Saturday, April 30, 2011

Researchers think vegetables may aid in the fight against prostate cancer

Consuming more vegetables may benefit men who have received positive PSA tests for prostate cancer. A group of researchers is saying that plant foods may help slow the progression of tumors and stop prostate cancer from metastasizing.

Investigators from the University of California, San Diego told 10News that preliminary testing indicates that men with prostate cancer who ate the most vegetables each day experienced the slowest tumor growth.

While all of the results of the trial are not in, the researchers said that there appears to be a strong correlation between vegetable consumption and prostate cancer improvements.

"What we're hoping [and] what we're thinking is that this intervention… this high vegetable diet is going to keep the cancer from progressing," Kellogg Parsons, who participated in the study, told the news source.

The findings could have implications for millions of men. Prostate cancer remains the most common form of the disease among men and nearly 30,000 individuals die from the condition every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aditya Birla ties up with Sankara Nethralaya

The eye-care centre was recently rechristened as Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya, with an aim of providing better facilities and treatment to the patients.

Dr. S S Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, said, "We seek to make this the number one eye hospital in the country, possibly surpassing our counterpart in Chennai."

He said that they will focus on providing affordable eyecare to the economically underprivileged with great emphasis.

Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Foundation, stated that despite being one of the pioneers in eyecare (four years ago, the Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital had been set up in Pune), it had always been the late Aditya Birla's vision to align with an eye hospital, and this endeavour fulfils that vision.

Moreover bringing in the latest technology the patients can get Lasik treatment in this hospital from now.

Badrinath said," the Lasik equipment works by correcting refractive errors, which essentially means that those who wear glasses for weak eyesight can get their vision corrected."

Moreover, Sankara Nethralaya is also setting up an eye hospital and research centre in Rajarhat, with the substantial initial investment of Rs. 30 crores.

Chennai Corporation Maternity Hospital Faces Serious Charges of Medical Negligence

The Chennai Corporation maternity hospital in Shenoy Nagar is battling serious charges of medical negligence following a death of a woman post-delivery.

As per reports, victim, Kavitha, 26-year-old was admitted to the Corporation hospital with labour pain around 4 pm on Thursday. Following the birth of a healthy baby of 2.5 kg, profuse bleeding started in the woman.

Though the team comprising of two maternal maternity assistants and helper Shanthi tried their best to stop the flow of blood, they had to shift Kavitha to the Kilpauk Medical College (KMC) Hospital.

Moreover, she was given the best treatment by the team of doctors in the ICU; she was reported to be dead at 6.10 am on Friday. Outraged at the news of the death, family and close relatives of the victim conducted a protest in front of the hospital demanding an inquiry in the case.

Defending the charges that no doctor was present at that time, a Senior Medical Officer claimed,” In this case, Dr. Mythili was present by the bedside supervising, while the ayah Shanti and two maternity assistants attended to the delivery “.

Deciphering the sensitivity of the case, helper Shanthi was suspended and memos were sent to the other two maternal assistants under the inquiry conducted the Deputy Commissioner of the Corporation.

Showing Wills and Kate how it's done? Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne engage in post-match smooching in Jaipur

Most of the world were riveted by Royal Wedding events unfolding in London today. But Elizabeth Hurley was not one of them.

The model's attention was otherwise engaged, far away in Jaipur, India.

Elizabeth was far more interested in cheering her boyfriend Shane Warne on at his cricket game, and the couple engaged in some post-match kissing that would have made the Royal couple blush.

The 45-year-old has been in India supporting Shane, 41, as he captains the Rajasthan Royals at the Indian Premier League.

Despite replying coyly recently that she and the sportsman were simply 'very good friends,' the pair proved that their very public romance is very much back on in recent days.

On top of their passionate display of affection after Shane's match against the Mumbai Indians, the couple are back to their incessant tweeting.

Warne commended his girlfriend and her son Damien over Twitter on their support of his team.

He wrote: 'You and D's flag waving was superb today - all the boys appreciate your support v much. Think you are now a cricket lover!'

He added: 'P.S. FYI RR blue top 100% suits you... Hahahaha I secretly think your a 20/20 lover And are converted to cricket !!!!! LOL.'

Miss Hurley replied: 'Yes! Love cricket now,' adding three 'kisses.'

Rajni’s first period film shooting starts

After his mega hit ‘Endhiran-The Robot’, ‘Superstar’ Rajnikant will now enthrall his die-hard fans with a triple role in his first period film ‘Rana’, which went on floors here on Friday.

The 60-year-old actor will be romancing Bollywood damsel Deepika Padukone in her first venture in the multi-crore Tamil film industry.

Rajnikant will be joining hands with director K.S. Ravikumar, a combination often described as “successful and sure shot” in the industry.

They had earlier churned out the megahit film ‘Padayappa’ besides ‘Muthu’, which ran to packed houses in Japan and earned the southern superstar numerous fans in the Asian nation.

This will be the first period film for Rajnikant and stills showing him as a bearded warrior have already heightened expectations.

Oscar-winning musician A R Rahman will be scoring the music for this big budget venture in which Rajnikant’s daughter, Soundarya, is the technical director.

According to Ravikumar, ‘Rana’ has a “strong story, a very interesting ensemble cast and promises to have some stunning visual effects which will take Indian cinema to the next level.”

Produced by Eros International, ‘Rana’ is slated for a 2012 release.

Speaking frames

Shy. That's Onir. Throughout the promotion campaign of his new movie “I Am” at Costa Coffee, Onir smiled politely, answered questions graciously, but preferred to let Sanjay Suri and Juhi Chawla take over.

When I approached him for an interview, Onir agreed. I understood it would take some coaxing to get him to talk about himself. We sat at a far corner, away from the madding crowd of cameras, mikes and bright lights. As the conversation progressed, Onir revealed himself little by little: sensitive, yet strong; fiery, yet soft spoken and talented, yet humble.

We start by talking about how he raised funds for “I Am” through Facebook. “It was Sanjay's idea. We thought, why not raise funds independently? We started a group on Facebook. Many people came forward. Some volunteered as production assistants while others contributed financially to the film.”

Onir prefers funding his films rather than depend on producers. “I want to be completely responsible for my films. Marketing and distribution is always an issue. There's no support system for independent cinema.”

But he seems uncomfortable during flashy film promotions. At this, Onir laughs and says: “I am learning this part. I prefer working behind the camera.” “I Am”, like Onir's other films, sensitively portrays stories of people who are different, often secluded by circumstances or choices. He contends that sensitivity is lacking in today's world.

“The questions a director faces from the media has nothing to do with the film. Some people said ‘My Brother Nikhil' is a controversial film. I don't agree with that. Morality is a Victorian concept. Ancient Indian culture celebrated love. I tell a story with love. We concentrate on the wrong issues. Instead of punishing couples kissing in public, violence and civic lawlessness should be dealt with first.”

Independent films find an encouraging screening at film festivals, but of course to a very small audience. Onir agrees.

“I had recently attended the Kerala Film Festival. The whole of Kochi — where the Film festival was held — was celebrating. An auto driver told me enthusiastically about the films that were being screened. It was fantastic. Schools there screen world cinema every week. We need to take a cue from that.” The almost forgotten history of the Kashmiri Pandits, finds expression in one of the four stories in “I Am”.

“The politics of silence scares me. It is dangerous. No procession has come out in support of the Kashmiri Pandit issue. I don't believe in freedom that divides. The only voice I have is my films. I address issues that matter to me.”

Onir is inspired by Bengali filmmakers such as Ritwik Ghatak and Satyajit Ray. “Ghatak's ‘Meghe Dhaka Taara' is one of my favourites. I remember crying inconsolably while watching the film. I think I have subconsciously imbibed the sensitive way in which he depicts refugee stories.”

Onir confesses that his world revolves around making films, but he has no material comforts of his own. “Honestly, I have no house, no car and zero bank balance.”

“So what keeps you going?” I ask, afraid of being too intrusive. Onir smiles widely. “I have great friends who have stood by me throughout. And good cinema keeps me going. My happiness is enhanced further when my films are well received. A fashion designer from Hyderabad changed his name after watching ‘I Am'. It had liberated him from a lifelong inner conflict.”

Manual Typewriters Bid Adieu

The last frontier of the manual typewriters, Godrej Boyce is all set to fade away from the market. The news of closure of facility in Mumbai, India, sent a wave of nostalgia in the countries across the world.

