Thursday, January 31, 2008


Did you know that the flight number of the plane that had hit WORLD TRADE CENTER ON 9/11?
IT was Q33N ....
NOW Open your Word/Notepad in YOUR computer and type the flight number i.e Q33N
Increase the Font Size to 72,
Change the Font to "WINGDINGS".
U will be amazed by the findingstry it its really good.......

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


There's never been a laptop as skinny as the new MacBook Air from Apple. At its thinnest, it measures just about four millimetres.
'When you first see MacBook Air, it's hard to believe it's a high-performance notebook with a full-size keyboard and display,' gushed Apple CEO Steve Jobs while presenting the new laptop at the keynote speech of the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. 'But it is.'
The excitement at the Moscone Centre was also sparked in typically reserved observers like Michael Gartenberg, research director at the US market research firm Jupiter Research: 'This will become the object of lust for all tech fans this year,' Gartenberg said.
In advance of the MacWorld Expo, the chatter on many websites was focused on a potential combination of the iPhone and a normal laptop - more or less a retooling of the 'Newton' PDA concept that Apple phased out 10 years ago. The MacBook Air is instead a full-value laptop with a robust aluminium casing with a 13-inch display and a full sized keyboard.
During his presentation, Steve Jobs compared the MacBook Air, which costs about $1,700, with the Vaio TZ series from Sony.
'The thinnest part of the Vaio is the thickest part of the MacBook Air,' the Apple CEO told the cheering crowd. What he didn't mention in his comparison is that unlike the MacBook Air, the Sony laptops come with a DVD burner, a modem, and an integrated UMTS module.
With an Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1.6 or 1.8 gigahertz (GHz) of processing power, Apple has certainly sent its new laptop out into the world with a significantly stronger CPU than the Japanese devices against which it is competing.
The standard model contains a 1.8 inch hard drive offering 80 gigabytes (GB) of storage space. Users willing to hand out another $900 can upgrade to a 64 GB Flash hard drive. Flash memory works more quickly than a hard drive and consumes less power. The battery in the MacBook Air lasts five hours when working with a traditional hard drive.
The second major MacWorld Expo announcement centred on a second attempt at the 'digital home' market, as well as launching an online video rental service. To facilitate all of this entertainment, Apple introduced an improved version of its 'Apple TV' TV set-top box. It will enable HD video films to be rented from the Internet without having to connect with a computer.
Steve Jobs gained the support of all significant Hollywood studios for the 'iTunes Video Rentals' platform. In the US, DVD-quality films will cost $3 or $4 for a rental limited to 30 days. High definition (HD) films will cost $1 extra.
'This is going to turn the video industry inside out the same way the iTunes store changed the music industry,' says Jupiter analyst Michael Gartenberg. Ross Rubin from the market research institute NPD disagrees, seeing Sony and Microsoft as enjoying the better start position: 'Both of those Apple competitors have already placed their Trojan Horses in the living room through the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360.' Each game console is capable of downloading HD content online.
It's unclear how the Apple movie rental model will work outside the US. Jobs indicated plans to launch the service in Europe 'later this year'.


Twenty-nine India-based companies have been listed among the best 100 IT service providers in a new survey carried out with a view to assist business heads of major outsourcers identify reliable, innovative and tech savvy partners.
The toppers from each of the 10 categories that were identified included four companies each from India and the US and one company each from China and Mexico, said the survey by CyberMedia and Global Services Magazine.
They included India's Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Technologies, Genpact, WNS Global Services, America's EDS, Sitel, EPAM Systems and Computer Sciences Corporation, Mexico's Softtek and China's Neusoft, a release by Global Services Magazine said.
"The presence of four companies each from China and Malaysia, and three each from Russia and Brazil serves as a gentle reminder that these countries are emerging as viable outsourcing destinations," it said.
The year 2007 reported a total of 436 M&A deals in the services industry. Nearly one-third of the survey respondents said that they merged with or acquired one or more providers. Of these, 11 per cent confirmed acquisition of a consulting firm.
The Indian service providers who derive between two-third to three-fourth of their revenues from the US are back to the drawing board to consider non-US avenues. While many IT-services companies were looking towards Europe and Japan as potential markets, others have strengthened plans for servicing the maturing domestic Indian market, it said.
India has emerged as the hub for global delivery with 57 per cent of the employees engaged in delivery centers located in India, followed by 18 per cent in the US.
Among the top ten winners would be the USD 4.3 billion software provider Tata Consultancy Services leading the list of best performing IT services companies.
The best performing infrastructure service provider has gone to HCL Technologies, one of the earliest providers of Remote Infrastructure Management.
The best performing BPO provider has sone to Genpact, which boasts over 30 delivery centers in the US, Mexico, India, China, Philippines, Romania and Hungary.
"With nearly one fourth of WNS Global Services' 17,000-employees working with FAO customers, it is not surprising to see this company top the best performing FAO providers list," the statement notes.
The title for the best performing Human Resources Outsourcing company goes to EDS, which was also listed among the top 10 best performing infrastructure service providers. Infosys Tech was listed among the top 10 in five categories.
The other companies to feature among the top firms across multiple categories include India's HCL Technologies with four and America's 24/7 Customer and Neoris, India's Genpact, EXL Services, Tata Consultancy Services and WNS Global Services and Philippines' SPi Technologies listed among top 10 in three categories.
Global Services has pointed out that the top 100 list and the ranks in the 10 categories are based on a scientific methodology


