Money Matters

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It is ironic that here in India, the left hand is completely out of sync with its right hand and also the rest of its limbs!

The Indian sports ministry has apparently rejected the proposal of holding an F1 race here in India, which would have cost the exchequer around $36.5 million. It contended that the money can be used instead to promote other lesser known Indian sports. If the ministry really does what it believes, then it would be holding a candle for the rest of government machinery here in India to follow.

On the other hand, the UP Government has told the Supreme Court that installing various statues (including that of the Chief Minister’s) in the state at the cost of around $100 million was approved by the state Legislature. This was in response to a petition filed in the court alleging waste of taxpayer’s money.

The state machinery in UP is in dire straits. Encephalitis has been plaguing the state, causing the death toll (mostly children) to approach the 200 mark this year alone. According to a World Bank report, infant mortality rate in UP is the highest in India. Swine flu is slowly spreading its wings. The public sector has failed to create an investment friendly atmosphere. The biggest stumbling block here in UP is deep rooted caste and gender inequalities.

Is the $100 million for building statues justified? How did the State Legislature approve it? If it did, then what was the Central Government doing? The biggest question here would be is why the public of UP not raising its voice?

Blissful ignorance would be the perfect answer. Or would it?


Samsung Reclaim

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It costs less than 50 dollars at Sprint and according to the Samsung, the Reclaim is 80 percent recyclable as it is made from bio-plastic. The packaging is made from 70 percent recyclable material, while the ink used for printing text and images on the package and the phone warranty is made from soy. The charger consumes about 12 times lesser power than the Energy Star standard.

Samsung has positioned it as an eco-friendly messaging phone. 2 dollars will go to the Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program in the U.S.

Image Courtesy: Samsung

Festival of Cycling is back!

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The Tour de France 2009 kicks of its 96th edition, covering roughly 3,500 kilometers over 21 days. But it not an ordinary tour as Lance Armstrong is back riding in his favorite event.

In terms of geographical boundaries, the tour will be passing through six countries this time around: Monaco, France, Spain, Andorra, Switzerland and Italy.

Another novelty is the communication between the riders and their team managers being banned in stages 10 and 13.

I am will be following this year’s event on the web, hoping against hope that it turns out dope free.

Formula One has averted the crisis – for now

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The revolt has been put down, compromises has been made and the show goes on. The eight teams have agreed to participate in the 2010 Formula One World Championship until 2012 and eventually cut costs to the levels of the early 1990’s. In return, the FIA has agreed to impose no further regulations. The 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009 will be in force for 2010 and onwards.

The big cheer is that FIA President Max Mosley will not to stand for re-election in October this year.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

Google To Search Microblogs

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If the rumors are true, Google is getting itself ready to launch a new search service which indexes and ranks content from many microblogging services including the best selling Twitter. Its high time since Google did this and this has been a challenge since these Microblogging services have very high real-time updates.

According to Google Operating System blogpost, Google’s microblogging search service will sort the results by relevancy and it also be integrated with Google’s web search engine: the keywords that are frequently used in recent posts will trigger a MicroBlogsearch universal search group.

There have been many browser addons and other third party services which gave results on the Google search page. But once this search engine is/if released will overtake all these minor search engines, many whom are dedicated only to twitter search (doesn’t make sense coz Twitter itself has a very good dedicated search).

So keep yourself updated on this new search.

Google To Create A Social Wave With Its New Tool


What if you wanted your own platform where you could communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, wikis, forums, mails and more?

What if that was on Google? We all love Google don’t we?

Official Google Blog recently announced a very interesting application. Created by two brothers, Lars and Jens – the much awaited social site “Google Wave” has been given an exclusive preview for developers.

Google Wave is a new model for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year.

Here’s how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use “playback” to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.

You can check out the 90 minutes presentation below:

As always with any new product, Google wants to give developers the API for developing sleek applications for it. Well that’s what they did with Google Gadgets, Maps and many other products. Google Wave API is now available here.

Some key technologies in Google Wave

Real-time collaboration – people on a wave edit rich media at the same time

Natural language tools – contextual suggestions and spelling correction.

Extending Google Wave – Embed waves in other sites or add live social gadgets

One can register for Google Wave by signing up for the release.

Microsoft’s New Play Tool For Search – KUMO

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After so many reports doing the rounds on the utility of the new search engine WolframAlfa, its time for some action from Microsoft too. Next week it would be releasing its brand new search engine, code named Kumo (or something) at the D: All Things Digital conference.

Kara Swisher of AllThingsDigital blogged about this tool way back in March this year. Wonder if this new technology is something to do with Cloud Computing, the new buzz word. If it does then it would be awesome. By the way Kumo means Cloud or Spider in Japanese.

Microsoft search head Satya Nadella had released a few example searches using Kumo. Check one below.

I think, from the screenshot, the most useful thing would be the “Mark as spam” feature. Though it would really take anyone heck of a time to mark results a spam since there are so much of spam results now a days. Wonder how good is the “News Search” feature. It has also tried to incorporate a bit of ads on the result page. Hope the “old ad” strategy works for Microsoft.

The latest buzz doing the rounds on Kumo, is on its name. Yeah, don’t you think Microsoft would like to keep the name of its new product a surprise ? No wonder people have started speculating on some new could-be names like Bing, Hook and Sift.

Whatever be the name, Microsoft is surely trying to put a point across Google and Yahoo that it has not given up yet. Nope NOT yet.

Pics courtesy: AllThingsD

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