from the Maruti kitty. Its swept back headlamps project a family look which has been inspired from the Swift while the bonnet and grille are taken from the Ritz.

The interiors feature three rows of seating with dual tone upholstery with the steering wheel having audio controls on it.

The middle and third row of passengers have air vents embedded in the roof liner above the front row. With a turning radius of 5.2m and being lesser in length and width than its competitors, the Ertiga has nimble dynamics.

Here's a look inside the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga MUV:

Samsung overtakes Nokia as world's top handset maker

Seoul: South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co overtook Nokia as the world's top handset maker for the first time in the first quarter, ending the Finnish firm's 14-year reign, a report by research firm Strategy Analytics showed on Friday.

Samsung sold 93.5 million handsets in the first quarter, taking 25.4 percent of the global mobile phone market, Strategy Analytics said.

Nokia sold 82.7 million phones and had 22.5 per cent of the market, followed by Apple's 9.5 per cent.

eBay shifts gears in India as rivals step up

EBay Inc is stepping up investment in India to boost its share of a market dominated by domestic players such as Flipkart and fend off encroachment from arch-rival

The e-commerce company dipped a toe into the Indian market seven years ago and stuck with a cautious approach, even as local upstarts made splashy grabs for business in a tiny but growing market.

"The talks of us having missed the bus are exaggerated," Muralikrishnan B, country manager for Silicon Valley-based eBay told Reuters in an interview in Mumbai.

"Most of the new business models are just waiting to implode. We have chosen the cautious route, unlike a lot of Indian businesses who are blindly investing money without having an eye on sustainability or profitability," he said.

The company hopes to bring its online payments business PayPal into India soon, which would help draw more online shoppers in a country where most online retail merchandise is sold on a cash-on-delivery basis.

EBay India, which started in 2005, clocks six transactions per minute, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. By comparison, fast-growing Flipkart, founded by two former Amazon employees in 2007, sells 20 items per minute.

Muralikrishnan, 36, joined eBay shortly after its entry into India.

He does not believe eBay has ceded an early mover advantage.

"We waited for the right moment because we didn't want to get caught up in the clutter. We were sure a lot of this new money will dry up and that has already started to happen."

Amazon looms

India's $10 billion e-commerce market, dominated by online travel portals led by and, is seeing a flurry of promotional activity from startups that sell everything from electronics to clothes, shoes and fragrances.

Besides Flipkart, aggressive local players include HomeShop18, OLX, Quickr and Snapdeal.
Online shopping is still in its infancy, but it has struck a chord with time-constrained middle class shoppers in India, where rising incomes, aspirations to own brands, and an underdeveloped brick-and-mortar retail network are pushing many to shop from their homes.

Consulting firm Technopak expects the market to hit $70 billion by 2020.

EBay, which started in India selling flowers and chocolates as gift items to love-struck couples, now sells a variety of products including phones, mountain climbing gear and collectible stamps, either via auction or at fixed prices.

Muralikrishnan, who helped Sify Technologies set up shop in India before joining eBay, acknowledges there are worthy competitors. Its much-larger global rival, Amazon, recently entered India through the acquisition of a local price comparison platform called and is expected to launch an international online store.

"At some point of time Amazon will enter India and they are a credible threat to us," he said.

EBay plans to invest millions of dollars in advertising in coming years, although Muralikrishnan did not give specifics.

It is also investing in strengthening its supply chain and distribution by tying up with courier services, and it hopes that PayPal will clear regulatory hurdles at the Reserve Bank of India soon.

"PayPal should enter India soon and then we will have a lot more people making payments online because that's a globally trusted name," Muralikrishnan said.

Should you buy the New iPad?

I have grown fond of my iPad 2 during the past nine months. So, I was curious if I would like my tablet computer any less once I saw Apple's new and improved iPad.

The verdict: I won't be abandoning my iPad 2 for its sexier successor anytime soon.

Although Apple Inc.'s latest temptress may turn some heads, the new iPad isn't radically different from last year's model.