Gandhi was killed by me. Yes, no matter what happens, I will never make ‘that’ mistake again, to think that Gandhi was killed by ‘them’. Never will I see his assassination as an aberration, a freak incident and consign it to the dustbin overflowing with bloody regrets. Everybody tells me that the carnage in Gujarat was an aberration, a freak incident, a repeat of Gandhi’s murder? ‘They’ who killed Gandhi are no longer ‘they’; ‘they’ are my relatives, fondest uncles, closest friends, and friendliest canteenwallah. I see his murderers multiplying fast, yes, faster than even the Muslims! Is this impossible? Well, I closely saw his murderers in Ahmedabad, sitting on benign lotuses, distributing free trishuls to plant on his body. Oh, do you think I am dreaming? I saw his bruised ideals in innocent children with stab wounds and burnt eyes. Yes, these children can’t dream anymore. Those who have killed Gandhi have also taken the space in which my friends and I can dream of a free India. I am not brave enough to point out to you who killed Gandhi, but I’ll teach you to recognise his murderers. They are never alone. They hunt in packs. Ask Razir Bhai in Vatva (Ahmedabad) and he’ll tell you that they come in khaki uniform or even in holy saffron robes. But Muneera Bhen says that they come from a Lotus. ‘A strange mythological origin’, you might ask yourself, but you see, they stand for the Lotus, emblematic in Modern India of a virulently poisonous notion of India in which dissent is treason and belonging to any religion other than Hinduism is to be a potential traitor. And, you see the strange thing about recognising his murderers is that he could be your sweet, innocent doodhwala, who can one day shove cricket balls into a woman’s genitals in a fit of imagined dishonour, at a moment of rupture in India’s thousand year long civilization, and then return to lead the life of an ordinary Indian. Gandhi’s legacy was killed and is being repeatedly stabbed everyday, by me, by you and ‘them’ of course. When women of free India are paraded naked by the Panchayat in a village, India pays its homage to the Panchayati Raj system, Gandhi’s dream of Independent India. Progress and development are hallowed words, but today, more than anything, an anti-Pakistan feeling bonds me with you, and even with ‘them’. I feel an extraordinary pleasure when India defeats Pakistan, sitting in front of their televisions, millions of Indians hold kalashnikovs in place of remotes. A new boundary is now created between ‘them’ and ‘us’. Now those people who were closest to us have been distanced the furthest. They talk like us, wear clothes like ours, are as poor and struggle to live a dignified life like us. Yet we call the homes of the poorest and most disempowered Indian Muslims mini-Pakistans. That’s what has happened after Gandhi’s murder; losing control over ones’ life and living on the fringes of civilised India gets you automatic citizenship with Pakistan. Those who killed Gandhi looked at him as an impurity in the pure notion of India. Now the number of impurities is increasing. No longer are they only Muslims, but also troublesome tribals of Gujarat, and even Christians engaged in social service in areas where the Lotus is invisible. ‘I’ and ‘you’ have become impurities too; our religion won’t save us, just like it did not save Gandhi. Beware of those who show you the ‘other’, because they are fattening you for the final ‘kill’. Of course, his legacy lives with us. All great peoples’ legacies are like bottled pickle with a little of that special Indian preservative. This preservative consists mostly of nostalgia, a little bit of jingoism and heaps of hypocrisy. I know this from a simple source; those who killed him, now lead huge processions and garland the cremation ground on his death anniversary; I ask myself, perhaps his ‘legacy’ is easier to grapple with. He might have had some seriously uncomfortable truths for our great Indian middle-class. The economics of killing Gandhi is to preach ‘Swadeshi’ to the masses while wearing jet-black ‘Nike’ sneakers and brandishing a complimentary lathi. It is also to shop at ‘Shopper’s Stop’, while our farmers and labourers are denied their share of the global pie of cheaper seeds, tractors, batteries, radios…. Gandhi wanted to prevent cow slaughter but did he advocate the slaughter of Muslims, Christians and Sikhs when cows seem to be too many and too secular a target? Strangely as a part of his ritual assassination, key words like truth and non-violence also seem to have been killed. While a nuclear blast is as if all significant to usher India into a group of elite super-poor superpowers, it is hard to imagine Gandhi even recognising our country anymore. Gandhi had called them ‘Harijans’ and tried to bring them into mainstream India, where their shadows were not impure anymore. Yet, today they remain totally disempowered, except that the terms used to identify them keep changing- Harijans, OBC’s, SC’s, ST’s, Dalits, and Forward-Backward castes. But I don’t see them eating with us, I don’t see them in fancy suits and fancy schools, going to fancy European resorts. I see them lured by sops like reservations for jobs, but actually being used as lumpen elements to set fire to shops, create havoc, slit wombs and throats. To achieve this, a breed of desperate and sullen youth is nurtured in every town of India - in the slums where there is no water, no real houses and certainly no education. But, I am young so I don’t want to end like this; I’ll remind you of the Hindu woman who saved her Muslim friend during the Gujarat riots, and ended up being stabbed to death. Also all those people who stood in crowds, holding placards, shouting, marching against the war in Iraq, them too. Even myself, I live with a dream of communal peace and share it with my friends, relatives, even the canteen guy. In the minds of all these people, Gandhi’s ideas hold sway for they are moving towards a new Free India. Are you still wondering who killed Gandhi?
Moyukh Chatterjee III English