With the news hitting the market, a sense of romanticism with the manual typewriters was seen on Twitter and Facebook accounts of millions of people across the world. To the surprise of many, why such euphoria surrounds the manual typewriter when most of the people are hooked to computers all the time?

If company sources are to be believed, company had been producing 10,000 to 12,000 machines in 2009, but the number of orders started dwindling gradually.

Though the legendary manual typewriter is being used by an eloping clan of legal representative’s sitting outside courts, for instance, to draft pleadings, affidavits, and other legalese along with defense agencies and other government offices, presence of computers in many government departments have picked up simultaneously.

As Godrej Boyce has been working for the last six decades, General Manager Milind Dukle, claimed, “We're feeling very sentimental. We have grown up with our fathers using them, we grew up with the clickety sound of the keys in the background, so it's hard to say goodbye to the last machines”.

Sony to reveal PlayStation hack probe

SONY will reveal details of its internal probe into a massive theft of personal data from PlayStation Network users.

The electronics giant said Saturday it would hold a news conference on the security breach of the online network, which may have involved the theft of credit card details and which it said this week was carried out by hackers.

The PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were shut down on April 20 after what Sony described as an "external intrusion" and remain offline as the company upgrades security and works with Federal investigators.

The United States, Britain, Australia and Hong Kong are investigating the hacking and theft of personal data from the network, which has 77 million users worldwide.

A US House of Representatives panel Friday sent a letter to Kazuo Hirai, chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America, with questions on the data breach.

"Given the amount and nature of personal information known to have been taken, the potential harm that could be caused if credit card information was also taken would be quite significant," said the letter from a panel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which was posted on the Internet.

Sony has said users' credit card data was encrypted but could not rule out the possibility that card data was obtained by hackers.

The committee also asked Sony to explain why it believes credit card information was not taken despite being unable to determine the exact scale of the theft.

"The fact that encryption was being used on the credit card data is to be welcomed -- as it reduces the chances of stolen information being used for fraud," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Internet security firm Sophos, said on his blog.

"However, there still remains the question about just how strong the encryption is that Sony used."

Britain's Information Commissioner's Office said it had contacted Sony, while Australia's Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said he had launched an investigation.

"We're seeing more and more now information being held globally, and it's more incumbent upon organisations to make sure they do have strong security systems in place to protect that information," he told broadcaster ABC earlier this week.

Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang said he was probing the breach and met with local Sony official Katsuhiko Murase who told him 400,000 Hong Kong PlayStation Network user accounts were involved.

He said Murase told him the account information compromised includes the name, address, country, email address, birthdate, PSN password and login, and PSN online ID of users, but there was no evidence credit card data was taken.

Sony is being sued in a US court by gamers who have accused the company of being negligent and breaching its contracts with PlayStation Network users.

The company has not indicated whether it has identified a culprit in the intrusion.

Internet vigilante group Anonymous had vowed retribution against Sony for taking legal action against hackers who cracked PS3 defences to change console operating software.

Banker new chairman of India's Infosys

INFOSYS has named a prominent banker to take charge of India's second-largest software exporter as the firm struggles to boost performance.

Infosys Technologies appointed K.V. Kamath as chairman to replace founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, who is slated to retire from the post at the age of 65 in August as part of a shake-up in its top management.

Kamath, 63, the first non-company founder to head the software giant based in India's southern technology hub Bangalore, formerly headed India's largest private bank, ICICI.

"I am so happy he will be steering the company in the future," Murthy told a news conference as he announced the appointment, which he said had been a unanimous choice.

Kamath, who has been an independent director on the Infosys board since May 2009, takes the helm as India's flagship outsourcing sector faces challenges from a slow recovery in Europe and the United States and currency volatility.

Infosys said S.D. Shibulal, now chief operating officer, would become chief executive, replacing S. Gopalakrishnan, who will become executive co-chairman.

Murthy, who helped pioneer India's outsourcing industry and is widely respected for his business acumen and ethics, will serve as chairman emeritus of the company, which will be realigned into new broad business groups.

"I accept this position with the deepest humility," Kamath said, paying tribute to Murthy as someone who built a company "with integrity and defined that as a core value".

"No-one can replace N.R. Narayana Murthy," Kamath, currently non-executive chairman of ICICI Bank said.

"What he did for Infosys epitomised the spirit of the new India."

Infosys, regarded as a bellwether for the $60 billion Indian export-focused outsourcing sector, was founded by Murthy and six other entrepreneurs three decades ago with an investment of just $250.

US and other foreign firms, drawn by India's vast, educated English-speaking workforce and labour costs that are lower than in the West, have farmed out a range of jobs from answering bank client calls to processing insurance claims.

The appointment comes after Infosys reported earlier in April fiscal fourth-quarter earnings which disappointed investors and gave a weak outlook for the current financial year.

Attractive salary hikes in store for IT professionals: experts

IT industry is likely to witness attractive salary hikes and job offers for experienced professionals, resulting in high attrition over the next few quarters as demand for talent will outstrip supply, say experts.

“It looks like a talent war among the IT companies, where people hold multiple job offers and try to select the best firm. And companies are also making efforts to select best talent pool for their requirements,” said Sunil Goel, Director, GlobalHunt, an executive search firm.

Echoing similar view, staffing services firm Manpower India Head (Sales and Marketing), Namr Kishore said, “In India, demand far outstrips genuine qualified supply. Companies are vying for the best talent and are ready to offer hefty packages for the same, luring the employees to switch jobs at a swift pace.”

Wage hikes have been very good in IT companies this year.

It has been 15-25 per cent. And for niche and critical skills, companies have given 30-45 per cent hikes while recruiting or retaining talent for specific projects.

“The trends seen so far is as per expectation and after tier one companies having set the expectation other companies can do not much but follow the trend to a large extent,” said Thammaiah B N, Director, India Kelly IT Resources, Kelly Services, a global workforce player.

Thammaiah said he expects hikes in the range of 10-15 per cent broadly, and around 20 per cent for niche skills or business critical roles.

Experts said that such high salary hikes by IT companies will be sustainable at least for the next few quarters as firms usually deliver projects through a mix of freshers and experienced resources.

Besides, they added, not all employees receive such hikes. Only the top performers do, rest employees get around 8-10 per cent hike.

Profitability of most Indian software companies are likely to come down to 15-20 per cent, which are international standards, from present 25-30 per cent. But the fact that these companies are regularly bagging huge projects might help them sustain the current profitability, Kishore said.

“Attrition has become the DNA, which is required from both the sides. If IT professionals do not change jobs and upgrade themselves as per latest technology, then they may get outdated. The same applies to the companies too, if they do not innovate model and market themselves, they may get outdated,” Goel said.

Air India strike continues, third day losses sum to Rs 12cr

On the first day of the strike, Air India successfully operated 44 flights (100 %) of its subsidiary Alliance Air, 70 flights of Air India Express (2 more than scheduled) and 53 flights of Air India wide body (3 more than scheduled).

The strike has only affected the domestic operations of Air India. A total of 57 flights were cancelled as 69 executive pilots reporting sick..

Revenue loss: Rs 4.5 crore approx

28th April 2011

On the second day of the strike, the operations of Alliance Air and Air India Express were normal. The operations of Air India wide body were near normal as a couple of its flights were cancelled.

Despite the number of domestic flights being curtailed by 45, the sector saw cancellation of 51 flights – which means a total of 96 flights being affected.

Revenue loss: Rs 10 crore approx

29th April 2011

On the third day of the strike, Alliance Air, Air India Express and Air India wide body continued to maintain normal services. Infact, AIE operated two additional flights to Dubai and Sharjah to clear the rush.

Once again the domestic sector saw a further curtailment of flights by 126. This was also because this sector has decided to refuse fresh bookings for five days. The number of flights successfully operated today is 39. This includes a Jumbo service between the Mumbai-Delhi sector.

Revenue loss: Rs 12 crore approx

Gaddafi's Youngest Son, 3 Grandchildren Killed In NATO Strike

Tripoli  : Saif al-Arab, the youngest son of Muammar Gaddafi, and three grandchildren of the Libyan leader have been killed in a NATO airstrike, Libyan government said today.