If you don't already own a tablet computer, and want one, then the new iPad will be tough to resist - if you can afford it. The new iPad's alluring screen quality provides the main attraction. A higher-resolution screen called "Retina Display" makes everything - from vacation pictures to the text on a website - look crisper. By Apple's calculations, the new iPad offers four times the resolution of its predecessor.

For that reason, you're more likely to buy the new iPad if you are a shutterbug, a video game fanatic or someone who enjoys watching movies on a smaller but luscious screen.

Watching a few minutes of the movie Hugo proved to be even more lustrous on the new iPad than it did on my 52-inch flat-panel TV at home. Apple says this should be a routine experience, given that the new iPad can accommodate about 1 million more pixels than even the best HDTVs currently on the market.

Video games look even more realistic, thanks in part to the quad-core graphics chips in the new iPad.

On the down side, an old video on YouTube looked even grainer on the iPad's higher-resolution screen. It reminded me a little of what happens when I mistakenly flip to a standard television channel on my HDTV.

While the imagery can be quite mesmerizing, I am not convinced it's a compelling enough reason for most people to replace one iPad for another.

When I just flipped through some photos of some recent trips to Kauai and Pittsburgh that I have stored on my iPad 2, I wasn't wishing I could see what the pictures would look like on a new iPad. I also watched a few minutes of Lost In Translation on my iPad 2 without wondering what Scarlett Johansson would look like if I were watching the same movie on the new iPad.

Bottom line: None of the content you have on an iPad 2 will suddenly look fuzzier even after you've seen something on the new iPad. More importantly, other common iPad activities such as Web surfing, checking email and jumping on to Facebook or Twitter, seem to work the same on either the new or old model.

The new iPad includes one intriguing feature that I wish I could have tried. There's a new microphone icon on the iPad's virtual keyboard that can be pressed to dictate emails or other notes on the device. Just say a few sentences and the new iPad is supposed to automatically type up everything you said. Unfortunately, the room where Apple allowed reporters to experiment with the new iPad on Wednesday was too loud for the dictation feature to work effectively.

It seems to me, though, that even the new dictation tool might leave some people pining for something more. Just consider how much more appealing the new iPad would be if Apple had added Siri, the automated personal assistant that has become one of the most popular features on the latest iPhone.

La Liga | Pep Guardiola quits as Barcelona coach

Barcelona: President of FC Barcelona Sandro Rossell on Friday confirmed that Pep Guardiola will step down as Barcelona manager at the end of the season. Guardiola's departure after winning 13 trophies as coach, including three La Liga and two Champions Leagues titles, will sadden many beyond the club and its supporters.

He might be able to lift his fourteenth trophy this month in the shape of the Copa del Rey. Puyol, Xavi, Valdes, Pique, Cesc, Pedro and others were in the audience when the announcement was made. Barcelona have also confirmed that Tito Vilanova will become the new head coach. He was previously Guardiola's assistant.

Sandro Rossell, said: "Pep Guardiola will not continue after the end of this season at Barcelona. The maturity of this decision and how we announce this decision has to be the basis of the future of the club. Thank you very much for everything you have added to the club.

Thank you for having perfected one of the styles well-renowned in world football. Our style will never ever be questioned and we will continue this style.

"He has done it in a very valid way following the values of Barcelona, those that define the club. Thank you for all the work and your love. The things he has done will be eternal for the best coach in the history of the club."

Guardiola's decision ends a difficult week for the team that saw it exit the Champions League semi-finals to Chelsea following a loss to Real Madrid which will likely cost it a fourth straight Spanish title.

"I'm very sorry for all of the uncertainty I created over this time over my future, maybe that was an error of mine," Guardiola said. "I didn't mean to create this kind of mood."

"We leave too many things together, too many strong things together, to actually run the risk that this goes wrong. I know where I am going, I know it's the best possible place, it's a privileged place, but it's my time to go. "I am satisfied beyond the results about the way how we have done them together. I want to thank especially to my players who have been responsible for everything here and it's been a great privilege to train them."

"Those who are here today and have been in the last 4 years, I have tried to do my job with a lot of passion but I want to thank the players. "It's been a million more games since they made it a reality. Day by day they made it possible and that's such a huge privilege," he added.