ISI hires Dawood to kill Advani, Modi

Security around senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was reviewed on Tuesday following intelligence inputs that global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim has been asked by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence to assassinate them.
The inputs to central agencies have come from various sources indicating that Dawood had been approached by ISI to carry out the plot, sources said.
Immediately after receiving the inputs, the review of security of Advani, who is a 'Z-plus' protectee was done, and was found the arrangements satisfactory.
The Centre also sent an advisory to Gujarat government for taking necessary steps to beef up the security of Modi who also enjoys Z-plus category security.
The intelligence inputs suggested that Dawood, who has been designated by the US as a global terrorist having links with the Al-Qaeda, had been roped in after several sleeper cells of various terror groups failed to execute the plan.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The racism charges against Harbhajan Singh have been dropped. The ICC has downgraded its offence to Level-2 for using offensive and obscene language towards fellow player.

However he will have to pay 50 per cent of his match fee as a fine. The BCCI immediately reacted to this and said that the one-day tour to Australia will go on as per schedule. The team is gearing up to proceed to Melbourne for their Twenty-20 match against the Aussies.

The three-test match ban on Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also been lifted.


Shaun Tait, the Australian pace bowler, has announced he will take an indefinite break from all levels of cricket due to "physical and emotional exhaustion."
Tait, 24, has suffered recurrent injuries dating back to 2005 and has undergone surgery to his shoulder and elbow. He has also suffered intermittent pain from back and hamstring injuries and says he needs time to "rest and recover."
"A break from professional cricket will hopefully give me a clear mind," Tait said. "My love and enjoyment of the game is struggling due to these issues. This is a very difficult situation for me. It is not an overnight decision but something I've been struggling with for some time.
"If I continue, it will be unfair on my team-mates and support staff of both the Australian and South Australian cricket teams - and most importantly my family and close friends."

Tait's decision has come just three days after Adam Gilchrist, the Australia wicketkeeper, surprisingly announced his retirement from Test cricket. Australia have been hit by a series of retirements in the past 14 months with Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn all departing following last season's Ashes.
"The combination of his injury history and the demands of being an elite professional cricketer has affected his physical, and significantly, his emotional well being," Terry Farquharson, South Australian Cricket Association's medical officer, said. "Shaun feels he needs a rest from cricket and I support this, which will allow him to recover both physically and emotionally."
Tait, known as 'Wild Thing' for his erratic delivery, is one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket and was named in 2007 as the International Cricket Council's emerging player of the year. The South Australian played two tests on the 2005 Ashes tour of England but did not break into the side for another two and a half years after being hampered by shoulder problems.
Tait has had more success with one-day cricket, capturing 33 wickets from 18 appearances, and was a key member of the Australian side that won last year's World Cup in the West Indies. He has struggled to secure a place in the Australian test team since, making just three appearances so far.
On his return from the Caribbean, he underwent elbow surgery and has struggled to gain full fitness, and failed to take a wicket on his comeback to Test cricket in the third Test against India in Perth. Dr Trefor James, Cricket Australia's Chief medical officer, said it was clear that Tait needed a break from cricket at all levels. "We'll be working with Shaun going forward to ensure that whatever assistance he requires is provided to him," James said. "Shaun's personal welfare is our primary concern as well as his return to cricket at an appropriate point."

Monday, January 28, 2008


Controversies, injuries and inconsistent form have threatened to derail Sania Mirza's career time and again but the Indian star continues to rise nevertheless, touching a new high on Monday by becoming Asia's number one woman tennis player.
After her third-round appearance at the Australian Open, Sania gained three spots to rise to the 29th position with 931 points to become Asia's new numero uno player in the latest WTA rankings overtaking Chinese ace Na Li, who dropped to the 32nd position.
Sania, who lost to Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the third round, however, slipped in the doubles rankings, losing five places to drop out of top-20 and be placed 23rd in the latest list.
She had teamed up with Australian Alicia Molik in the Australian Open and the duo had been knocked out in the third round.
Becoming the Asian number one is yet another remarkable achievement for the 21-year-old Hyderabadi, who has been India's lone flag-bearer in women's tennis after a breakthrough season in 2005.