“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Gaddafi (29) and three of the leader’s grandchildren,” official spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim told reporters in the wee hours.

“The house of Mr Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was attacked tonight with full power. The leader (Muammar Gaddafi) with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives,” he said.

The spokesperson noted that the Libyan leader escaped unhurt.“The leader himself is in good health, he wasn’t harmed.” Muammar Gaddafi’s wife was also unharmed but other people in the house were injured.“This was a direct attempt to assassinate the leader of the country.”

According to reports, the building was extensively damaged and one unexploded bomb remains at the site.Saif al-Arab was the youngest of Gaddafi’s six sons.An international coalition began carrying out strikes on forces loyal to Gaddafi on March 19 under a UN resolution to protect civilians in Libya. NATO took over the operations on March 31. PTI

Call Of Duty Keeps William, Kate Away From Honeymoon

London : Britain’s royal newlyweds have postponed their honeymoon, the location of which has been kept secret, as Prince William will be returning to his military job as a pilot.

William and Kate will spend a private weekend in Britain and take their honeymoon abroad sometime in the future, St James Palace said in a statement, a day after their spectacular wedding ceremony which dazzled some 2 billion people across the globe who watched it live on the TV.  William, the newly named Duke of Cambridge, is said to go straight back to work as a full-time Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot and will be based on the Island of Anglesey in northwest Wales.

Speculation had been rife about the location of their honeymoon as it was earlier said William had still two weeks off from Royal Air Force.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen not to depart for a honeymoon immediately,” the statement said.  It added, “Instead after spending the weekend privately in the UK, the Duke will return to week.

“The locations of both their private weekend before the Duke returns to work and their future honeymoon, which will be overseas, will not be disclosed in advance.” Earlier in the day, Kate, dressed in a casual yet stunning blue dress and sporting flat high-heel shoes, walked out of the Buckingham Palace hand in hand with William into a waiting helicopter.

The couple, stopped briefly to chat to two Royal Household footmen before boarding the helicopter.  The Prince and his new bride left after spending their wedding night in the Buckingham Palace, the Queen Elizabeth’s official residence in London, following a party that went on till the wee hours of morning.

The guesses for their honeymoon location ranged from a private trip to royal retreat in Scotland, wild safari in Kenya or to the quiet desert of Jordan.

The destination for the honeymoon has been shrouded in secrecy, with William having reportedly not even told his new wife where they are going.

The Duke is known to have a deep affection for Africa, and would be on safe romantic territory if he chose to take his wife to Kenya, where he proposed to her last year.

Jordan, with its plethora of ancient sites, has also been touted as a possibility for the couple’s honeymoon.

The Middle Eastern country would no doubt have nostalgic appeal for Kate as her family spent two years there when she was a child.

However its proximity to hotspots such as Syria could count against the country.

If the couple is keen to escape the prying eyes of the media, a secluded Caribbean island might be a safe choice, Press Association reported.

Bequia and Necker Island all have the benefit of being easily secured, as does the ultra-exclusive Mustique, where Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton are frequent visitors.

Lizard Island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, has also emerged as a contender.

But whatever destination the young royal love birds might take, the honeymoon of new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is expected to be briefer than William’s parents, Prince Charles and late Princess Diana who combined a two week Mediterranean cruise with several extended breaks in Britain itself. PTI

Charles Calls Kate The Daughter He Never Had

London : Calling Kate Middleton as the daughter he never had, an emotional Prince Charles raised a toast to the new bride, declaring "we are lucky to have her".

These were the words Charles used to portray his daughter-in-law Kate in a touching speech before a select 650 guests at the lavish champagne reception thrown by the Queen for the royal couple at Buckingham Palace.

Prince William married his longtime girlfriend Kate yesterday at a glittering ceremony at the Westminster Abbey.

Charles and late Princess Diana have two sons, William and Harry.

He wished the couple a long and happy life together. In between, Charles also found time to crack jokes about his eldest son and his famously thinning hairline, Daily Mail reported.

Kate's former primary school headmaster Robert Acheson, who attended the reception said, "William spoke very well but it was Charles who really gave high praise to his daughter-in-law. He said they were really lucky to have a daughter like her."

"I think Kate will be a wonderful role model, he added.

"The speech really brought a tear to the eye. She was a delightful child and is now a delightful young woman."

Susie Lea, a friend of the Middleton family, described the moment that Charles brought the house down. "The Prince of Wales made a few jokes about his bald patch and his son's bald patch, saying it must be hereditary," she said.

One attendee who said his son was a school friend of Prince William said: "Kate looked immaculate, she was beaming the whole time. It was a fantastic reception, everyone was very relaxed. William thanked everyone involved in the organisation of the wedding."

An astonishing 10,000 canapes were served during the two-hour reception, prepared by Buckingham Palace's 21-strong team of kitchen staff.

Guests toasted the happy couple with a 200 pound Pol Roger NV brut reserve champagne and a selection of other soft and alcoholic drinks. PTI

AIEEE Exams Postponed By 3 Hours

New Delhi :  Nearly 12 lakh students across the country were asked to wait for three hours, as reports came in of a suspected paper leak in the All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Sunday morning.

The exams which were to begin at 9 am have been rescheduled. Exams will now be held from 12 noon to 3 pm a nd the second paper from 4 pm to 7 pm, a spokesperson said.

For the first time, one lakh candidates from 20 cities in India  were to  take the examination online.

According to a senior official with CBSE, the nodal agency for AIEEE, about 11 lakh students will write the examination with pen and paper and the rest will take the test online at over 1,600 centres in more than 80 cities across the country.

Those taking the test for BArch and BPlan will write Paper 2.

In Paper 1 BE, BTech aspirants will answer objective-type questions in physics, chemistry and mathematics. Paper 2 will comprise questions in mathematics, aptitude and drawing to ascertain skill in illustration.

The results are expected to be released on or before June 7 after which students will attend counselling for various institutes.

The test will be for approximately 26,816 seats for BE, BTech and 936 seats for BArch, BPlanning in institutions across the country, including National Institutes of Technology (NIT), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), deemed universities, technical institutions, Delhi Technological University, New Delhi and other government-funded institutions.

Army, ITBP Launch Massive Search For Arunachal CM Chopper

Itanagar : The Army, SSB, ITBP and the state police resumed their joint operation this morning to locate a missing chopper carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and four others.

While inclement weather is preventing the two IAF choppers being positioned at Tezpur and Guwahati to carry out search and rescue operations, ground search is on along the India-Bhutan border in the state, sources at the CMO and police headquarters here told PTI.

Search teams from neighboring Bhutan have also launched rescue operation in seven districts of that country, sources said.

The four-seater single-engine Pawan Hans helicopter AS-B350-B-3 went missing after 20 minutes of its take off from Tawang at 9.56 am yesterday with five on board including crew members Captain J S Babbar, Captain T S Mamik, Khandu's security officer Yeshi Choddak and Yeshi Lhamu, sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup.

The chopper was to land at Itanagar at about 11.30 am.The Guwahati air traffic control had reportedly received the last radio communication from the chopper near Sela Pass area, 20 minutes after take off from Tawang.

The state government has set up a crisis management cell with principal secretary to CM Yeshi Tsering, civil aviation commissioner Hage Khoda, home secretary A K Srivastav, IGP SBK Singh, DIGP (West) Robin Hibu, DIG (Intelligence) Anil Shukla, City DC Pawan Kumar Sain and SP Apang Tamut as its members.The committee will be monitoring the situation under the overall guidance and supervision of Chief Secretary Tabam Bam.

Conflicting reports emerged throughout the day yesterday over the disappearance of the chopper with initial reports claiming that the chopper had landed safely at Eastern Bhutan.

However, later in the evening there were denials from all concerned saying the helicopter had not been located and search operation was on.

To locate the chopper, the Army and Air Force had launched search operations yesterday, but was called off in the evening due to poor visibility. PTI

Customs Slap Rs 10 Lakh Fine On Industrialist's Wife

Mumbai : The wife of business tycoon Sajjan Jindal,vice-chairman and managing director of JSW Steel,has been fined and penalised over Rs 10 lakh for carrying undeclared diamond jewellery and other imported valuables worth Rs 60 lakh when she returned from a trip abroad in October 2010, reports Mumbai Mirror.