"I'm going to recover myself. A friend of mine called me five years ago about being the coach of the B-team and I started jumping like a little kid but time moves on, then I had a chance to take the first-team. That chance to take the A-team was unbelievable and I need to recover that, that feeling. Time has taken its toll. It arrives one day where I just don't feel the same, where I don't feel like the coach of Barcelona should feel."

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Apple's new iPad goes on sale in India

Apple on Friday has introduced its range of new iPad tablets in the Indian market. The prices start at Rs 30,500 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi only model.

The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white for Rs 30,500 for the 16GB model, Rs 36,500 for the 32GB model and Rs 42,500 for the 64GB model.

The iPad Wi-Fi + 4G models will be available for Rs 38,900 for the 16GB model, Rs 44,900 for the 32GB model and Rs 50,900 for the 64GB model.

Apple has also announced a price drop for the iPad 2, which is now available at a price starting Rs 24,500 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model and Rs 32,900 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.,
The new iPad features a new Retina display with 2048x1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), Apple's new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing photos and 1080p HD video. The new iPad is claimed to deliver the all-day 10 hour battery life.

With 44 per cent increased colour saturation, the new iPad displays colours that are believed to be richer and, deeper.

With iOS 5.1, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including a redesigned Camera app with video stabilisation technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot.

The new iPad also supports dictation, another way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text.

Apple's latest tablet has also been making news for the wrong reasons. There have been reports that the new iPad throws off a lot more heat than the previous version also that the battery it took much longer to charge. Apple had to offer Australian buyers of its new iPada refund after the nation's consumer watchdog accused it of misleading advertising over one key aspect of the product. The third-generation iPad cannot connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia due to technical incompatibility.

And, beginning on Friday, April 27, the new iPad will be available in Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand.

Datawind launches UbiSlate 7C and 7+ tablets; prices start at Rs 2999

Datawind, the company that made headlines with the Aakash tablet, has now announced the launch of two new 7-inch low-cost tablets - the Ubislate 7+ and Ubislate 7c with prices starting at Rs 2999 for the 7+. The 7c model will cost Rs 3,999.

Both the tablets come with similar specifications, only that the UbiSlate 7C comes with 4GB of internal flash memory compared to 2GB in the UbiSlate 7+, and the 7c has a capacitive touchscreen while the 7+ has a resistive screen.

Both the 7-inch tablets are powered by Cortex A8 800 Mhz processor, 256MB RAM and have an 800x480 pixel touchscreen. Datawind claims that the 3200 mAh battery will deliver upto 180 minutes of usage. The tablets run on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

The tablets have microUSB slots for memory expansion and also include an USB port, that can also be used for optional 3G USB modems.

For customers who have pre-booked the UbiSlate 7+ from the Datawind website, the shipments have already started, said the company and will continue for the next few months before retail availability. The UbiSlate 7C will be available from end of May.

Both the Datawind UbiSlate 7+ and the UbiSlate 7C tablets support WiFi and GPRS (SIM and phone functionality).

LACS launches two new tablets - Tamarind B7 and T10

Lakshmi Access Communications Systems Private Limited (LACS), a part of Bengaluru based Devraj Group of companies, has launched two new tablets - the Tamarind B7 and T10 - in the market, which are priced at Rs 11,499 and Rs 20,499, respectively.

The Magnum Tamarind B7 is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor. It features 512MB RAM, a 7-inch capacitive touch-screen, HDMI and USB ports. Its memory is expandable up to 32GB.

On the other hand, the Tamarind T10 has a 10-inch capacitive screen, 1.2 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, HDMI, USB ports and expandable memory of up to 32GB. Both the tablets run Android 2.3 operating system.

"With the introduction of the new Model Magnum Tamarind B7 and T10, we intend to cater the best technology to the masses at affordable prices with EMI options available on credit card and upgrade warranty," said the company.

Besides, the company has also reduced the prices of its entire range of tablets by up to 36 per cent.