Diabetics, please note -- it's time that you cut down on coffee, otherwise you might never be able to control your blood sugar levels.
A team of international researchers has carried out a study and found that diabetics who drink coffee daily increase their blood sugar levels as well as undermine efforts to bring their condition under control.
"Coffee is such a common drink in our society that we forget that it contains a very powerful drug -- caffeine. Our study suggests that one way to lower blood sugar is to simply quit drinking coffee or any other caffeinated beverages," 'The Daily Telegraph' quoted lead researcher James Lane as saying.
Lane of the Duke University Medical Centre in Durham and his fellow researchers came to the conclusion after they tracked the blood sugar levels of ten patients with diabetes.
All the participants were fitted with a tiny monitor which continuously tracked their glucose levels over a 72-hour period. The team gave them pills containing caffeine equal to around four cups of coffee on one day, and identical capsules containing a placebo on another.
All were free to eat whatever they liked. They found that when the participants consumed caffeine, their average daily sugar levels went up by eight per cent.
Caffeine also exaggerated the rise in glucose after meals, increasing by nine per cent after breakfast, 15 per cent after lunch and 26 per cent after dinner, the researchers found -- the results of which have been published in the 'Diabetes Care' journal.
"If further studies corroborate the results, there would be a case for doctors to instruct patients with diabetes to banish caffeine from their diets altogether," Lane was quoted as saying.

BSNL ties up with US firm SOMA for WiMax

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has chosen the US-based SOMA Networks to deploy the world’s largest mobile WiMax network in India.
The project is on a private- public partnership model wherein SOMA will also invest in providing the technology to BSNL. The revenue will be shared between the two companies.
As per the deal SOMA will roll out mobile WiMax across three States - Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh - to provide wireless broadband coverage to nearly 200 million people over the next 3 years. Prior to this, the largest mobile WiMax project was the one announced by Sprint-Nextel, aimed at providing coverage to 100 million people in the US. This will be the first deployment of mobile WiMax version based on standard 802.16e in India.
Jatinder Ahuja, Managing Director, SOMA Networks India, told Business Line, “Once the service is commercially launched, consumers will be able to get wireless broadband access at a minimum speed of 256 kbps. The advantage of wireless broadband is that it allows subscribers to get access to the Internet wherever they are within a State as long as they carry the modem with them. While initially the service is being launched for PC and laptop owners, SOMA is planning to make it available on mobile handsets by early next year.”

The wireless technology will also allow BSNL to roll out its broadband services faster. However, since WiMax modems are still on the expensive side, subscribers may find it more cost-effective to rent the modem from BSNL. The service is expected to be launched in the third quarter this year. While the tariffs are yet to be decided, Ahuja said that it will be comparable to fixed line DSL-based broadband services which is available for as low as Rs 200 a month at present.
Mobile WiMax is being touted as the technology that will give a big boost to broadband in India. The Government is yet to announce the guidelines for WiMax services.
“This project confirms our view that the potential for WiMAX is mainly in emerging countries where wired infrastructure is poor or even non-existent, and where fixed broadband penetration is consequently very low. In such markets, wireless solutions represent the only economic alternative to deliver broadband services to the mass market. This explains our forecast that 46 per cent of WiMAX users in 2011 will be located in the Asia-Pacific region,” said an analyst’s report from OVUM.


Paying tribute to Adam Gilchrist, who announced his retirement after the third day of fourth and final Test at Adelaide Oval, South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher said nobody in the world cricket can fill the Australian paramounts' place.

Gilchrist on Friday eclipsed his rival Boucher's record of 413 dismissals, when he caught India skipper Anil Kumble on the second day of Adelaide Test. The catch gave Gilchrist his 414th victim.
Boucher congratulated Gilchrist for his astounding contribution in the cricket.
"The night before I had sent him a text message after he went past me on the (Test dismissals) list, saying, 'congratulations on an incredible career, long may it continue,’" Boucher told The Sun-Herald from Cape Town on Saturday night.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


When Maria Sharapova walked on court for the Australian Open final, she kept thinking about the sage advice of another champion.
"Champions take chances, and pressure is a privilege," Billie Jean King had written in a text message that Sharapova saw when she woke up.
"I took mine," fifth-ranked Sharapova said after beating Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 6-3 Saturday for her third Grand Slam title.
Sharapova, who didn't lose a set in seven matches, was clearly determined that nothing would stop her after winning only three games against Serena Williams in last year's final.
"I did the things I needed to do in order to win the match," Sharapova said, making it sound a lot more simple than it was.
Ivanovic, who at 20 is the same age as Sharapova and will rise to No. 2 in the new rankings, was left to find a silver lining.
"I'm still young and I still think I have a lot of Grand Slam finals in front of me," Ivanovic said. "It hurts a bit now, but I'm sure I can learn from it."
Sharapova first met King, winner of 39 singles and doubles Grand Slam titles, at a juniors tournament when she was 13.
"From that point on, she's just always been really supportive," Sharapova said. "She's always one of the first people to text me when either I'm having a tough moment or a great win."