Customs officials at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport said that when Sangeeta Jindal arrived back she was carrying Rs 21 lakh worth of goods bought in London,in addition to undeclared jewellery worth Rs 39 lakh that she had taken with her while leaving from India.

Sangeeta Jindals case has now been adjudicated and she has been fined and penalised according to the Customs rules and regulations, said P M Govande,Commissioner,Customs.

Last October,Customs officers had called Sangeeta back to the airport as she had left before her baggage had been screened.While screening her baggage,Customs officers came across the jewellery she had taken with her and other imported goods which had not been declared.Ideally Sangeeta should have declared the jewellery she was carrying when she left for London in order to get an export certificate.But she did not do so.

On returning too,the jewellery was not declared.Over and above that,she also bought additional valuables worth Rs 21 lakh for which no duty was paid, a Customs officer said.Sangeeta had been booked under the Customs act for misdeclaration,which amounted to illegal importation of the good she had with her.

In her statement she told the Customs that she made the mistake of not declaring her goods and jewellery out of ignorance.The jewellery,which had been confiscated,will be returned to her after she pays the fine and penalty.

Sangeeta had gone to London for a function.While there,she had made purchases for another event that was to take place later in Mumbai.According to Custom rules,goods above Rs 25,000 must be declared at the Customs counter at the airport. Despite repeated calls and an email,Mithun Roy,a corporate communications official of JSW Steel declined to comment on the matter.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Extreme testing for rotor blades

Only when you are standing beside a wind turbine can you appreciate the immense size of the wind turbine and its rotor blades. The largest wind turbines operating in the world today have rotor blades over 60 meters long – roughly equivalent to three truck-and-trailer units end-to-end. Within the next ten years, manufacturers of high-output wind turbines for offshore wind farms plan to produce blades up to 90 meters long. The prototypes of these new blades have to be tested and certified before they can go into production, and that requires equally as large testing facilities. The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) in Bremerhaven is preparing for these outsized rotor blades. In early summer IWES will be inaugurating a new facility with the capability of testing rotor blades up to 90 meters long. The central feature of the new test facility will be a tiltable 1000 metric tons steel and reinforced concrete mounting block. Hydraulic cylinders used to tilt the block and additional cylinders to load the blade will allow the IWES engineers to bend a rotor blade as easily as a finger to a blade of grass. Preparations for testing begin by firmly mounting the flange of the rotor blade to the tilt block while the tip of the rotor blade projects upwards at a slight angle. Loading cables are attached at various locations along the blade and to hydraulic cylinders mounted on the floor. When all the cables and hydraulic cylinders are in place, the loading and tilting are initiated. As the tilt block is rotated and the tip of the blade begins to move upward, the rotor blade bends as its upward movement is counteracted by the loading cables pulling downwards. This unique testing setup allows for the blade tip of 90 meter blades to be bent through a distance of 25 meters.

The IWES researchers and engineers will be building upon their prior rotor blade testing experience with the new 90 meter testing facility. A test facility for rotor blades up to 70 meters long was opened at IWES in Bremerhaven in 2009, but it is not equipped with a tiltable mounting block. "The big advantage of the hydraulic tiltable mounting block is that it allows us to set up the ideal configuration for conducting tests with high precision in a minimum amount of time," says Falko Bürkner, who leads the rotor-blade testing team at IWES. This is especially important when testing the blades under extreme conditions, which involves subjecting the blades to the maximum theoretical loading it has been designed to withstand, i.e. 100% of the design load. This is always an anxious moment for the manufacturer: are our calculations accurate, is the structure robust enough?

The new test facility is not solely devoted to extreme load testing, but is also outfitted to simulate the cyclic forces acting on the rotor blades as they rotate due to the force of the wind. The wind and in turn rotation of the turbine causes constantly changing forces to act on the carbon or glass fiber reinforced materials of the rotor blades. "There is no other engineered rotating system in which the materials must support so many changes in the load parameters," says Bürkner. This fatigue loading is simulated in the new facility by a hydraulic cylinder which alternately pushes and pulls on the blade, causing it to vibrate at its horizontal and/or vertical resonant frequencies. A full series of extreme load and endurance tests takes around four months to complete. During this time, the blade is subjected to the same loads that it would normally have to withstand in 20 years of operation. Bürkner is confident that the new facilities will enable the institute to continue its mission well into the future. "We have a full schedule for the next twelve months – and that is even before the new test hall opens on June 9, 2011." IWES experts will be present at the Hannover Messe on April 4-8, 2011 (Hall 27, Stand H 24) to present a 3-D film of their biaxial rotor-blade testing and provide information for other new testing options. An open day for members of the public will be held at the new rotor-blade test center on June 11, 2011.

TRMM Satellite sees massive thunderstorms in severe weather system

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite again flew over severe thunderstorms that were spawning tornadoes over the eastern United States on April 28 and detected massive thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall. TRMM, a satellite managed by both NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, captured the rainfall rates occurring in the line of thunderstorms associated with a powerful cold front moving through the eastern U.S. on April 28. TRMM flew over the strong cold front and captured data at 0652 UTC (2:52 AM EDT) on April 28, 2011. Most of the rainfall was occurring at moderate rates however, there were pockets of very heavy rainfall in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama where rain was falling at a rate of 2 inches (50 millimeters) per hour.

Tornadoes associated with this extremely unstable weather caused the deaths of at least 128 people in Alabama and 15 in Georgia.

TRMM data was also used to generate a 3-D look at the storm. TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) data was used by Hal Pierce of SSAI at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. to create a 3-D structure of those storms. The image Pierce created is a TRMM radar vertical cross section that shows some of these violent storms reached to incredible heights of almost 17 km (~10.6 miles).

Fish livers contain beneficial fatty acids

The fishing industry usually discards fish livers, but a team of researchers from the University of Almeria (Spain) has confirmed that they are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial to health. Anchovies are one of the fish whose livers contain the highest levels of these substances. Fish livers have hardly been used to date, with exceptions such as cod livers, which are used to produce the well-known medicinal oil. In general, fishermen tend to throw fish entrails away into the sea, and if they make it to processing plants they are one of the first fish body parts to be discarded.

However, these organs contain compounds that are beneficial to health, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Almeria, which has been published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.

"The livers of edible fish are a good source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), especially those in the omega 3 family, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)", José Luis Guil-Guerrero, lead author of the study, tells SINC.

These fatty acids are used to prevent and treat various complaints, such as some kinds of cancer, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, behavioural problems and cardiovascular diseases.

The study focused on 12 kinds of fish that are commonly eaten in south eastern Spain, such as hake, shortfin mako and European pilchard. The livers of the great weever (Trachinus draco) and the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) were those that showed up the highest levels of LCPUFA (51.4% and 47.9% out of the total fatty acids, respectively).

In addition, all the species had a combination of omega-3/omega-6 acids that was "beneficial for human consumption", especially in the case of the liver of the blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou).

"Unfortunately, discarding these livers means that all their nutritional properties are missed", says Guil-Guerrero, "and if they were used this would also reduce the environmental pollution caused by throwing innards into the water, which is an inherent problem in the fish product processing industry in coastal areas".

Foul play in Delhi's health department

MiD DAY had raised the issue in August last year. After Delhi police arresting two pharmacists in the Capital, among others, on Thursday for smuggling of medicines from a government hospital, it would appear that some diseases are incurable. This correspondent found that a large number of pharmacists are working in the hospitals by violating the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

As per the ministry's directive to all government hospitals, no pharmacist can continue in the same post in a hospital (or by moving to a different hospital) for more that two years. Despite this, there are a number of people working as pharmacists in government hospitals as well as in Directorate of Health Services (DHS) for more than ten years. Even if they change their job, they manage to get the same position in other hospitals allegedly by bribing members of the health department. According to officials, this is the only reason why such scams happen, as these people form strong connections in a particular area with smuggler, suppliers and persons within the department, and then carry out this illegal trade.

All's not well
In one such case, AK Wadhwa, who has been working as the Pharmacist in-charge, Purchase, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, has been in the same post for the last 15 years. Another person from the same hospital is Rakesh Sharma, who has also been holding onto the same position for more than ten years.

"He has earlier worked in Lok Nayak and Deen Dayal Hospital in the same post. Why is he being given special treatment? These people are solely responsible for this menace. If the government has made some rules, they must have thought about it, but these pharmacists completely ignore such rules and guidelines," said a senior official from the health department on the condition of anonymity.

