Friday, April 27, 2012

LACS cuts Magnum tablet prices by 36%

Lakshmi Access Communications Systems (LACS) has slashed prices of its tablet PCs by 36 per cent, eyeing over 25 per cent growth in sales amid growing competition.

"We have reduced the prices of our entire range of products by 36 per cent. With the price cut, we expect to increase sales by over 25 per cent," company's National Sales Head Vikas Anand told reporters here.

The company, which forayed into the tablet market about six months back, sells tablet PCs under 'Magnum' brand and has sold about 6,000 tablets in India till now.

Meanwhile, the company launched two new variants of its 'Magnum' range of tablets -- Tamarind B7 (with seven inch screen) and T10 (with ten inch screen). The B7 is priced at Rs 11,499 and the T10 at 20,499.

Both the devices run on Android 2.3 operating system and are powered by 1.2 Ghz processor.

LACS, which has around 120 experience stores across the country, has set a target of opening 10,000 such stores in the next 24 months.

Experience stores showcase the entire range of company's products and "consumers can go and experience live products which will help them in their buying decision," he added.

The company would soon also be launching its range of accessories such as wireless keyboard and wireless mouse.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Daniel Craig reveals reason to play 'superspy'

Few men haven't dreamed of being James Bond, even if for one day. A vintage Aston Martin that exudes luxury, slick gadgets ranging from a poison pen to a laser-edged hat, and just the right amount of charm to get their pick of the most gorgeous women; what's not to want? So it's surprising that none of it appeals most to Daniel Craig, who's been Bond since 2006.

"I get a kick out of doing the films, but the best part is the excitement in working with such an incredible cast and crew. I am also aware that the chance to make such movies is a rarity," says Craig, who will be seen in Skyfall - the 23rd Bond film, and his third - this year.

Much has been said about Skyfall, but there is little we actually know about it. In true Bond fashion, the crew seems to be sworn to secrecy. A plot synopsis only reveals that Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. Any attempt to coax more out of Craig is in vain, "M is a stripper in Morocco!" he says cheekily.

Even the title is shrouded in mystery. "It's a Flemingian title with different meanings, we'll see what it means when the film comes out," says producer Barbara Broccoli. What they do reveal, is that there'll be a lot of Craig himself, as he dons tiny swimming trunks once again. "Any opportunity for him to take his clothes off," laughs Broccoli.

Craig, who recently played a journalist in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - a part for which he put on weight - is back in shape. But he doesn't like discussing how he did it. "I tried to get as fit as I could, did cardiovascular exercise, physiotherapy once a week..." he trails off, and then pretends to doze off.

Jany Temime, who designed the costumes for Skyfall, says his body is "wonderfully fit", though she refuses to reveal exact measurements.

The film, which marks 50 years since the first Bond film, Dr No, wasn't easy to make. Financial troubles with MGM studios stalled production for over a year, until MGM's problems settled and Sony Pictures got on board as well.

But for Craig and the crew, the delay was a blessing. "We were lucky to get a break from making the movie, as it gave us a chance to develop the script and story. We could throw around ideas, and see the characters experience incredible things," says the actor.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hollywood's good girls gone bad

Rihanna's new outrageously explicit video has UK Prime Minister David Cameron pushing a proposal that sexually suggestive music videos receive age certificates, to prevent the "sexualisation" of youngsters.

The freshfaced Barbadian star's transformation from PG-13 numbers to R-rated performances may have been drastic, but it's quite expected considering that every quintessential female pop star starts out cute before taking a 180 degree turn towards raunchy-ville. Touted as a wholesome Christian package when they first start out, which is one extreme, why is it that they end up at the other extreme i.e. drugs, alcohol and sex? Some say it's a rite of passage, while others call it "growing up". And in show business, growing up means taking off that purity ring to take control of your sexuality (often by posing topless in men's magazines) and trading in the 'strong Christian moral fibre' for a pair of garters/a bondage suit. Finally, there's no better way of embracing your womanhood than by releasing a couple of videos that are so racy that a couple of countries ban them or even better, taking a trip down to a drug and alcohol rehab.

Miley Cyrus
The Disney cutie featured on every toddler's backpack and water bottle. Miley marketed her innocence, flashing her purity rings on camera, claiming she was unkissed at 15, calling herself morally "strong", emphasizing on her Christian background. So what happened when "Hannah Montanah" grew up? Leaked half-nude pictures, leaked bong-smoking pictures, leaked marijuana-themed and penis-themed birthday cake pictures... Then there was the album called, "Can't Be Tamed", a clarion call for the world to wake up and see that she was no longer the cutesy blonde from her TV show but an adult who literally could not be tamed (a point she drove hard by dancing around in a cage wearing itsy-bitsy costumes and feathers from an exotic bird.) When she was dancing around a pole at an award ceremony at 16, Ian Drew of the publication, 'US Weekly', said, "That's how Britney (Spears) took off. She was the good girl gone bad, and it looks to be working for Miley as well."