Novak Djokovic secured his career-first Grand Slam title as he rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) defeat of Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Sunday to win the Australian Open.
The victory in nearly three hours marked the second straight appearance in the final of a major for the 20-year-old winner, beaten in New York four months ago by Roger Federer.
A tiring Djokovic lifted the trophy with the loss of only one set during the fortnight, as tournament sensation Tsonga got off to a fast start by winning the first.
Djokovic extended his current win streak to 11 matches after becoming the youngest player to complete a boxed set of four consecutive Grand Slam semi-final appearances.
He is the first Serb man to win a major. Djokovic will remain on his current third ranking behind number one Federer and number two Rafael Nadal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Gilchrist, 36, said he would retire at the conclusion of the fourth and final Test against India at Adelaide Oval.
Gilchrist on Friday became the world record holder for most Test dismissals by a wicketkeeper when he effected his 414th career dismissal to move past South Africa's Mark Boucher.
The West Australian made his Test debut in 1999 and has played 96 Tests in succession, also a record.
Apart from his keeping success, Gilchrist revolutionised the game as an attacking batsman from No.7 and scored 5556 runs at 47.89, with a highest score of 204 not out.
He scored 17 Test centuries.

'Taare Zameen Par' earns Rs 75 cr in 4 weeks

The Aamir Khan-directed 'Taare Zameen Par' has garnered phenomenal box office collections of nearly Rs 75 crore worldwide in just four weeks since its release on December 21...
It is a film that has stirred the conscience of the nation with its strong and effective message of ensuring a ''carefree childhood'' for the tiny tots and ''allowing children to follow their dreams rather than making them hostage to the sky high ambitions and expectations''.
Taare Zameen Par's soul-stirring depiction of the perils of a carefree childhood lost under societal norms of rearing one’s children to be excellent both at academics and in sports has wowed cinegoers the world over, fetching for the film stupendous box office collections while winning laudatory review from film critics at home and abroad.
Riding on its moving portrayal of a dyslexic child Ishaan's turmoil at being dubbed a loser both by parents and teachers, and his struggle to survive in an atmosphere emphasising on perfectionism, along with powerful performance of the film's cast, the Aamir Khan-directed 'Taare Zameen Par' has garnered phenomenal box office collections of nearly Rs 75 crore worldwide in just four weeks since its release on December 21.

According to the box office figure given by the IBOS network, 'Taare Zameen Par' has grossed total earnings of Rs 61.3 crores in India in four weeks since its release.
In US, the film has grossed earnings of 1,204,660 dollars (nearly Rs 5 crores) in its four weeks, while in the UK were 317,036 UK pounds (approximately Rs 2.44 crores). When added to its collections in the UAE and Australia, the total overseas collections came to nearly Rs 13 crore. Though a slow starter, a strong word-of-mouth publicity for the film gave a tremendous boost to its box office collections in the subsequent weeks.
'Taare Zameen Par' has been one of the rare films in the recent past to have tugged at the heartstrings of the masses as well as celebrities from all walks of life, be it Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Shekhar Kapoor, Ravi Chopra or Madhur Bhandarkar, all have been effusive in their praise for the film.
The film recently moved former deputy prime minister L K Advani, who saw it at a special screening in the capital recently, to tears. Besides the praise from critics and the overwhelming response from the average cinegoers, what has further boosted the box office earnings of the movie has been the tax exemption for the film in metros like Delhi and Mumbai.
According to the trade analysts, the tax exemption has certainly given a huge boost to the earnings with entire families going to watch it, many of them repeatedly.
The film is one of the few superhits to release last year, the other being 'Jab We Met', 'Bhool Bhulaiya', 'Partner', 'Chak De India', 'Om Shanti Om' and 'Welcome'.
While the film has crossed the collections of the first three superhits, the overwhelming response has led analysts to say that it could well equal, or even surpass, box office figures of 'Chak De India' and even Farah Khan's 'Om Shanti Om', two of Bollywood's highest grossers last year.
Dipping only slightly from previous weeks in various overseas territories, the film is still going strong in India. The tremendous impact created by the film has led schools in Vadodara to revamp their educational standard. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation-run school board has embarked on a mission to revamp its educational standard, taking inspiration from the movie. Around 1,200 teachers of 115 schools from across the city watched the movie during a special screening recently in a city multiplex.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Grand Master Viswanathan Anand and renowned mountaineer Edmund Hillary have been chosen for Padma Vibhushan among 13 people who were named for the nation's second highest civilian award on the eve of the Republic Day.
Singer Asha Bhosle, Nobel Prize winner and noted environmentalist RK Pachauri, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Delhi Metro Chief E Sreedharan, former bureaucrat PN Dhar, Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, Infosys chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy, steel tycoon LN Mittal and former Chief Justice of India Justice AS Anand are among the 13 other personalities who will get the Padma Vibhushan this year.
Thirty-five Padma Bhushan awards and 71 Padma Shri are being given this year. For the seventh consecutive year, no one has been named for the country's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna. Pranab Mukherjee is the only politician to win a civilian award this year.
Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams, Centre's interlocutor for talks with Naga groups and former Home Secretary K Padmanabhiah, noted commentator Jasdev Singh, DPS RK Puram principal Shyama Chona and ICICI Chief KV Kamath are among those named for Padma Bhushan awards.
Noted French writer Dominique Lapierre, HCL Chief Shiv Nadar, Head of the Citibank Vikram Pandit and former diplomat Chandrashekhar Dasgupta are among the Padma Bhushan awardees.
Prominent names among Padma Shri awardees include Hans Raj Hans, Madhuri Dixit, Manoj Night Shyamalan, PK Narayanan Nambiar, Tom Alter, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Dilip Sardesai, Vinod Dua, Prof Amitabh Mattoo, Baichung Bhutia, Dr Amit Mitra and others.
This is the first time that a civilian award has been conferred on TV journalists in India.
Trade and Industry
In the trade and industry sector, India's biggest takeover tycoon Ratan Tata and the richest Lakshmi Mittal have been named for this year's second top civilian award 'Padma Vibhushan' .
New CEO of crisis-riddled Citigroup, India-born Vikram Pandit is in for a Padma Bhushan award, a list for which was approved by the President. The list of awardees for the year 2008, includes IT doyen NR Narayana Murthy and leading hotelier PRS Oberoi for
felicitation along with Tata and Mittal with Padma Vibhushan.
ICICI Bank CEO KV Kamath, HCL Technologies Chief Shiv Nadar and industrialists Baba Kalyani and Suresh Kumar Neotia are among those named for Padma Bhushan award, the third top civilian honour.


