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Sourav Ganguly to join Pune Warriors India

Sourav playing. Cropped picture of original

Image via Wikipedia

After going unsold in the players’ auction, former India captain Sourav Ganguly made a dramatic return to the Indian Premier League by signing up for struggling franchise Pune Warriors as replacement for injured pacer Ashish Nehra.

“We were waiting for Ashish Nehra’s fitness report and ultimately the report came yesterday. I was already in talks with Ganguly and we decided that the amount of experience that Sourav has in cricket will no doubt help the team. So we finalised Ganguly last night,” Pune Warriors Team director Abhijit Sarkar said referring to the finger injury that Nehra has been nursing.

Ganguly, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders for three IPL seasons captaining them in two editions, went unsold in the January players’ auction despite a rather modest base price of $400,000.

The 38-year-old refused a mentor’s role with KKR after that and there had been speculation of a possible comeback through another franchise. The left-handed batman was first sought by Kochi Tuskers Kerala but their application was rejected by the IPL’s Governing Council.

However, he signed on the dotted line for Pune on Monday, giving a major fillip to the side which has lost six matches on the trot after starting promisingly with a couple of back-to-back wins.

Source :- http://cricket.yahoo.com

Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare’s Lokpal Bill Fight Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare’s Lokpal Bill Fight

Over 1,00,000 followers on Facebook; over 7 lakh people express their solidarity through phone lines

Satyagraha finds its way onto new media, after Facebook, Twitter and SMS added teeth to social activist Anna Hazare‘s crusade against corruption. Hazare’s protest involves him fasting until death till the government agrees to table the Lokpal Bill, which puts corrupt politicians to accountability and scrutiny by an independent body. In practically no time, the Facebook page of Hazare’s India Against Corruption movement garnered over 1,00,000 followers.

The campaign for Lokpal Bill spread onto Twitter as well in the form of janlokpal account, in addition to many celebrity accounts taking up cudgels on Hazare’s behalf. Additionally, group SMSes urging people to ping 022-61550789 to express their support for the cause were sent out by anti-corruption campaigners. A whopping 7 lakh missed calls were recorded, which is a good indicator public anger against the scourge.

Hopefully, Facebook and Twitter will prove to be the same catalyst that they turned out in the Egypt protests.

Yahoo India to Launch Search Direct within 2011

Will give predictive search results as you type keywords in the search bar

a chart to describe the search engine market

Image via Wikipedia

Like they say, better late than never.

A good half a year after Google launched interactive prediction based search feedback service Instant, Yahoo India just announced that it will launch its own version of Instant dubbed Search Direct. Don’t hold your breath yet, because the service will not be available till the second half of 2011. Just like Google’s Instant, Yahoo’s Search Direct predicts search results as you type in the keywords into the search bar. The announcement comes a week after Yahoo launched Search Direct in U.S. in the beta stage.

“The new search engine predicts search results as fast as a person types – character by character, and presents those results dynamically, generating a fast, simple search experience that goes beyond mere blue links,” said  Prabhakar Raghavan, chief scientist, senior vice-president and head of Yahoo Labs. Despite competition from Google, Yahoo reaches out to 30 million unique users per month in India, which is about 74 percent of the Indian Internet audience. Loyal Yahoo users therefore finally get one of Google’s most innovative features on the search engine of their choice.

Facebook Kicks Out 20,000 Underage Users Daily

Since these users are the most vulnerable to predators on Facebook and the rest of the Internet

Nearly half of all 12-year-olds in U.S. are using social network sites, despite not meeting the minimum age requirements for sites like Facebook; a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project claims.

The report also indicates that 46 percent of 12-year-olds in U.S. use social networks, and 62 percent of 13-year-olds in the study use social networks, that figure jumps to 82 percent between the ages of 14 to 17.

But that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening; according to a report by the Daily Telegraph, Facebook is kicking out nearly 20,000 underage users per day.