Britney Spears
From her debut in showbiz via the Mickey Mouse club, Britney's career took a drastic downward spiral into sex, drugs, alcohol, one-night wedding stands and baldness. The singer reinvented the pop scene with her album, 'Baby One More Time'. Britney's virginal 'good girl from Kentucky' image found her a gazillion fans. Though, the singer's subsequent post-fame cutely-provocative magazine covers caused people to raise eyebrows, she was still held on a pedestal for her strong morals, including the now-famous chastity vow. Britney's image change from cute to raunchy started with her MTV VMA performances. In 2000, she did a little striptease for the audience and then released her album 'Britney' that featured the oh-so-scandalous, "I'm A Slave" song. In 2001, she danced with an albino python on stage wearing next-to-nothing - that is when she subsequently broke up with and allegedly cheated on Justin Timberlake. In 2003, she kissed Madonna. This was followed by her one-day marriage to a childhood friend in Vegas, a whirlwind affair with a back-up dancer ending in a wedding just six-month after her first marriage, two children that were later taken away by child protection services and finally, rehab.

Christina Aguilera
Britney's arch rival, Aguilera, too began her career via 'The Mickey Mouse Club'. When she burst on to the scene, the critics had already slotted her to the 'bubblegum pop' genre. Her singles were teen love songs, with some Christmas tunes thrown in for good measure. Just like Britney - Aguilera promoted that All-American wholesomeness - cute, with a touch of sexy (just enough to not make the parents frown). Aguilera's transition was not just to a raunchier but also a downright trashier singer. With the album 'Stripped' in 2002, the singer had completely transformed her look, dirty blonde hair, photo shoots that left little to ones imagination and lyrics that made one blush. Aguilera was a bipartisan of the 2003 Madonna-Britney kiss triangle.

Taylor Momsen
From the sweet innocent blonde Jenny Humphrey of "Gossip Girl", Taylor Momsen adopted her now famous - hair extension, heavy kohl, socks and garters with no bra - look overnight. This change can be attributed to her position as lead singer in the band, The Pretty Reckless. She was regularly snapped by the paparazzi, smoking while wearing a T-shirt and garters - looking like a cross between a goth and a dominatrix, although Momsen herself labels her look as the "High Class Hooker" style. Her transformation cost her her "Gossip Girl" role.

The Barbadian singer hit the jackpot with "Umbrella" - most photo shoots of the time show Rihanna fresh-faced in her long flowing black hair. And then she became more risque with every hairstyle change. By the time she released "Good Girls Gone Bad" in 2007, RiRi had already rebelliously cut her locks to a black bob. Then she dyed her hair to brown for 'Rated R'. Racier photo shoots followed. Nudity, drugs, alcohol a little flirtation here and there with S&M, the singer's transition was particularly loud and in-your-face. By posting online photos of herself in bikinis and tweets lauding marijuana, Rihanna has established herself as a kind of rebel artiste. The singer has upped her game with bringing BDSM in the picture. Her album 'S&M' was banned in 11 countries, while her latest 'We Found Love' even offended the most liberal of all countries - France.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I'll donate sperms for altruistic reasons only: John

A Shoojit Sircar film and a John Abraham production, " Vicky Donor" deals with the taboo attached to sperm donation and surrogacy. These are issues that the actor thoroughly researched before starting work on the film. However, John was clear from the start that he wouldn't act in the film. And so, Ayushmann Khurrana, the VJ-turned-actor, was roped in.

Ask John why he didn't play Vicky, and the answer is simple enough. "The script demanded a fresh face. Had this film been made before "Jism" (his debut film), I would be right for it!" he laughs.

Why go with such a subject for his first production? John answers, "When an issue stirs up debate and not controversy, half the battle is won. I am sure that people will have a different take on sperm donation after watching this film."

Since announcing the venture, Abraham has been flooded with requests for sperm donation by female fans! "It's shocking! I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or be devastated!" says he. Is there a special someone he'd donate his sperm to? Very matter-of-factly comes the reply, "For one, a donor's identity is kept secret. And if I had to donate sperm, I'd do it for altruistic reasons." Then comes the cheeky afterthought, "If you see any kid that looks like me, you'll know the woman I've donated my sperm to!"

And what are his expectations from this film? Says the actor/producer, "I'm sure the movie will be critically appreciated and commercially accepted."

Produced by JA Entertainment & Eros International, in association with Rising Sun Films and Rampage Motion Pictures, "Vicky Donor" hits the theatres today.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lava launches Intel's first Atom-based smartphone

India-based cellphone maker Lava International on Thursday launched world's first Intel's Atom processor based smartphone Xolo X900.

Announced at the Mobile World Congress in Spain in February end, the feature-packed Xolo X900 has been priced at Rs 22,000. Intel now plans to launch a number of other Atom-based smartphones in partnership with Motorola, Lenovo, Orange and ZTE beginning later this year, all of which will run on Google Android.

Lava Xolo X900 is based on Intel's smartphone reference design of Atom Z2460 micro-processor with Intel's hyper-threading technology and has a clock speed of 1.6 Ghz. This makes it the world's fastest processor in any mobile device in the world, claims Intel.

Lava Xolo X900 smartphone features 4.03-inch LCD display and an 8 megapixel rear camera. There's also a front-facing camera for video chat. Other features include Near Field Communication ( NFC), HDMI connectivity and full 1080 HD video shoot and playback. Lava also promises a good battery life of up to five hours of 3G browsing, 45 hours of audio and 8 hours of talk-time on the phone.

It promises fast browsing, multi-tasking, top-of-the-line graphics, and an intuitive user interface developed in close partnership with Intel.