Serbian young gun Novak Djokovic ended defending champion Roger Federer's record run of 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals to power into the Australian Open decider on Friday.
Third-seeded Djokovic confirmed his status as Federer's heir apparent with a tense 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) win in two hours 28 minutes to set up an intriguing final on Sunday against unseeded French sensation Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
It will be the 20-year-old Serb's second consecutive Grand Slam final after losing to Federer in last year's US Open final.
For the Swiss great, it was his first semi-final loss at a Grand Slam since going down to world number two Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open and halted his 19-match unbeaten run at the Australian Open.
"It's amazing, an indescribable feeling to beat the number one player of the world, probably one of the best players this sport has ever had, in straight sets," Djokovic said.
"I'm very, very proud of myself.
"I was feeling in control from the first moment and I tried to keep positive thoughts in my head all the time and not to have so many ups and downs in my game, which I did in our past matches.
"I'm just so amazed at how well I coped with the pressure, in the most important moments I played my best tennis."
Three-time winner and top seed Federer also lost the second of his five Australian Open semi-finals on hardcourt after falling to Marat Safin 9-7 in the fifth set of their epic encounter in 2005.
Defeat ended his bid for now of improving on his Grand Slam titles, remaining two behind Pete Sampras' record of 14.
"He made the more important points today. It was a bit unfortunate for me, but he did play well and served really well when he had to," Federer said.
"There's no doubt I've played better in my life. I've not been really serving like the way I wanted to, maybe in the last few matches."
Djokovic advanced to the final without dropping a set in his six matches and stretched his winning streak on hardcourt to 10 matches.
It was his second win over the Swiss master in seven matches and his first at a Grand Slam.
Last year Djokovic reached the semi-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon and was runner-up to Federer at the US Open where he squandered seven set points in the first two tiebreak sets before losing in straight sets in the final.
Federer broke Djokovic's serve in the seventh game when the Serb's backhand was wide, but he broke back as Federer was serving for the set.
Two volley errors cost the Swiss top seed and the youngster broke Federer a second time to take the opening set in 45 minutes.
Federer came under increasing pressure in the second set and went down a break in the fourth game when Djokovic came up with a super running backhand to pick up a sliced volley for a winner.
Djokovic pumped his chest in triumph on snaring the point and the break.
The Swiss again fell behind two break points in his next service game and Djokovic claimed it with a cracking forehand on the line to lead 5-1.
But Federer broke back with a floating backhand return on his third break point.
Djokovic was put under pressure as he attempted to serve out for the second set and won a tense service game with an ace.
He fought his way out of three break points in his opening service game of the final set and put Federer under renewed pressure with four break points in the third but the Swiss grimly held on.
The third set went into a tiebreaker and despite falling behind a mini-break, the Serb clinched it on his first match point for a career-defining victory.