Ill-gotten gains
Sources pointed out that there is a full-fledged racket functioning from these hospitals. According to them, Narendra Kumar Sharma, who was arrested yesterday, was also a part of the same racket. Before, Hedgewar Hospital, he was working with Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in the same post. Similarly, another pharmacist arrested, Dharmendra, was working with Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital.

"Interestingly, you will find these pharmacists moving through the same chain of hospitals, including  LBS Hospital, Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Aruna Asif Ali Hospital," said an official from DHS who did not wish to be named.

Some other pharmacists who have been in the same post for more than ten years are Anil Kumar from Aruna Asif Ali and Malkiata Singh working in the Central Store of DHS. Health department sources also allege that instead of purchasing medicines and other drugs through Central Procurement Agency (CPA), these pharmacists buy the medicines from their own group of traders.

"They do not follow the guideline which says that medicines and drugs should be purchased by the CPA. Instead they give the tender to the local traders and supply the same medicines to other hospitals," added a health department official.

'Not our problem'
Meanwhile, the DHS completely brushed off the issue saying that the transfer and promotion of pharmacists is not a matter of their concern."These cases don't come under me. The DHS is only responsible for the internal posting in the dispensaries, but we do keep on changing the posts. These posts are managed by Secretariat," said Dr Kamath, Director, DHS.

Despite repeated calls and messages, Rajendra Kumar, Secretary, DHS did not reply to us. MiD DAY had earlier too tried to speak to him over the same issue, without success. "I will definitely inquire into the matter. We will find out all the details about all such pharmacists who have been violating the guidelines of the ministry," said Dr AK Walia, Minister of Health, Delhi Government.

Unholy nexus
In Thursday's raid, medicines worth Rs 60 lakh were recovered from the arrested persons identified as Ashwani Sharma (35), Pyare Ali (35), Hakim Singh (45), Dharmender Kumar (40) and Narender Kumar Sharma (56). Narender is the head pharmacist of Hedgewar Hospital while Kumar works under him, Sanjay Kumar Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East), said.

"We have exposed the unholy nexus between hospital staff and medicine supplier and the systematic siphoning of the government procured medicine meant for poor patients. Ashwani and Narender were the main kingpins who were operating the gang for the last one year," Jain said.

The arrests came after police received information about illegal sale of government medicine. Following investigations, Jain said, a raid was conducted at the house of Ashwani. "The raid parties were shocked to see the huge stocks of medicine at his house where he had a godown to store them. All the medicines were bearing specific marking of 'Supply for Government of NCT of Delhi, Not for sale' and on some medicine marking of 'MCD supply, Not for Sale' was imprinted," Jain said.

Medicines of 28 types mostly costly antibiotics, ointments and inhalers, including Amoxycillin 500mg, Roxythromycin 150mg, Ampicllin 500mg, Asthalin, Ciprorin 200mg and 500mg, Metrogyl 400mg, Cephalaxin 500mg etc were recovered.

Last-ditch contract negotiations at Children's Hospital Oakland

Registered nurses at Children's Hospital Oakland are in negotiations today with the hospital's management in hopes of averting a five-day strike scheduled for May 5-10.

This would be the second walkout in the same negotiations cycle. The nurses held a three-day strike in October after talks stalled.

The major sticking point has continued to be health care benefits, with the nurses objecting to a plan that would require them to pay more for family coverage. The hospital also has offered two less expensive options that would fully be paid for by the employer.

Children's Hospital's 700 nurses registered nurses are represented by the California Nurses Association. The union members authorized a strike on Friday.

Liz Jacobs, a spokeswoman for the nurses' union, said today she wasn't optimistic the two sides would reach an agreement that would avoid a walkout.

Mumbai fire chief no more

Chief Fire Officer Uday Tatkare (55) died at KEM Hospital last evening. At around 7 pm yesterday, Tatkare's driver Govind Sutar and attendant Ananta Dore rushed him to the casualty ward of KEM Hospital. The casualty doctors on duty swung into action, anxious at not being able to detect his pulse. Senior doctors were summoned to the spot, including the hospital dean Sanjay Oak. Within minutes, Tatkare was shifted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) on the second floor of the hospital and put on life support systems. A team of doctors, under the supervision of Oak made several attempts to revive Tatkare. But all their efforts were in vain.

A worried Sutar, who was standing outside the MICU, told MiDDAY, "Sir had attended a meeting at the BMC headquarters. We were returning to his official residence in Chembur. Around 7 pm, my colleague Ananta and I heard sir's mobile ringing. Noticing that he did not answer the phone, we turned round to discover him unconscious. Fearing the worst, we rushed him to KEM Hospital." Soon the news spread like wildfire. Firemen and officers from nearby fire stations flocked to the hospital. His wife Darshana and daughter Hargauri were informed about his hospitalisation.

According to a senior BMC official, "Tatkare was in a meeting at the BMC Head Office to sort out an issue related to the fire department. He had recently been to Finland to inspect the 27 metre snorkel ladder that was to be acquired by the Mumbai Fire Brigade, The new snorkel was to arrive in two months." Waiting outside the MICU was Tatkare's nephew, Sanjay Tatkare, with whom he had had lunch hours before the incident. "I will see you on Saturday," were his last words to his nephew.

According to Sanjay, Tatkare was a vegetarian and a teetotaler, who had never experienced any cardiac problems. A fitness freak, he was very disciplined about his daily morning walk. Sanjay also reiterated that his uncle had nerves of steel, and never buckled under pressure. Sources revealed that Tatkare's daughter Hargauri has just appeared for her Std X examinations. Tatkare, Hargauri and Darshana formed a closely knit family. He had preferred to stay in the official quarters in Chembur until his retirement.

Shiv Sena leader Dagdu Sakpal, who was the first to reach the hospital said, "I was in office in Parel when I was heard that the fire chief had been brought to KEM. Upon reaching the hospital, the doctors informed me that he was no more. It is unfortunate. I knew him as a good fire officer, who would lead the team from the front." A senior police officer from Bhoiwada police station said, "We have registered a case under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The exact cause of death will be determined only after the autopsy is done on Friday."  Mayor Shraddha Jadhav visited the hospital late last night.

Tatkare had recently initiated the process of recruitment of women fire-fighters and women life-guards. It was under his supervision, that the Mumbai fire officials pointed out the violation of fire safety norms at the Wankhede stadium, leading to an uproar just before the World Cup matches were held at the venue.

Salman Khan traditional 'Sherwani' look from Ready

A lot has been said and done in the past few weeks about Salman Khan's upcoming film Ready . Yes, we know it's the most awaited film of the season. Therefore, Bollywood Hungama got an exclusive sneak peek of Sallu bhai's new look, only for you.

Seen here in the above image, Salman is all decked up in a traditional Sherwani, which is his look in one of the songs in the film.

The music launch of Ready will be happening today evening and Sallu being the man that he is has decided to launch the music at Film City along with the staff workers of the studio. It's his way of giving back to the people, who he feels have stood by him for past 21 years of his career in Bollywood. He will also be having dinner with the workers post the music launch.

Ready, which is being directed by Anees Bazmee, stars Salman Khan and Asin. The film tells a comic tale of love and the game played to safeguard it.

Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Ready is slated for release on June 3.

Kiss and Yell

The idea of announcing a Relationship Status itself is fairly new in our society. But suddenly we are surrounded by places where this is done with ample display of affection. I-am-in-a-relationship is a buzzy place to be in these days especially if you are in the cricket stadia. At least that’s what the celebs are doing.

For pointers, watch the extra innings between Liz Hurley and Shane Warne. Hurley, currently enjoying her Indian holiday with beau Warne — who captains Rajasthan Royals — is clearly enjoying herself. Warne and the 45-year-old Hollywood actor are joined at the hip, arriving at hotels and travelling together in the team bus. In the stadium, Hurley, who recently admitted she “wasn’t into cricket before” hasn’t shied away from her very public display of affection (PDA). The two even went to seal The Royals win in Jaipur over Kochi Tuskers with a celebratory kiss. “She has eyes only for Warne. They surely seem to be making the most of their time together and are not at all conscious of shutterbugs or the fact that Warne’s children Jackson, Brooke and Summer along with Hurley’s nine-year-old son Damien are always around,” remarked a source from the Rajasthan Royals camp during the team’s outing in Chandigarh. Warne and Hurley were booked in Hotel Mountview in Chandigarh with their families in rooms signed in as ‘Warne family 1&2’. Hurley, it seems, has a history of PDA. Samantha Brett, a columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald remarked in her recent column how Hurley is “little too lovey-dovey...publicly, that is”.