Xolo X900 also supports HSPA+ and Intel's XMM 6260 Platform. The phone runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, capable of over-the-air upgrade to Android Icre Cream Sandwich later this year.

Significantly, Intel India's engineering team in Bangalore played a major role in designing and development of Lava Xolo X900.

The launch of Xolo X90o marks Intel's entry into the smartphone business which has so far been overwhelmingly dominated by lesser-known microprocessor makers like ARM Technologies and Qualcomm, besides other players like Nvidia, Texas Instruments and Broadcom.

Lava has also entered a long-term retail partnership with Croma for promotion and sale of the XOLO X900.

"Through Xolo X900, we are happy to bring to the Indian market a device that addresses the needs of those for whom speed and performance matters. After our success in feature phones with over 10 million happy customers in under three years, Xolo will be a differentiated player in the fast-growing smartphone segment. The initial reviews have been very positive and independent benchmarks clearly point to the fact that when it comes to speed and performance, Xolo X900 is the gold standard," said Vishal Sehgal, co-founder and director, Lava International.

"The first smartphone with Intel inside is now available to Indian consumers," said Mike Bell, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the mobile and communications group. "The boundaries of personal computing are expanding. As we enter the India market with our first smartphone from Lava, the device not only showcases the rich capabilities and user benefits of Intel computing, but also highlights the exciting possibilities of what's still to come."

Xolo X900 will be available for buying from Croma stores and online at from April 23, followed by availability in other retail chains, general trade and online stores from early May.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Aakash tablet: After six months only 366 reach students

For all the fanfare that accompanied the launch of the Aakash tablet, only 366 units of the tablet have reached students. The units were given to students at the time of the launch on October 5 so that they could test them and provide their feedback. The information may not be widely known but it has been in the public domain since March 14 when minister for human resource development Kapil Sibal replied to a question about the Aakash project in Lok Sabha.

These 366 tablets are part of 650 units that IIT Rajasthan had accepted from the lot of 6,440 tablets that were supplied to it by Datawind. According to Sibal's statement in Parliament, IIT-Rajasthan "rejected rest of the lots as the number of defective LCADs (Aakash tablets) in those lots exceeded the stipulated 5% of devices".

In reply to a question if there was any criteria based on which distribution was made, Sibal said the tablets were just for the testing. "The first phase of 1,00,000 tablets were targeted to the students in higher technical education institutions so as to further ascertain technical feedback on its operation and usability," he said. "Since these LCADs were for the purpose of testing, no norms for distribution of LCADs to students were laid down." The minister also informed Parliament that Datawind has now been asked to supply better tablets at the same price.

"Datawind is still to supply 1,00,000 LCADs of higher specifications at the same price. These higher specifications (which include 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor, 3200 mAH Battery and capacitive touch screen) have been necessitated to overcome the initial difficulties observed in the devices," he said.

The minister was also asked what the government was doing to recover the money back. "No payment has yet been made by IIT-Rajasthan to the vendor (Datawind), and hence, the question of getting back the money does not arise," he said. A few weeks earlier, Datawind CEO had told TOI that his firm would start supplying the new tablets this month.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

 Samsung Electronics Co said on Monday it would unveil the third-generation of its flagship smartphone Galaxy S on May 3 in London, banking on a heavy marketing campaign heading into the summer Olympics in the city.

Samsung became the world's top smartphone maker last year on the back of strong sales of Galaxy lineups and the latest edition comes after it released Galaxy S II in late April last year.

The South Korean firm sold over 40 million Galaxy smartphones since the model was released in June 2010.

Samsung, which dominates in the top end of smartphone market along with Apple Inc, estimated earlier this month that its first-quarter operating profit would hit a record 5.8 trillion Korean won thanks to strong sales of Galaxy series smartphones.

Its current sponsorship deal with the International Olympics Committee runs out in 2016. It has said its market share in China doubled after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It was reported earler this week that Samsung Electronics Co, Apple's biggest competitor in the market for iPad-sized tablet computers, is updating its line to include a feature that lets a tablet act as a universal remote control for an entertainment center.

The storage space on the new Galaxy Tab 2 will also be expandable with small memory cards. The tablets will come in two sizes. The 7-inch version will cost $250 and goes on sale April 22. The 10-inch version will cost $400 and goes on sale May 13.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sony launches Android-powered wristwatch

Sony has released an Internet-linked wristwatch powered by Google-backed Android software.

SmartWatch gets online by connecting wirelessly to a wearer's Android smartphone using Bluetooth technology, according to Sony.

The high-tech timepiece reminiscent of one worn by classic comic strip detective Dick Tracy was priced at $150, available online and at Sony stores.

"SmartWatch provides access to live content and entertainment on the go," said Sony Mobile Communications customer unit president Paul Hamnett, who billed it as the first in a series of gadgets to "expand the smartphone's reach."

SmartWatch can switch from displaying time to acting as a touchscreen interface for smartphone information.

Vibrations or alerts flashed on the 1.3-inch (3.3-centimeter) screen can signal incoming calls and wearers can glance at their wrists to peruse email or text messages as well as Facebook or Twitter updates by friends.

Mini-applications tailored to add features to SmartWatch devices were available at the Google Play online shop, according to Sony.

Friday, April 13, 2012

4 things Nokia can do to get back on growth track

Less than two months ago, Nokia Oyj Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop stood up at the mobile- phone industry's annual jamboree to declare that the company had turned the corner as sales of its new smartphone blossomed.