Microsoft voted 'most attractive employer' in India

Mumbai: Microsoft India on Thursday bagged the Randstad Award 2012 for the 'most attractive employer' in the country for the second consecutive year followed by Oracle India and Tata Consultancy Services. The Randstad Award 2012 was also given to Volkswagen India and Nokia India as special recognition in the auto and consumer durables industry sector, respectively.

The award, instituted globally by leading HR services provider Randstad, aims to encourage best practices and to identify the best 'employer brand' in the country.

Global research agency ICMA International surveyed 8,500 respondents from over 150 big companies in the country to find the most attractive employer.

"With more and more global companies entering India, we see a healthy competition not only in establishing brands but also in attracting the best skills to work for them," Randstad India Managing Director and CEO E Balaji said at the award function.

The findings clearly suggest that the uncertainty in the market still has an impact on the industry, due to which, financially healthy companies, long-term job security and competitive salary seem to be the top priority factors for the Indian workforce while choosing an employer, he added.

Osama's family deported from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia

Islamabad: The family of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, killed almost a year ago by American special forces in a military town in northwest Pakistan, left Pakistan for Saudi Arabia early on Friday morning, the family lawyer told Reuters.

The move ends months of speculation about the fate of the three widows and 11 children, who were detained by Pakistani security forces after the May 2 raid.

"Yes, they're being deported to Saudi Arabia," said Aamir Khalil, the family lawyer. "It is a special flight."

The jet took off at around 1:30 a.m. (2030 GMT) for Saudi Arabia, according to local TV channels. Its destination in the kingdom was not known.

At the house in Islamabad where the family were being held, a white minivan pulled up to take them to the airport. The women refused to enter the van with a crush of media around it, so officials covered its windows with plastic sheets.

The Ministry of the Interior, which was responsible for the family, issued a statement saying it had "passed orders for the deportation of 14 members of OBL family in pursuance of the Court orders".

"The family was kept safe and sound in a guest house ... They have been deported to the country of their choice, Saudi Arabia, today," it added.

Earlier this month, a court sentenced the women to 45 days in prison for entering Pakistan illegally. It ordered their deportation after the end of the prison term, which began on March 3 when they were formally arrested.

Once outside Pakistan, the family could reveal details about how the world's most wanted man was able to hide in Pakistan for years, possibly assisted by elements of its powerful military and spy agency.

Any revelations about ties to bin Laden could embarrass Pakistan and anger Washington, which had been hunting bin Laden since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Pakistani officials describe bin Laden's long presence in the hill-town of Abbottabad as a security lapse and reject suggestions that members of the military and intelligence service were complicit in hiding him there.

Congress proposes Sachin Tendulkar's name for Rajya Sabha

The Congress has recommended cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's name for the Rajya Sabha and is now waiting for him to respond to the same, according to sources. However, an official announcement is awaited. If Tendulkar accepts the nomination, he would be the first active sportsman and cricketer to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

Sources say the Home Ministry has recommended four names including those of Tendulkar and Bollywood actress Rekha for the Rajya Sabha. There is no word from the government on other two names. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had written a letter to the Home Ministry on the issue.

Sources say that the Congress has offered to nominate Tendulkar under the President's quota.

The 39-year-old master blaster who has brought many a laurel to the country through his exploits in the game, and Rekha, known for her brilliant and emotional portrayals in Hindi cinema in the 80s, will become members of Parliament under a provision of the Constitution that allows the President to nominate 12 members to the Upper House.

Article 80 of the Constitution provides for nomination of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters such as literature, science, art and social service.

Rekha, 57, was one of the top heroines of the 80s in Hindi films and and had won several national awards in her acting career.

Tendulkar's nomination to Rajya Sabha has come as a surprise against the backdrop of a long-standing demand for conferring of Bharat Ratna on him for his contribution to the game. He completed the historic achievement of scoring 100 international centuries in March this year.

Tendulkar along with his wife Anjali met Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence in New Delhi.

Although officially the Congress said that Sonia wanted to meet Tendulkar and personally congratulate him on achieving the historic achievement of scoring 100 international centuries, but sources say the main agenda was his nomination for the Rajya Sabha.