Sealing cricketing wins with a kiss seems to be the done thing this IPL season. The Deepika Padukone-Siddhartha Mallya hug-and-kiss routine has been viewed on YouTube over 84,000 times in the last five days overshadowing Chris Gayle’s bludgeoning knock at the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers match. The fans are loving every bit of the action off the field as well. “This IPL, there’s so much non-cricket action in the stands, it makes for a good game. It’s good to see Deepika come out in the open,” says Chandigarh-based model Sonia Dhiman, who has bought box tickets for Kings XI Punjab’s next match in Dharamsala with a purpose. “That’s the best place to get noticed,” she quips.

Box seats at stadia are perhaps the most coveted places and not without reason. Apart from the loud cheering and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the celebrities, one’s privy to a lot of PDA moments, dutifully recorded by cameras who know where to focus. For the blockbuster India-Pakistan World Cup match at Mohali last month, Aamir Khan flew in with wife Kiran Rao. The two cheered the team together and those who shared space in the box recall Rao holding on to her hubby each time the ball crossed the fence. “She kept calling Aamir ‘My Love’ and the two would whisper into each other’s ears as the cameras zoomed in. The young crowd below the stands kept looking up and taking pictures,” says a journalist who was present for the match.

Celebrities in stands aren’t new to Indian cricket, their PDA is. “Times have changed both on and off the field. I see nothing wrong so long as the players aren’t doing it on the field,” feels veteran cricketer Kapil Dev, who says in the same breath, “Cricket and cricketers are now seen as glamourous, so women want to be associated with them. Also the media likes to highlight such opportunities, which were earlier rare.”

Referring to recent PDA news splashes, Punjab’s well-known psychologist Rajshree Sarda makes a point. “Indians are no longer as prudish. Celebrities are conscious of their acts. If somebody lesser-known was hugging a non-celebrity, there would not be much talk about it,” says Sarda, who agrees that it’s the upper crust that is more comfortable with displaying relationship intimacy. “In the pre-IPL era, cricket stadia never boasted of so much glamour. Also, the adrenaline rush seems to be making people express lot physically,” she says. We aren’t complaining. (With inputs from Shalini Gupta)

'Raavan' was a stepping stone for me in B-town: Nikhil

Actor Nikhil Dwivedi, who is looking forward to his upcoming movie 'Shor in the City' feels it is filmmaker Mani Ratnam's 'Raavan' that opened doors for him in Bollywood.

Despite the debacle of 'Raavan' Nikhil seems to have benefitted the most from the film. "'Raavan' was a stepping stone for me in Bollywod..It opened the doors more for me in the film industry. Now filmmakers are willing to invest in me. I feel they consider me as a bankable star. The journey has begun," said Nikhil in an interview.

Nikhil debuted with Shah Rukh Khan Production's 'My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves' in 2008, but it was 'Raavan' starring Abhishek Bachchan, Vikram and Aishwarya that got him noticed. "After 'Raavan' I wanted to raise the bar. Doing a small film with a meaty role is much important than doing a big film with a small role. This is just the beginning and it feels great," the 29-year-old actor said.

Nikhil started off playing the lover boy in 'My Name.. ', then moved on to very strict Inspector Hemant in 'Raavan'. Now he will be seen in a new avatar in 'Shor..'. "I am open to anything be it small or a big banner. Whether its a substantial role or a small role...the size of the role doesn't matter to me as long as the script and character is good. I am ready for supporting roles," he said.

In 'Shor...'Nikhil will be seen alongside Tusshar Kapoor, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Pitobash Tripathi, Preeti Desai and Radhika Apte among others.

About his character, Nikhil said, "I play the role of Ramesh who is a rowdy and petty criminal who wants to make quick money. The movie is a gritty satirical drama set in the midst of a metropolitan city."

Directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, the film releasing on April 29, revolves around three stories in the Mumbai noise. Nikhil will be seen next in the contemporary remake of Sunny Deol-starrer hit film, 'Arjun'.

Q&A on Playstation Network security breach

Q: What is the PlayStation Network, and what happened to it?

A: The PlayStation Network (PSN) is a proprietary network for owners of Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles to play online games with others. PSN also offers movies and TV episodes for rent or purchase, as well as downloadable games and game demos. "The idea is you create a profile and put your credit card number in and information about yourself, so when you want to get online it verifies your identity," says Chet Wisniewski, senior security adviser at network security firm Sophos. "If you decide to buy or rent anything, they have your credit card on record and can automatically bill you."

Sony shut down PSN on April 20 after discovering that sometime April 17 to 19, an illegal breach occurred. On Tuesday, Sony announced that users' personal data was compromised, including possible credit card information.

Q: How many people are affected?

A: Sony has sold about 50 million PS3 systems and has said that it has 77 million registered accounts in 59 countries. Customers don't have to enter credit card information; they can use prepaid PSN cards sold at retail.

Q: What can users now do to protect themselves?

A: Users should replace any credit card that was on file with PSN, change passwords on any other accounts that used the same password as PSN and subscribe to an identity theft monitoring service, says Paul Judge, chief research officer for security firm Barracuda Networks.

Q: Was Sony quick enough to inform users about the theft of their data?

Sony has not managed this crisis appropriately so far, by not taking immediate and full responsibility for the problem, says Susan Fournier, an associate professor of marketing at Boston University's School of Management. "Their statements to the press actually seek to deflect blame and indicate no ownership of what has happened."

Q: What price might Sony pay in lost trust and lost customers? Should it compensate users?

Still to be seen is whether Sony "has stored enough trust reserves to get it through this crisis," Fournier says. "It is hard to come out of this and feel that the company cares about me."

The PSN relationship with users is not a simple one. "I think Sony has what we would call a communal relationship based in trust and reciprocity," she says. "The 'appropriate compensation' here is more likely attention, caring, empathy (and) specific actions that fix the problem and prevent it from happening again."

In real world costs, Sony could be on the hook for millions. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach in 2010 increased to $7.2 million, with an average cost of $214 per compromised record.

Windows 7 helps Microsoft boost OS share to 78.6 percent

Microsoft's Windows accounted for 78.6% of worldwide operating system revenue in 2010, up nearly a full percentage point, despite growth in Linux servers and Mac desktops, according to Gartner.

Gartner's new analysis adds up the revenue for both server and desktop operating systems worldwide, comparing Microsoft to IBM, HP, Oracle, Red Hat and Apple.

Windows has long dominated the desktop market, but has had a tougher fight on the server side. Adding the two segments together shows Windows grabbing $23.8 billion in 2010 revenue, up from 2009 when Windows accounted for $21.9 billion and 77.9% of the market by revenue share.

IBM, maker of Unix and mainframe operating systems, came in second place in 2010 with $2.3 billion revenue and 7.5% market share. Although Red Hat, the top Linux vendor, accounted for only 2% of share and Apple's Mac OS 1.7%, Gartner said Linux servers and Mac desktops are on the rise.

"Linux (server) and Mac OS were the fastest-growing subsegments in the server and client OS segments, respectively, while Microsoft maintained its leading position in the overall OS market," Gartner said.

Microsoft growth was "driven by positive Windows 7 adoption and [the] PC refreshment cycle."

Windows desktops accounted for $17.7 billion of OS revenue, and 96.6% of worldwide desktop share, followed by Mac OS at 2.8% and Linux at 0.6%.

Counting by revenue, rather than unit share, seems to help Microsoft's cause. Usage tracker Net Applications gives Windows 89.6% of share by number of users, while StatCounter gives Windows 91.6% of users with the rest going mostly to Mac and Linux.

On the server side, Windows earned $6.2 billion in revenue, for just over 51% of the market. HP's Unix systems took in 8.6%, IBM's Unix 8.5%, Linux on the whole took 8.4% and IBM's mainframe, 7.8%.

The small cost of servers running open source Linux naturally results in a revenue share that is much lower than its unit share.