The prediction proved premature. Yesterday, the Finnish company reported a surprise operating loss at its handset unit for the first three months and forecast no improvement this quarter. While sales of the Lumia model it developed with Microsoft Corp topped estimates, competition ate into margins and sales of lower-priced devices plunged in emerging markets.

As Nokia's cash pile dwindles and a junk credit rating looms, Elop will have to consider more radical steps such as selling its low-end phone business, whose revenue slumped by a third last quarter, said Adnaan Ahmad, an analyst at Berenberg Bank in London. Nokia makes about 70 per cent of its handset sales outside Europe and North America, where competition from Chinese companies including ZTE Corp is intensifying.

"Why not try to sell its mobile-phone business and hence just remain a smart devices company?" said Ahmad, who has been covering the telecommunications industry for more than a decade and is ranked fourth based on the total return of his Nokia rating over the past year according to Bloomberg data. He advises selling the shares with a price estimate of 3.20 euros.

Low-end losses 

Elop, 48, shifted to Microsoft's Windows Phone system 14 months ago, after determining Nokia's Symbian and Meego couldn't keep up with Google Inc's Android system and the iPhone. Nokia reported an operating loss of about 3 per cent of sales at the devices and services division last quarter, citing weak sales in India, the Middle East, Africa and China.

Low-end handset sales declined to 2.3 billion euros from 3.4 billion euros in the year-earlier quarter, while shipments dropped to 71 million units from 84.3 million a year earlier, the company said.

"They may sell their low end business to a Chinese maker, they may sell some IP assets -- we know there's a market for that, we know Microsoft is interested in that kind of thing," said Horace Dediu, a former Nokia analyst who now runs the Asymco industry-research website. "Then they would essentially become a Motorola, which is a smartphone-only company that ended up getting acquired."

Like Motorola 

Motorola Mobility, which has pared down its low-end phone lines in favor of Android, sold its handset business last year to Google for $12.5 billion.
Sony Ericsson, the mobile-phone venture Sony Corp bought out from its Swedish partner Ericsson AB in February and renamed Sony Mobile Communications, is also exiting cheaper feature phones to focus on making smartphones.

A potential sale of Nokia's smartphone business to Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft wouldn't make sense as the US partner already has access to the hardware through their partnership, said Lee Simpson, an analyst at Jefferies International in London. Nokia may instead focus on offloading a part of its patent portfolio to generate cash and buy time for its reorganization, he said.

Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, declined to comment on the possibility of mergers involving Nokia, citing company policy on not commenting on rumors and speculation.

Speaking on a conference call, Elop, a former Microsoft executive who took the helm at Nokia in September 2010, said the Finnish company may prioritize certain devices and markets at the expense of others.

Asset sales? 

"When we talk about what those structural changes might be, we have to make decisions about, are we concentrating on certain markets, are we emphasizing certain product opportunities over others, do we sell off certain non-core assets along the way?" Elop said.

Since taking over, Elop has announced more than 10,000 job cuts and shut production in Europe to move more manufacturing to Asia. He also tried to sell a stake in the phone-equipment venture Nokia Siemens Networks before talks collapsed last year.

Nokia may seek to accelerate a sale of assets within Nokia Siemens, according to a person familiar with the company, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations aren't public. Another sale target may be the Navteq Corp map unit Nokia took over in 2008 for about $7.3 billion, the person said.

Running out of time 
"We have absolutely changed the clockspeed of Nokia. The pace at which we are accomplishing this, you're going to see this continue," Elop said on Feb. 28 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, comments he reiterated yesterday. "The next waves of devices, the next software, all of that will continue at an accelerating pace."

To make that happen, the manufacturer may also need to cut more jobs, said Edward Snyder, an analyst at Charter Equity Research in San Francisco. Nokia employed about 130,000 people at the end of 2011.

"That looks like a boilerplate statement to prepare employees and the government for big layoffs," said Snyder. "The smartphone business is sucking the most wind, but they can't get rid of that, it's their future."

Nokia doesn't have much time left and needs radical measures to win back market share and investors' trust, Simpson at Jefferies said. Nokia would benefit from moving its headquarters out of Finland to a lower-cost country, he said.

"There's something very stale that suggests their relevance in the medium term will be gone unless something really serious happens," Simpson said.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Porn star doesn't mean prostitute:Sunny Leone

Adult movie star Sunny Leone, the newest and perhaps, um, 'sexiest' entrant to the " Bigg Boss" house, says that 'porn star' doesn't automatically mean 'prostitute'. The curvy babe, originally Karen Malhotra, born to Indian parents, took the US adult entertainment industry by storm, but never planned to become a porn star. But the money was just too good, she says.

"My parents, who are originally from Punjab, were completely shocked when they found out I was in the adult entertainment industry. Their reaction was what I expected, and I was prepared for it. When my father realized what I did, he said, 'You didn't even ask us before you did this! But whatever you do, make sure you do it well.' My mother was also stunned when she found about my lesbian lovemaking videos, but she accepted it. And the fact that my work didn't change me as a person worked in my favour. My parents soon realized it and respected me for who I am and my decisions. So there was never any question of being disowned by my family," she says. Have her parents seen any of her hardcore adult videos? "Of course not! Whose parents would do that?" she asks.