Facebook’s chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson agreed that underage users were taking advantage of the site. This issue is due to the fact that any user can register by simply lying while signing up since most of the big networking sites had have no mechanisms to detect whether the user is telling the truth or not.  “It’s not perfect,” said Thompson.

“There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13 [accessing Facebook],” Thompson said. “Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage.” Now, that’s just a fraction of its 600 million strong user base that Facebook has.

This month, Senator Franken stepped up pressure on the world’s largest network, with support from even more Congressional colleagues focusing on “users between 13 to 17 years of age”.”Facebook’s new privacy policy would endanger the privacy and safety of children as young as 13. Under Facebook’s policy, 13 million users under the age of 18 may be allowed to share their personal information just like adult users,” Franken argued. “These younger users are the most vulnerable to predators on Facebook and the rest of the Internet and it should be impossible for them to inadvertently share their phone numbers and home addresses with anyone.”

Facebook has set up a Facebook Public Policy and Online Safety team that looks to identify false information by users’ false, but verifying a person’s age seems close to impossible. A member of the team tells the News Observer that parent participation is really the key to the problem of underage users on the site. But what if the parents aren’t opposed to their children being on Facebook? Talking about safe Internet practices with kids might be the next best responsible thing to do, along with monitoring your child’s online activity.

But I believe it’s the parents who should own up the responsibility for what their children do on the Internet. I could give many analogies to put my point across, but I believe people are smart enough to understand the seriousness of this issue. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than 50 percent of underage kids from India [who have Internet access] are more active than most adults on Facebook.

How many parents even know that users need to be 13-and above to own a legitimate Facebook account? Will you do something to stop this scenario or just turn a deaf ear to it? Leave us a comment and let us know.

India Seeks Ban on .xxx Domain

Joins Indonesia and the Middle East to protect the moral integrity of its citizens

After half-a-decade worth of approvals and rejections the quest for a separate .xxx domain exclusively for porn finally came to fruition a few days ago. The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has finally given a go ahead to the xxx domain. We had considered the pros and cons of the move in our coverage of the news, and one major concern that emerged was the inevitability of conservative governments like Islamic states in the Middle East and Indonesia imposing a blanket ban on the domain, which would undermine the freedoms that the Internet stands for. Shortly after the news broke out, the Indian government expressed its intention to seek a ban on the pornographic domain; putting it in the company of Indonesia and the Middle East vying to protect the moral integrity of its citizens.

The new .xxx domain evoked a response from the ministry of IT, wherein an official issued the following statement, “India, along with many other countries from the Middle East and Indonesia, opposed the grant of the domain in the first place, and we would proceed to block the whole domain, as it goes against the IT Act and Indian laws.” The Indian laws, which are widely considered to still be clinging to the outdated Victorian roots, ironically do not have any credible deterrent for sexual abuse of children, making India a haven for paedophiles world over, but they have a provision that outlaws adult sexual content.

The distribution of adult content is illegal as per the Indian Penal Code, which validates India’s opposition to the xxx domain. However, viewing pornography isn’t technically a crime. The new domain, however, will make it easier for conservative Islamic states and, ironically the original peddler of adult content, India, to block the porn distribution channels. That will essentially be futile as Indians still have the option of visiting the pornographic websites working from existing .com domains, banning which would be counter-productive if not impossible.

Census 2011 will Use Facebook, Twitter

Pages put up on Facebook , celebrities roped in to create awareness

From February 9, the big brother will come looking for you. Don’t sweat though, as it will be for the 2011 census. This time around, the government fully intends to leverage the reach of social networking media to make the 2011 census a success. It’s altogether a different matter that most Indian homes do not have access to the Internet, but like the official census website says, every “drop of water contributes to the mighty ocean”. The Madhya Pradesh government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) held a day-long workshop on the role of media in Census 2011 to this effect in Bhopal. It was announced at the venue that two pages on census related information has been uploaded on Facebook. The second phase of Census 2011 starts on February 9 across India and concludes on February 28.