What a really entertaining sight and powerful message it was.
There was India's twelfth man, Harbhajan Singh, gleefully charging across the WACA outfield, holding aloft the Indian Tricolour.
As it streamed out it became an intrepid unmistakable metaphor signifying that justice had been done. If ever there was a defining, defiant message that trampled the contretemps of the Sydney Test in the Australian dirt, this was it.
Bhajji didn't play in Perth as a matter of selection policy. And for those of who watched the four days of what was another enthralling Test, this flag carrying act was an intellectual statement overriding moments of charged adrenalin the victory created.
It was almost as though reading through a compelling script for the latest Daniel Day-Lewis film. There was the memory of unknown lanky New Delhi teenager Ishant Sharma, who two years ago wasn't even considered good enough to earn selection to the Indian Youth World Cup side, working over Ricky Ponting in such a way that it revived memories of the 2005 Ashes Test series.
Yet the irony of the victory and the Anil Kumble leadership story has been well camouflaged by those selectors who years ago opposed John Wright when he offered his views on Indian captaincy. It was at a meeting handled by selection convenor Kiran More who slapped down Wright's pragmatic approach.
Kiwis are not into the sort of sycophant politics that run Asian sport. Good Kiwis are inclined to be upfront and give forthright opinions that often tread on the toes of the selection/administrative mafia that wheel and deal their way through one muddled hidebound miscalculation after another.
A practical man, Wright in good forthright vernacular, when asked, gave an opinion that Kumble was the ideal candidate at captain. It horrified More and his selection troupe. Their view was that India couldn't be captained by a bowler who wouldn't have the support of the senior players.
Wright realised, he later admitted, how much the selectors had seriously lost touch with the team and the modern game. They weren't prepared to listen to reason, or think beyond their zonal agendas. It was a crazy set up. No wonder he became annoyed at their obtuse thinking.
Sure Sourav Ganguly was a good leader: astute, aggressive and had the habit of getting up the nose of the opposition, especially the Australians. That was enough for More and the others with their short-sighted plan.
Anyway, came the argument, Kumble was no longer part of Indian limited overs planning; India didn't need a split leadership policy. It was all wrong: a divisive formula; look at England, Australia, and South Africa. They had adopted a sensible approach: one captain for both forms of the game.
Why (by 2003) Kumble's ODI career was already living on borrowed time. He had played only three games in the World Cup in South Africa. The short form of the game had become too fast for the humble Karnataka spinner. This being the case, so the selection argument ran, he was fortunate to still be part of the squad to be considered for Tests. This was despite his value as a bowler and deep-thinking strategist.
It was known that when Sachin Tendulkar led India, the first man he would turn to for advice was Kumble; the same for Dada.
Wright's views was that if India were to move forward as a Test side, and blend as a squad, Kumble was the one man who could forge success on his hardened anvil of experience. He was someone who gave a lot of thought to what went on, on and off the field.
When he arrived in India in late 2000, the haphazard way the BCCI ran affairs was not the only concern that bothered Wright. More worrying was the general lack of fitness and fielding abilities.
Concern as well as how fast bowlers, despite the MRF Academy run by Dennis Lillee, didn't really understand the need that late in a day's play, when the new ball was due, they would be needed to bowl a few overs to take a wicket. Already the academy meant India was developing a system where fast bowlers would dominate and spinners play a different, but still attacking role. The emphasis was obvious: fitness meant sharper minds and improved skill levels.
Kumble was quick to understand the value of this philosophy and others bought into it as well. The Karnataka bowler knew, too, how the game changes from tour to tour, season to season.
He had spent time in England and had come to appreciate the intense level at which it has to be played to reach the level Wright felt was right if India were to become a strong side to challenge others.
He didn't get all he wanted, but what he did do was leave a legacy and John Buchanan, quick to spot the thinkers in any side, asked Wright why wasn't Kumble India's captain. The answer lay with the Indian selectors and the policy that infuriated the Kiwi.
Whether any of this behind the scenes verbal fracas reached Dilip Vengsarkar's ears is unknown. As the man who replaced More as the West Zone representative, he will feel some justification at the choice of Indian Test captain. When Rahul Dravid no longer wanted the job he didn't really want in the first place, Kumble was the obvious choice.
Why obvious, is the first question that is going to be asked? Unfortunately Wright's not around to answer such questions.
But he wanted Kumble at the helm post CWC03 to develop the long-term strategy. The pity is that now the rugged, raw-boned Kiwi is smiling in far off New Zealand as it all happens the way he wanted all along.


Aishwarya Rai has reportedly signed the prestigious Shankar film with Rajinikanth, tentatively called Robot.
Our sources insist, the deal was officially signed yesterday afternoon, around 3.30 pm. “The contract was sent to Janak (the Bachchan bungalow in suburban Mumbai) for the Bachchans’ approval, and it was duly signed,” says our source. But that’s not all. Aishwarya Rai is allegedly charging a whoppingRs 1.5 cr for the film, which was initially meant to be a SRK and Deepika Padukone starrer. The amount, needless to say, will be some sort of a landmark, considering no Rajini heroine has ever commanded such an astronomical fee so far. Shriya Saran was allegedly paid Rs 30 lakh for Sivaji.
Meanwhile, there seems to be some controversy around the title of this film.
Well, we all know the deal with tax exemption on movies with Tamil titles. So if you were wondering if Shankar was going to stick with Robot and incur the extra expense, you were wrong. The director has announced that Robot will soon be given a different name – a Tamil name at that. Since the movie is budgeted at Rs 120 crores, it makes absolute sense to cut these extra costs.
Shankar has also mentioned that this movie of his, being a sci-fi adventure, will depend largely on the visual effects, which may require a lot of time. But for Rajini fans, time won’t be an issue because Kuselan will be out later this year to keep them well entertained.
Shooting for Kuselan will start in February and the movie will hit screens post-June. Shooting for Robot will commence in July and the movie will hit the theatres, Well, let’s wait and watch