Sunny says it's ignorance that makes people equate adult stars with prostitutes. "I think India doesn't have an adult entertainment industry - that's why people have no idea what it is. I ran a company that took care of the deals I sealed with firms to sell and share my content online and to other media. Running a company was hard work. I'd work for about 60-70 hours a week. It wasn't a party. I have only one partner. So that way, I'm very restrained in the real world," she says.
Isn't it true that she lost her virginity when she was 16? "Yes. The guy played basketball in high school. He was as old as me. We just liked each other. Losing my virginity at 16 was just about making a choice that I wanted to make at that age. Since my parents have lived away from India for many years, their thought process is different. They've always let me take my own decisions. I don't regret anything that I've done so far. I have no regrets about who I am. I have a nice life, great family, great friends and make a good living," she says.

Sunny says participating in "Bigg Boss" will make people realize she isn't the cliched 'adult star'. "I grew up in a regular Indian household; I've been taught to be a good person. I want Indian people to know that. And I've always been interested in Bollywood, so with this show, I might get good roles in Hindi films," she says.

Now that she's in India, will she also visit relatives in Delhi? "I last came to Delhi this year in February. I'd like to come back soon. But I wasn't born here, like it says online - I was born in Canada," she says.

Why men and women behave differently

Whether it's the way we interact with the opposite sex or a simple handshake, body language experts tell us how caveman-like we really are. Read on to rediscover your true self.

As people in most marriages and relationships will have you know, men and women talk in different languages and mostly get by on wit, charm, sign language and some humour. Seriously speaking, the differences between men and women and their interpretation of things is so vastly different that the subject alone qualifies for full-time research.

'Mr Body Language', inspirational speaker and bestselling author, Allan Pease is known for his witty and insightful books such as, Why Men Don't Listen and Women Cant Read Maps, and Why Men Want Sex and Women Want Love. This isn't just another mars-venus conflict. Now there's a scientific explanation to why women are exasperated and men, clueless. We caught the Australian author on a fleeting visit for a quick lesson on what makes us tick the way we do.

Different hardware
It is due to this difference in the brain's wiring, something that happened way back in our hunting and gathering days, that has cultivated our distinctly polar personalities. While men are looked upon for their resource gathering and protective skills, women with their strong intuitions and reproductive job roles fit another role. This meant, ancestral women wanted resources in men and men have evolved to be accumulators of resources and power.

What men and women want
Ancestral men sought reproductive ability in women, thus women have evolved with the motivation to do whatever is necessary to appear young, healthy and fertile. If you think it's primeval, it probably is. But consciously or subconsciously, men and women understand what the opposite sex wants. In the 21st century however, the 'balance of power' has rocked the mindset cradle. So while people tend to conform to current day trends instinctively, their reactions and actions are guided by their innate hard wiring.

In women for example, the ability to multitask is inborn. They can speak and listen simultaneously. This is because the left and right side of the brain, that are connected through connecting nerve cables is up to 30 per cent thicker in women than in men, making the transfer of information between the two sides that much faster. This helps them multitask and use both sides of their brain together at a speed faster than men. As a result, while men tend to do one thing at a time, women can do many more.

Talk it out
It's a well-established fact that women and their need to talk is rather critical to their survival. This is because, the way information is processed, in women talking is a great way to de-stress. By talking to more and more people about something that bothers them, they find a vent to their stress and feel relieved at the end of the day. Talking releases a chemical reaction in the body that brings down pressure and soothes their nerves. Unfortunately for them, men don't share their sentiment.

In times of trouble, men prefer to clam up and distract themselves from the problem entirely. Talking or listening about it, only makes them more and more uncomfortable with the situation. They are programmed to listen to a problem and find a solution. It gives them a sense of worth and satisfaction in working on working out a solution. Therefore, the concept of talking to vent, without wanting advice is so difficult for men to fathom.

Primate Instincts
An interesting result of the research was how similar humans are to chimps and monkey's when it comes to social behaviour. The brain, during the first four minutes, goes through similar survival checklists and accesses a new entrant on the basis of friendly or aggressive. Even a simple handshake.

Allan tells you how to get a perfect grip on the situation. He says, "Keep your hand vertical and match the pressure you receive. This might take a little bit of practice for some, but if your version of a 'firm' handshake crushes your opponent's fingers, it's not going to help matters. Also, while shaking hands with a woman, be aware of how much pressure you apply. Women can point their index fingers forward during a handshake, this will prevent the grip from being too tight. Else, with finger rings on, a tight grip can also seriously hurt their fingers or at times draw blood."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

4G Launched in India by Kapil Sibal

Launching Airtel's 4G services in Kolkata Tuesday, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal admitted that 3G services have not been as popular as 2G due to lack of liquidity in the market to invest in the infrastructure and the devices required.

"We will give the environment to the industry to manufacture low cost quality smart phones. But it is the industry which has to deliver. This is the biggest challenge for the industry," he told reporters.

"3G has not delivered because they paid such huge prices for the spectrum and there is no liquidity in the market for them to invest in the infrastructure and the devices to deliver 3G, for which 2G was successful and 3G was not successful."

He hoped that the industry would keep this in mind and "ensure that people of this country have low cost devices".

Sibal was speaking at the launch of broadband wireless access (BWA) services based on 4G technology here.

Telecom major Bharti Airtel Tuesday became the first telecom operator to launch broadband wireless access (BWA) services based on 4G technology in the country.