Reacting to the reports of Sachin Tendulkar's proposed nomination, BJP leader Najma Heptulla said, "We are very happy that Tendulkar's name has been proposed for the Rajya Sabha."

"Tendulkar is a great player, we are proud of him. If he is being nominated, surely he would devote some time to Parliament," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

However, the proposal didn't go well with people from the cricket fraternity. Cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle said, "I don't think it is the greatest idea. He doesn't have the experience of governing or doing social work. People are trying to gain mileage out of Tendulkar."

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

FBI to block web in 3,50,000 computers worldwide

London: American agency FBI will block internet services in over 350,000 personal computers across the world - including 80,000 in US and 20,000 in Britain - after they were infected with an invisible and undetectable Trojan computer virus.

The "internet blackout" will take place July 9, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

The computer virus called "DNSChanger" sends internet users to unintended and illegal sites. A report said the virus originally emerged in Estonia.

The virus also blocks infected users from visiting secure sites that could help them rid of the worm.
The FBI detected the infection some time back and had set up temporary servers to keep the infected computers working. But reports said it was costing much.

The temporary servers were created to allow companies to remove the worm from their infected servers. Those affected had 120 days to get rid of the malware.

After FBI warnings, the number of computers infected with the virus plunged, and now most are in the hands of private individuals, not companies.

Citigroup buys Mumbai property for Rs 985 crore

Global banking major Citigroup has struck the biggest property deal in recent years in the country by paying a hefty Rs 985 crore for six floors in the upcoming First International Financial Centre (FIFC) Tower at the coveted Bandra-Kurla Complex to house its headquarters.

Two Citigroup entities - Citibank NA and Citigroup Global Markets - signed the deal to acquire 2,97,000 sq ft space which is six floors of the 12-story FIFC at Bandra Kurla Complex for a total consideration of Rs 985 crore, an official said on Wednesday.

"Citi has signed an agreement to acquire 297,000 sq ft space at the FIFC. This investment represents yet another significant commitment by us to its franchise here," a Citigroup spokesperson said.

The American ledner, which already owns an entire building in the financial district constructed on reclaimed land in central Mumbai, will shift its country headquarters to the new building which is located just a block away from its existing headquarters called the Citigroup Centre.

"The FIFC will house all key businesses of Citi currently spread across Mumbai and other cities across six floors. The FIFC will be the second landmark property for Citi at BKC after the Citigroup Centre," the spokesperson added.

Apart from the country headquarters, Citi will also consolidate all of its front facing business like consumer, corporate and investment banking divisions, markets, global transaction services under one roof in the newly acquired space, while the existing building will be used for administrative and global functions, sources privy to the deal said.

The FIFC is promoted by a clutch of US-based investors but it is unclear as to when will Citi property move in. The investment banking division will be moving in from Nariman Point, while corporate banking, markets and global transaction services will be shifting from the existing building at BKC, they said.

Consumer banking division is currently split between the existing building and two other offices at Chennai and Gurgaon, respectively, they said.

"It makes tremendous economic sense to consolidate all your operations in one location," an official, who did not want to be named, said, when asked about the reason for the move.

Pakistan SC convicts Yousuf Raza Gilani in contempt case, no prison

Islamabad: The Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday convicted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in connection with a contempt case. Though the court has not announced any jail term for Gilani, the decision has come as a big blow to the Pakistan government.

Gilani has been sentenced till the rising of the court. The case was registered against Gilani after his refusal to write to the Swiss government to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Reacting to the judgement, Gilani said that the verdict is not appropriate.

The Pakistan Prime Minister had pleaded that the President enjoys immunity from prosecution while in office.

It was expected that if Gilani was convicted, he could be disqualified from office and could even face a six-month prison term.

The PPP had reportedly named petroleum minister Senator Asim Hussain as a 'stand by' prime minister in the event Gilani lost his job.

A seven-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk had on Tuesday reserved its judgement in the case. The Pakistan premier said that he was satisfied with his counsel Aitzaz Ahsan's input in the proceedings of the case.

The premier had said throughout the proceedings in the apex court that he had done nothing against the government's rules of business.

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