Sachin Sinha, director of the directorate for census work talked about the celebrity endorsements – “While the centre’s brand ambassadors are Sachin Tendulkar and actress Priyanka Chopra, lyricist Gulzar and television actress Divyanka Tripathi would be the brand ambassadors for census work in Madhya Pradesh.” Voicing his concerns about the class struggle prevalent here he remarked, “It is a real challenge for us to include everyone – from beggars to the elite class – in the census.” Either that or he meant to underscore the economic disparity of our nation; neither of which makes much sense.

India Working To Develop Operating System Of Its Own

India is all set to create a Operating System of its own to strengthen cyber security.

In a bid to protect the country from cyber attacks the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is working on creating a new Operating system of its own.

V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director-General said the creation of a Operating System will help in preventing cyber crimes and will also strengthen the cyber security of the country.

To be located in the City of Hyderabad and Delhi, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in partnership with software companies will encourage and contribute to the development of the project

The Operating System will also be developed for commercial purposes and will have Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chennai and other universities and Industries will also take part in the project.

Nine scientists To Be Awarded The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar For The Year 2010

Nine scientists including 3 women have laid claim to the Swarup Bhatnagar award for the year 2010.

The annual Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, instituted in 1957 for outstanding contributions in seven disciplines has been announced. The awards which were announced at a function to mark the foundation day of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research will include three female recipients. The award will carry a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, a citation and a plaque which will be given by the Prime Minister later this year.

For Biological Sciences, Dr Sanjeev Galande from National Centre for Cell Science, Pune and Dr Shubha Tole from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai were chosen. In the field of Chemical Sciences, Dr Swapan K Pati from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore and Dr Sandeep Verma, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was selected. Dr G K Ananthasuresh, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Dr Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata has been selected in Engineering Sciences category. Dr Mitali Mukerji, Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (CSIR), Delhi won the award for Medical Sciences. For Physical Sciences, Dr Umesh Vasudeo Waghmare, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore and Dr Kalobaran Maiti, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai will receive the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar 2010 Award.

This year no Award is being given in the area of Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean & Planetary Sciences and Mathematical Sciences.

Now A Site To Cater To Your Textbook Needs

Notemonk displays notes and syllabus from textbooks subscribed by the NCERT.

Prashanth Ellina, a software professional based in Bangalore, has unveiled a new site “Notemonk.com” that offers free downloads of all the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks (Class I to Class XII)

Notemonk not only offers notes and syllabus for school students, but also enables registered members to ask questions and interact on specific topics. Since each chapter is organized hierarchically, the discussion forums are topic-specific.

According to Prashanth the idea is to enable a Class 12 student in West Bengal to answers queries in Physics from a Class 10 student in Orissa. Some students have also uploaded notes that they have taken down from their classes.

Bengaluru Hosts Space Exhibition

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have put together a four day space exhibit Bengaluru Space Expo 2010 which starts from today.

The second edition of the international space exhibition andconference began in India’s Tech hub Bangalore today. Jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Indian Space Research Organization Bengaluru Space Expo 2010 will be held for four days starting today.

To be held at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre. The expo will showcase the latest technological advances, equipments, software solutions, related products and technical services in the space and related sectors. In addition to that a concurrent three-day international conference on “World Space-Biz” will also be held to deliberate on topics such as commercialization of space, remote sensing and navigation, where speakers from global space agencies and industry would put forth their views and discuss solutions and agendas for future.

The expo will attract delegations from dozen countries, including Britain, Denmark, France, Indonesia Israel, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the US. Space Companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Larsen & Toubro, EADS Astrium, Glonass-Russia,Dish TV, Godrej & Boyce, BrahMos, MEASAT, SES World Skies, Asia Broadcast Satellite and Devas Media will also feature during the four day space Expo.

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