The high speed service was inaugurated by Sibal.

A successor to the 3G and 2G families, 4G is expected to be five times quicker than 3G services. It would offer services such as high-definition mobile TV and video conferencing.

Asked when the 4G will be rolled out in other cities, the company's chairman and managing director Sunil Mittal said: "We are working very fast to launch in the other circles that we have.

"Hopefully, within this month it will be launched in Bangalore, within weeks followed by Pune, and then Chandigarh."

Airtel, which had bagged BWA spectrum in four telecom circles - Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka - for 3,314.36 crore in 2010, selected Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE to manage its services in Kolkata.

The other players are yet to announce plans to rollout 4G services.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Know All About World's First Flying Car

The First Flying car of the world might not have crashed during its test flight but, it crashed the common man’s imagination of smoothly taking off of the traffic on a busy road.

Transition, World’s first flying car designed by Aviation Company Terrafugia took a successful test flight of 8 minutes at a height of 1400 feet on March 23 2012. While the four-seater can just fold its wings to be driven on roads safely, it needs a runway to take off and land and cannot just hover off from the road while you are stuck in the traffic. The company envisions designing flying cars in future that would be able to take off, fly and land by themselves to make flying safer and more accessible.

Sounds all Fancy, But what’s in store for us?

 More than 100 people have already booked the Transition paying $10,000 a piece. The on road/in air price of the vehicle is about $279,000 and it gives an economy of 5 gallons per hour in air and 35miles per gallon on road at a speed of 100 miles per hour. The owner of Transition would need to pass a 20 hours flying test to be able to take-off or land the vehicle on any of the 5,200 public airports in the United States.

Where is Transition's Future heading?

Further improvements are being implemented on transition to make it a safer vehicle to train sports pilot for some real commercial flying. The system of the car takes over the pilot’s control under bad condition, which is much safer than risking a crash or aborting the flight in mid-air."The evolution in the Transition is going to come in the capability of the electronics and autopilot. Everybody has heard of the Google (driverless) car. The technology is there to make an airplane that can virtually fly itself” as said by Cliff Allen, VP of Terrafugia to MSNBC. This implies that Allen and team have decided to rather produce a ‘Street Legal Airplane ‘than follow the laymen’s imagination of a sci-fi hover-craft.

Terrafugia’s achievements are coming handy for the U.S Military projects as well, who are planning to develop “Flying Humvees”. The Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) is already working on the project that would allow soldiers to take off from the land, fly to their battle fields and land on any kind of terrain to continue driving the Humvee like any SUV.

It all sums up to hell of a compromise but you can fly your own car with pride.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Too much stress at work

One standard mantra of many workplaces: out of every five employees, one works too much, the remaining four play it smart. Presenting, the case study of the hardworking one...

Is giving our lives to the workplace a great idea? And, what sort of impact does it have on our personal lives? Workaholics - those who smile only when they dream of work at night - are of the view that nothing else matters. A workaholic's personal life being his/her professional life, life goes on smoothly till the person falls ill or retires.

But there is this second kind, one that works incredibly hard because s/he is extremely sincere, but who could do with a break and generally do nothing or watch the TV. This is the kind that suffers, if s/he is unlucky enough to belong to a team or place where people have a habit of taking it easy. Such a person takes on responsibilities because that is the right thing to do; but, at the end of the day, feels completely stressed out.

What happens then?
For one, dreams intrude. But, unlike workaholics who enjoy such dreams, such visions are absolute nightmares. 'What will I do tomorrow?' 'Shall I be able to complete my colleague's work and mine?' 'Will I be able to meet the deadline?' Depressing thoughts that show how, for some unlucky people, workplace is synonymous with home for all practical purposes.

Two, fatigue. A burnout-like situation is not a great feeling at all. It starts with fatigue and, before you know, all kinds of feelings - right from tiredness to lack of desire to think to generally not feeling like going to work - can play the tormenting trespasser. Some people deal with it. Many cannot. Either way, getting trapped in such a situation is highly unnecessary.

Three, lifestyle diseases. Irregular eating, habits like smoking and drinking endless cups of tea and coffee, tend to enter our lives when we get used to maddening schedules. The fact is: we are the ones who invite the lifestyle diseases thereafter. And hence, we have no one else to blame.

Four, no time for one's own self. A little time to do things we want is important. When we tend to overwork, the desire to enjoy whatever little personal space we have flies out of the window. Not good at all, considering the fact that the little time we can enjoy can refresh and rejuvenate us.

Managing life at the workplace is a tricky affair: and more so, if we touch such levels of preoccupation that we carry the baggage back home. Workaholics are solely responsible for the consequences. But the other kind that looks for breathing space without getting it suffers even more, and much earlier. When we work, in other words, we need to understand the importance of time: and not only because deadlines need to be met.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spitting is inherent in Indians: B’bay HC

Bombay HC has 'observed' that spitting is inherent in Indians. Not that we needed it to tell us that, but a lot has been said about us that's not always pretty. If you can swallow your pride and read it all at one go, here's a recap.

Spit-full Lending some legalese to what is perhaps the first thing people notice in our country (red-stained walls adorn many a traveller's online albums), the Bombay High Court said last week that "Spitting is an inherent character of our people", while hearing a petition about people being fined for spitting in Mumbai. A few days later, it was revealed that in just six months in 2011, Mumbaikars had paid around `2.24 crore in fines for spitting in the city.