An ongoing survey of the top million websites by W3Techs gives Linux and other Unix-like systems 64.1% of Web server operating system unit share, compared to 35.9% for Windows and nearly zero for Mac OS. Numbers like these have led people like Linux Foundation chief Jim Zemlin to brag that Linux powers the majority of Internet traffic despite its small revenue share.

The overall operating system market grew 7.8% to 30.4 billion in revenue in 2010, according to Gartner, with desktop systems leading the way.

One category Gartner did not include in its analysis is the mobile operating system. Usage of Android and Apple's iOS still account for a small portion of total OS use, but it is growing quickly due to proliferation of smartphones and tablets.

Net Applications, which lumps desktop and mobile operating systems together, found that Apple's iOS rose from 0.81% to 1.87% in the past year, while Windows dropped from 91.3% to 89.6%.

Windows 7 seems to be on fire, selling 350 million licenses and becoming the fastest selling operating system in history, according to Microsoft. A PC World analysis, while not definitive, suggests that the 350 million licenses may actually be a step back for Microsoft, representing only about two-thirds of total PC sales, much lower than Microsoft's typical desktop share.

However, current usage patterns as tracked by Net Applications shows Windows share dropping only slightly, and that is largely due to gains made by mobile operating systems.  

iOS, which powers iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, is actually more widely used than Linux desktops, according to Net Applications. IOS share is nearly double that of desktop Linux and more than three times higher than Android's.

Apple denies iPhone tracking claims

Apple has admitted that a bug in its software has allowed iPhones and iPads to collect data related to their location even when users turn off permission to collect it – but says it will soon remedy this oversight.

The admission follows a storm of controversy after the Guardian's exclusive revelation last week that the devices stored a file containing details from which a user's movements could be reconstructed.

In a statement on its website, the company says that: "Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans ever to do so."

It says that the file discovered by researchers and described in the Guardian is not used for tracking of the phone or its owner. "The location data that researchers are seeing on the iPhone is not the past or present location of the iPhone, but rather the locations of Wi-Fi hotspots and [mobile network] cell towers surrounding the iPhone's location, which can be more than 100 miles away from the iPhone." It adds: "We plan to cease backing up this cache in a software update coming soon."

That will cut the amount of data stored from as much as a year's worth of location information to just seven days, the company says. That is likely to be roughly comparable with the store used on Android phones, which record the past 50 cell towers and 200 Wi-Fi networks that the phone has "seen".

That data is uploaded to Apple in an "encrypted and anonymous" form, it says.

It admits that a software fault means that if users turn off Location Services – which should prevent the upload – the data is still sent. "It shouldn't. This is a bug, which we plan to fix shortly," the company says.

Future versions of the file will be encrypted on the phone. That will allay fears that law enforcement and security services could copy the file and analyse it without a valid warrant.

Apple accepts some of the blame for the concern over the revelations, which have seen it threatened with lawsuits and put under focus from US lawmakers and potentially by European governments. "Providing mobile users with fast and accurate location information while preserving their security and privacy has raised some very complex technical issues which are hard to communicate in a soundbite. Users are confused, partly because the creators of this new technology (including Apple) have not provided enough education about these issues to date," the company says in its statement.

The data is stored because it helps the iPhone to calculate its location, Apple says. "Calculating a phone's location using just GPS satellite data can take up to several minutes. iPhone can reduce this time to just a few seconds by using Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data to quickly find GPS satellites, and even triangulate its location using just Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data when GPS is not available (such as indoors or in basements). These calculations are performed live on the iPhone using a crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data that is generated by tens of millions of iPhones sending the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple."

Apple also insists that it cannot identify individuals from the data because the data about networks and Wi-Fi – which is reported to the company's servers – is anonymised and encrypted.

The Guardian approached Apple ahead of publication last week of its article detailing the findings by the researchers, but the company declined to comment at the time. Repeated requests for comment received no response until now.

Since then Apple has found itself under fire, with the US Democratic senator Al Franken writing directly to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs demanding to know why the phones retained the data, and attempts to file a class action lawsuit against the company.

Jobs himself was curtly emphatic in an email earlier this week in which he insisted "we don't track anyone" and that "the info circulating around is false".

Food inflation rises marginally to 8.76%

Food inflation inched up marginally to 8.76 per cent for the week ended April 16 on the back of rising prices of fruits, protein-based items and onions.

Food inflation stood at 8.74 per cent in the previous week. This is the second consecutive week when the rate of price rise of food items has gone up after a period of moderation in February and March.

The latest rise, although marginal, will put more pressure on the government, which has described inflation as one of the major challenges facing the economy.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern about rising prices, especially of food items, and said the country needs to do more for ensuring the food security of its citizens.

During the week under review, fruits became dearer by 28.43 per cent year-on-year, while egg, meat and fish prices went up 12.14 per cent.

Onions became more expensive by 10.96 per cent on an annual basis. Milk also became dearer by 5.10 per cent. Similarly, cereal prices went up 4.49 per cent, while rice and wheat became dearer by 2.08 per cent and 0.48 per cent, respectively.

However, pulses bucked the trend and witnessed a decline of 6.49 per cent in their wholesale prices. Overall, vegetable prices were down 0.21 per cent and potatoes by 1.61 per cent.

Meanwhile, during the week under review, prices of non-food articles were up 26.48 per cent year-on-year. Fuel and power became dearer by 13.53 per cent, while petrol was up 21.81 per cent.

Food inflation stayed in high numbers for most of 2010 and early 2011 and was the major contributor to headline inflation, which has been above 8 per cent since February 2010.

Headline inflation stood at 8.98 per cent in March, way above the government's projection of 8 per cent.

The government and the Reserve Bank of India have exuded confidence that with a record harvest of wheat and pulses, the trend of increase in prices of food items would be reversed.

However, after the slight moderation of February and March, food inflation numbers have again started moving upward and experts say this could be a major issue for the government at a time when non-food core inflation has also shown signs of going up.

Mahindra Satyam to hire 18,000 employees

IT firm Mahindra Satyam on Thursday said it plans to hire about 18,000 people during this fiscal.

"We have plans of hiring about 18,000 people this year (FY'12). Over 5,000 are from campuses and the rest are from lateral hiring or recruitment of experienced hands," Mahindra Satyam Head Recruitment and Media Sridhar Maturi said.

At the end of the third quarter (October-December period), Mahindra Satyam's headcount stood at 28,832, an increase of 764 personnel from 28,068 employees on September 30, 2010.

Maturi further added, "The campus hiring will be predominantly in India and the lateral hiring is from across the world."

The company has its development and delivery centres in the US, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Hungary, Egypt, UAE, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia by which the company serves numerous clients, including several Fortune 500 companies.

Mahindra Satyam, formerly Satyam Computer Services, in September last year had announced its first audited financial results for 2009-10 after its founder B Ramalinga Raju admitted to multi-crore accounting fraud in January 2009.

In November 2010, it announced its first quarterly result for the April-June quarter, the first time after disclosure of its July-September 2008 quarter earnings.

The company's former chairman and founder Ramalinga Raju had in January 2009 confessed to the about Rs 14,000 crore scam wherein the company's profits were overstated and its assets falsified.

Tech Mahindra bought Satyam in April 2009, which since then is operating as an independent company.

Shares of Mahindra Satyam today closed at Rs 74.20 on the BSE, up 1.44 per cent from the previous close.

Food inflation inches up to 8.76 %

Food inflation inched up a tad to 8.76 per cent for the week ended April 16 from 8.74 per cent in the previous week which, analysts feel, has sealed the prospects of yet another hike in key short-term lending and borrowing rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its annual credit and monetary policy review next week on May 3.

With rising inflationary pressures persisting, the customary consultations that the RBI Governor has with the Finance Ministry to review the economic scenario prior to announcing the credit policy assumes greater significance this time round in view of a discernible slowdown in growth in the wake of high headline and food inflation.

Commenting on the wholesale price index (WPI) inflation data on primary articles which call for a delicate calibration of monetary policy measures, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee maintained that the latest figures on food inflation were in line with the upward trend witnessed earlier.