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SRK to emulate superstar Rajnikanth

The latest news down south is that Rajinikanth is all set to rule the world of animation as well. With “Sultan the warrior” under production, the actor’s daughter who also happens to be the director of this 3D film, has future plans as well.
With sky being the only limit, Soundarya Rajinikanth plans to do a couple of 3D animated films. One of the sequels is planned to be for the numero uno Kamal Haasan himself.
She seems to have a one line idea, but wants to develop into a full fledged script before approaching the legend. Talking to reporters she said, “After animating my dad, it would be really interesting to animate Kamal uncle too. Hope I can develop a concrete script before approaching him", Discussing her ongoing project ‘Sultan the warrior’ this talented youngster said that the movie will have all gimmicks, style and mannerisms very typical of a Rajinikanth film. This would feature the superstar in an all-different image but with his usual lingos and mannerisms.
Asked about her other projects, she further added, “We had recently seen Chak De India and Appa liked the movie a lot. Shah Rukh Khan was wonderful. After Sultan may be I'll try to do an animation involving Shah Rukh and my father together. It will be a bonanza for both their fans if something like that happens. Let’s hope both the Dons have a feast waiting for their fans. And to sign off, do you know what the significance of the rudrakshamala around her neck is? It was gifted by her dad Rajinikanth himself. Hmm. Quite special.


Sachin Tendulkar's stupendous 124 not out orchestrated India's assault as they reached 309-5 at stumps on day one of the fourth Test against Australia. The 'Little Master', who blazed away to his 39th Test century, played the lone hand in the Indian innings as none of the other batsmen could make their starts count.
MS Dhoni was unbeaten on five off 54 balls along with Tendulkar as the duo put up 26 off 76 balls for the sixth wicket.
Tendulkar, in probably his last Test 'Down Under', launched an assault on the Aussie bowlers, smashing them to all corners of the picturesque Adelaide Oval.
The Mumbai batsman showed why he is considered a tour de force in world cricket as he bludgeoned 10 boundaries and three sixes in his belligerent essay. Tendulkar was particularly severe to Brad Hogg who was on the receiving end to some brutal treatment from the Indian mainstay.
Tendulkar along with VVS Laxman (51) shared a vital 126-run stand for the fifth wicket before a snorter from Brett Lee ended Laxman's tenure in the middle. The Hyderabad batsman, in an attempt to take evasive action to a short-pitched delivery, gloved the ball into the air. Gilchrist, who had dropped a sitter when Laxman was on 40 off the same bowler, this time made no mistake.
Lee and Hogg struck for Australia in the post-lunch session claiming Virender Sehwag (63) and Sourav Ganguly (seven). Both batsmen were unlucky to be dismissed. Sehwag departed soon after lunch edging a Lee delivery to the slips but replays showed the Aussie spearhead overstepping by a long margin.
Ganguly was adjudged leg-before to Hogg, a decision which was dubious to say the least as the ball struck the southpaw's front pad outside the line of the off-stump.
Laxman and Tendulkar then began their revival as the the Indian top order failed to capitalise on a batsman-friendly pitch at the Adelaide Oval.

IPL woos indian business tycoons and bollywood superstars

The IPL has found a sure-fire way to pull in the crowds and the moolah. Apart from the cricketers what will attract attention from all quarters? Will most definitely be the people who will be behind these teams? Keep a watch out for the big names bidding to own the IPL teams. The final announcement of which is expected on the 24th of January in Mumbai.
He was there to congratulate the team first hand moments after their Twenty20 World Championship win and now he is about to take a full-time plunge into the game via BCCI's brand new project: The Indian Premier League. King Khan has already paid the guarantee money of 5 million dollars bidding for a franchise.
CNN-IBN has learnt that 11 more bidders have already paid the minimum guarantee money for the eight teams that are up for grabs. Some of the big names include:
- Actor Preity Zinta
- Industrialist brothers Anil and Mukesh Ambani
- Vijay Mallaya
- DLF group
- GMR group wih Deccan chronicle
- India Cements
- Videocon
- Narula's
- Investors in Cricket and the Bankers consortium…
The base price has been set at 50 million US Dollars and it seems Mumbai will be the most favourite because of logistics Sachin Tendulkar. The top bid is expected to go as high as 130 million USD.
"What this tournament will basically do is bridge the gap between the very expensive, very elaborate canvas like the India international matches and the almost nothing like the domestic matches. So it is likely to bridge that gap," said Manish Porwal, COO, PTM.
IPL was created to counter Zee's Indian Cricket League and in that process the BCCI seems to have created a formula for, that come April for six weeks the fans will get to see their superstars in action in a format that they are of World Champions.