For Katju, fool's gold Press Council of India chairman justice (retired) Markandey Katju said some days ago, "90% of people in India are fools. Their minds are full of superstitions, communalism and casteism." The 'fool' comment seems to be a favourite with Katju, who, in 2011, had expressed similar feelings towards his brainless brethren, "(people say) that the media must provide the customer what it wants. Unfortunately, most people in India are of a very low intellectual level, steeped in casteism, communalism, superstitions, and all kinds of feudal and backward ideas."

Mammas' boys In March, Greg Chappell elicited sniggers in private but collective outrage in public. "The Indian culture is very different. They lack leaders because they are not trained to be leaders. From an early age, their parents make all the decisions. They learn to not take responsibility," said the former Team India coach.

Bastards! In documents declassified in 2005, former US prez Richard Nixon was found to have said in a meeting, in the run-up to the Indo-Pak 1971 war, that Indians are 'a slippery, treacherous people'. His assistant for national security affairs, Henry Kissinger, was quick to add, "Indians are bastards anyway.

They're the most aggressive goddamn people around." Only if they had Wikileaks then to get hold of more such, err, 'gems'.

More TV, less sex A few years ago, then-union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad made an interesting connection, "If there is electricity in every village, people will watch TV till late night and then fall asleep. They won't get a chance to produce children." But what if there's Sunny Leone on TV, eh?

They have small... Hearts! What were you thinking? April last year, Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi said Indians "will never have hearts like Pakistanis. I don't think they have the large and clean hearts that Allah has given us. It is a very difficult thing for us to live with them." Who says cricket is just a game?

Dirty little #%@& Last August, US vice-consul, Maureen Chao, while talking to some students in Chennai could have made a great case for fairness creams, if the comments hadn't exploded in controversy. "I was on a 24-hour train trip from Delhi to Orissa. But, after 72 hours, the train still did not reach the destination... and my skin became dirty and dark like the Tamilians'," she 'joked'. The US Consulate later issued an apology.

Corruption status India's outgoing chief vigilance commissioner, Pratyush Sinha, gave an unenviable description of his job in 2010, when he said, "One-third of Indians are corrupt, half are borderline," and that his job had been a "thankless" one. "When we were growing up, there was at least social stigma attached to corruption," Sinha said, angering law minister Veerappa Moily because saying such things "hurt national pride." We can only wonder what Moily would have to say about Anna Hazare if he were still law minister.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Aishwaryaa miffed over Dhanush-Shruti closeness

Everyone was eagerly looking forward to "3" that saw the Superstar's elder daughter, Aishwaryaa, debut as a director. With Dhanush and Shruti Haasan as the romantic lead, the expectations were high but the film opened to mixed reviews. But behind the scenes of the team's happy faces, Kollywood says there's a completely different yet similar love story.

The buzz in the industry is that Dhanush and Shruti's mindblowing chemistry on-screen is as a result of their reported closeness off screen - which has now supposedly caused a rift in his marriage. And it looks like it was the promotions of 3 that split their relationship wide open.

"Numerous instances in the public forum over the last few weeks have lent credence to the fact that there are issues between the couple," says an industry source, "Dhanush, Shruti and Anirudh were on a radio show chatting away happily but the minute Aishwaryaa joined them, Dhanush feigned a headache and walked off the show."

Some of the comments he has made about his director-wife in public have also allegedly not gone down well with her and fights have erupted as a result.

At the premiere of "3" too, it looked like all was indeed not well with the couple. According to people present, Dhanush came in first followed by Shruti with whom he spent considerable time alone.

When Aishwaryaa came in and the team stood for pictures, the two ladies, say witnesses, made it a point to look in opposite directions.

Adds the source, "Dhanush is apparently doing his best at avoiding his wife in public and his closeness with Shruti has now become more evident for all to see. Aishwaryaa is said to be upset about the way Dhanush has been treating her."

Meanwhile, we hear that Rajinikanth, who returned early Monday morning, is also apparently upset with the domestic situation.

Despite repeated attempts to contact Aishwaryaa and Dhanush, both of them remained unavailable for comment.

Sachin Tendulkar passes Mumbai Indians captaincy to Harbhajan Singh

 Sachin Tendulkar won't captain Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League this season. The team management has handed over the reign to Harbhajan Singh, who had successfully led the team to Champions League Twenty20 triumph last year. Indian middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma has been named Harbhajan's deputy.

Watch: IPL 2012 opening ceremony 

Tendulkar's decision to quit captaincy two days before the start of the IPL is a surprise and the team management has not given any reason for it.

"Sachin bhai spoke to me a few days back and told me about his decision. It's a great honour for me to lead Mumbai Indians in such a big tournament," said Harbhajan. "I would like to thank Nita (Ambani) bhabi and Sachin paaji for giving me this responsibility and showing faith in me. It was a difficult moment when Sachin expressed his desire to quit captaincy. But we all believe that he is the best person to take the final call on such matters."

The new captain said he would do his best to take Mumbai Indians to new heights. "We have had a fantastic campaign in the Champions League last year and naturally expectations will be higher this time. We have a very good side and my responsibility will be bigger now. I have always received great support from my teammates and hope to get it during the IPL," Harbhajan said on Monday.

It was a difficult decision for Tendulkar, who has led the team for four years.

"The Mumbai Indians is like a family to me. At this point in time, I feel, I need a break from the responsibility of captaincy. After due consideration, I discussed my intention to hand over the charge to Harbhajan," Tendulkar said.

Tendulkar also added that he took the decision after consulting owners Nita and Mukesh Ambani.

"I was touched by the graciousness and wholehearted support they offered me while emphasising that they would accept any decision that would enable me to enjoy the game," the master blaster added.

Tendulkar's decision to quit captaincy won't make much difference for the team as he will continue to be the main guiding force for Mumbai Indians, according to Harbhajan.

"Sachin paaji is the biggest player in the side and his presence makes us one of the strongest sides in the competition. He is the biggest factor without any doubt. We won the CLT20 title with immense support from him. Sachin did not play the matches but was part of the team and always helped us keep our morale high throughout the championship.

"He wanted to take it easy and we all respect his decision. He has gone through a tough phase and wanted to take the pressure off himself. He has done so many things for us and I'll be more than happy if I can fulfill his wish and lead the side to a successful IPL campaign," Harbhajan explained.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Data Leak Threat for Visa MasterCard Holders

Giant card-payment processors namely Visa, MasterCard, AmEx (American Express) and Discover Financial Services were hit by a data-security breach. A third-party service provider, Global Payments, an Atlanta based company, discovered that its systems were compromised by unauthorized access.

In this credit card heist, more than 1.5 million MasterCard and Visa accounts are believed to be hacked. As per logical terms, the Consumers aren't accountable for unauthorized purchases made on their cards.

WSJ report suggests that the breach took place between January 21 to February 25, 2012. MasterCard reported that it is investigating the breach, but its core network is not hacked.

“MasterCard is currently investigating a potential account data compromise event of a U.S.-based entity. As a result, we have alerted payment card issuers regarding certain MasterCard accounts that are potentially at risk. It is important to note that MasterCard’s own systems have not been compromised in any manner. MasterCard is concerned whenever there is any possibility that cardholders could be inconvenienced and we continue to both monitor this event and take steps to safeguard account information”, MasterCard said in a statement, as quoted by

“Visa also confirmed a “data compromise” of an outside company, but said there was no breach of Visa’s own network. Visa Inc. is aware of a potential data compromise incident at a third party entity affecting card account information from all major card brands. There has been no breach of Visa systems, including its core processing network VisaNet. Visa has provided payment card issuers with the affected account numbers so they can take steps to protect consumers through independent fraud monitoring and, if needed, reissuing cards”, Visa says in a statement to

“Less than 1,500,000 card numbers may have been exported, by hackers who had access to the firm's payment processing system. Cardholder names, addresses and social security numbers were not obtained by the criminals”, Global Payments said in a statement to states, “neither Visa nor MasterCard issue their own credit cards. Instead, they process transactions made on cards issued by banks and other financial institutions”.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Is Salary a Marriage Catalyst?

Are you planning to settle down? If yes, then do you earn enough? If the answer to this question is ‘no,’ then buckle up. Marriage chances increase significantly if your pay package is attractive enough. Constantine von Hoffman, of CBCMoneyWatch.Com, gives an insightful review of how moolah affects marriage.

Marriage and Salary – The Connection?

A blissful married life requires 2 loving and devoted people. But, in these changing times, marriage needs something extra. With the Union Budget turning out to be a downer for most of us, we need all the help we can get from other areas. If you and your spouse both work, then the impact of the Budget won’t be that bitter. Plus, there are a couple of advantages. First – as you both are salaried, you can divide your earnings wisely on various expenses. Second – both of you can share your knowledge about the markets. This way you can invest sensibly. Third – filing a joint income tax return will be a breeze. Still, don’t chuck the emotional connect between spouses out the window. Without this, not even a trillion dollars can spell out marital happiness.

Marriage, Education and Women

Elders say that a good pay package depends upon our college degree. But there are so many people who have earned billions without getting proper college degrees. Since, this is not an option for regular Joes like us; we have to strive for higher education. It is often drilled into our heads that if we do not get a decent degree, we will not get married. It is even observed in India that girls are compelled to get a college degree only to get a suitable husband, preferably rich. It might sound cruel but this is a cold fact.

Marriage, Education and Men

Even the male gender is not spared from this agony. Even young men are coached to earn good salaries so that they become independent. Being independent is a very desirable trait but only a few know the hidden motive behind it. Young men are trained to become the sole breadwinners, even if their wives earn. It is an unwritten rule for most Indian men to consider their wives’ incomes as off-limits. Taking even a paisa from one’s wife is treated as a taboo by many men. So, if guys want to get married, then they better have very good salaries.

Working Couples and Happy Married Life

TOI quotes David Brooks, a writer for The New York Times, sheds light on some hidden facts of marital bliss. He says that married couples are “significantly more content” than those who are unmarried. According to Brooks, working couples tend to be more content with their financial health than unmarried ones. Even selected statistics denote the same finding. The Daily Mail quoted him as telling BBC, "Marriage is tremendously important. We have a tendency to think of ourselves as rational individuals who are driven by economic motives but in fact we are social individuals, driven by the need for relationships."

Brooks also mentions in his book, 'Social Animals' that people should give weightage to relationships and not money. He even advises eligible single people to take up courses for finding their future partners.

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