“We will talk with the Governor of RBI [D. Subbarao] before he announces the monetary policy. We will have a discussion. I think he is coming tomorrow [Friday]... as far as April 16 [WPI data] is concerned, it has been on the same lines. There has been some marginal variation. More or less, the trend that was noticed on April 9... the same trend is being maintained,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

Economic analysts, however, point out that apart from food prices which are expected to decline in the coming weeks, it is the rising commodity prices, including crude oil, which is exerting additional pressure on headline inflation.

Hinting at the need for some strong measures to get a hold on the price situation, KASSA Director Siddharth Shankar said: “Inflation numbers released today are indicative that the inflation is not getting under control and somehow simple policy initiatives will be of no help”.

Even as a hike in short-term lending (repo) and borrowing (reverse repo) rates by at least 25 basis points is on the cards, the industry has warned that any harsh measure to suck out liquidity and render funds unduly expensive would further impact industrial and overall growth which has already shown a decelerating trend in recent months. However, this is despite the fact that the RBI has already raised its key policy rates eight times since March last year in its bid to suck out excess liquidity and thereby rein in inflation but the steps have not yielded results at the level desired.

Kate Spends Night In London Hotel With Sister, Mother

London  : After a final rehearsal at Westminster Abbey, Kate Middleton arrived on Thursday  evening at the Goring Hotel, where her family are staying ahead of her marriage to Prince William on Friday, reports Daily Mail, London.

Wearing a polka-dot dress, the bride-to-be, accompanied by her sister Pippa and mother Carole, waved to the huge crowd which has gathered outside the hotel in Belgravia.

A beaming Kate showed no sign of nerves as she prepares to spend her final night as a single woman - and a commoner. And royal fans had an extra treat  as her husband-to-be greeted well-wishers along The Mall.

Prince William, accompanied by his brother Harry, shook hands and chatted with the crowd near Clarence House. Earlier today, Kate was greeted by cheers at the abbey as she was joined by best man Prince Harry - as well as the bridesmaids and pageboys and members of her family - for one last run-through of the big day which will be watched by 2billion people round the globe.

The practice took place as it was revealed Miss Middleton will not promise to 'obey' Prince William in her vows.

Thousands of royal fans had set up tents outside the Abbey where there was a carnival atmosphere.

As Kate arrived, a huge cheer went up from the royal fans who have been arriving from round the globe.

Waving their Union flags, the crowds greeted the passing Household Cavalry this morning before the bride-to-be arrived for a last run-through. It is the last time Miss Middleton or a member of the Royal Family will be at the abbey before the service gets under way tomorrow, St James's Palace said.

Later on, the Duchess of Cornwall went out onto the Mall to meet well-wishers and those camping out ahead of tomorrow’s event during an impromptu walkabout.

When asked how she was feeling ahead of the big day, the duchess said: 'We’re all ready for tomorrow - it’s wonderful and all very exciting!

'There’s a great atmosphere out here and it’s so nice to meet people and see how the celebrations are getting underway.'

Today the journalist who carried out the couple's engagement interview said they were attempting to 'block out the terror of having two billion people' watching them tomorrow. In a personal message to well-wishers, the couple said they were 'incredibly moved' by the affection shown to them since their engagement in the official wedding programme.  On Friday  modern-thinking Miss Middleton will pledge to 'love, comfort, honour and keep' William.

The soon-to-be royal is following in the footsteps of the Prince's mother Diana who also opted not to 'obey' the Prince of Wales during their wedding ceremony in 1981. The Queen, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal all said they would obey their husbands.

William and his fiancee have selected the Series One Book of Common Prayer ceremony, from 1966, which allows the bride to drop 'obey him' and 'serve him' from the religious proceedings. With William choosing not to wear a wedding ring, only the prince will say 'With this ring I thee wed' as he places the golden band on Kate's finger.

The task of writing a message at the start of the official programme usually falls to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The wrote that they were deeply touched by people's reactions as they prepare for 'one of the happiest days of our lives', they said.

A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The couple felt that they wanted to put in a message from themselves.'

The signatures 'William' and 'Catherine' can be seen underneath the heartfelt message.

The programme also contains a hand-drawn colour map of the carriage procession route, as well as the history of the abbey and details of William and Kate's coats of arms.

It includes a brief history of past Royal Weddings at the abbey, where William the Conqueror was crowned in 1066.

It declares: 'More than a millennium after the first William made his solemn oath, the abbey hosts another William and his bride for a further moment of great solemnity, but one of great joy as well.'

Some 150,000 copies of the A5 booklet, costing £2 each, will be made available along the processional route on the wedding day by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen would hear a number of speeches at the lunchtime canapes reception for 650 guests, including family, friends, foreign royals, dignitaries and charity workers. She will see the bride and groom cutting their lavish multi-tiered wedding cake. A message from the royal couple in the souvenir programme says: 'We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives.

Royal Wedding : Ceremonial Timings

London, Apr 29: Following are the ceremonial timings for the Royal Wedding  today:

Start Time: -  0600 GMT (1130 IST)

0715-0845 GMT (1245 to 1415 IST) :  The general congregation will arrive at the Great North Door of Westminster Abbey.

(Starting time 0850 GMT (1420 IST)  - Governors-General and Prime Ministers of Realm Countries, the Diplomatic Corps, and other distinguished guests arrive at the Abbey.

0910 GMT - The Bridegroom and Prince Henry of Wales leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0915g (IST 02.40 PM TO 02.45 PM)

0920GMT (1450 IST) - Members of Foreign Royal Families arrive at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace.

0920 GMT - Mrs. Michael (Carole) Middleton and Mr. James Middleton leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0927g.

0925 GMT - Members of the Royal Family (except those listed below) leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0930g.

0935 GMT - The following Members of the Royal Family leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0940g.

The Duke of York
Princess Beatrice of York
Princess Eugenie or York
The Earl and Countess of Wessex
The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence.

0938GMT - Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0942g.

0940 GMT - The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0945g.

0948 GMT - The Bridesmaids and Pages leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0955g.

0951 GMT - The Bride, accompanied by Mr. Michael Middleton, leaves the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.

1000 GMT (1530 IST)- The Marriage Service begins. The Marriage Service will be relayed by audio speakers along the Route.

1115 GMT - The Carriage Procession of the Bride and Bridegroom with a Captain’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, followed by The Queen’s Procession with a Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, leaves Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace.

1130 GMT - The Bride’s Carriage Procession arrives at Buckingham Palace.

1140 GMT - Members of the Royal Family and Members of Foreign Royal Families arrive at Buckingham Palace.

From 1140 GMT - Other guests for the Reception arrive at Buckingham Palace.

1225 GMT - The Queen and the Bride and Bridegroom, together with their Families, appear on the Balcony.

 1230 GMT - Fly Past by the Royal Air Force and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

14 Killed In Blast In Morocco Cafe

Marrakesh, Morocco :  An explosion killed 14 people, including foreigners, on Thursday in a busy cafe in the Moroccan tourist destination of Marrakesh, and authorities said the initial signs were that it was a criminal act.

The blast ripped through the second storey of a cafe overlooking Marrakesh's Jamaa el-Fnaa square, a spot that is usually bustling with foreign tourists and local vendors.

Officials did not say if they suspected the involvement of Islamist militants. The militants' last big attack was a series of suicide bombings in Morocco's commercial capital, Casablanca, in 2003 in which more than 45 people were killed.

Two people in Marrakesh said the explosion was the work of a suicide bomber, but there was no immediate confirmation of this.

"I heard a massive blast. The first and second floors of the building were destroyed," said one local woman, who did not want to be identified. "Some witnesses said they have seen a man carrying a bag entering the cafe before the blast occurred."

"People are panicking. This is a terrorist act and it will affect the economy and tarnish the country's image. Local investors are selling," said a trader on the stock exchange.

A  photographer at the scene of the blast said he saw rescue workers pulling dismembered bodies from the wreckage of the Argana cafe.

The roof over the restaurant's upstairs terrace had been ripped off by the force of the explosion and pieces of plaster and electrical wires hung from the ceiling.

"I heard a very loud blast in the square. It occurred inside Argana cafe. When I approached the scene, I saw shredded bodies being pulled out of the cafe," the photographer said.

"The first floor bore the brunt of the damage while the ground floor was almost intact ... There are a lot of police who, with forensics, are sifting through the debris."

The Interior Ministry issued a statement saying the explosion killed 14 people, including an undisclosed number of foreigners, and injured another 20 people.

"Early evidence collected at the site (of the explosion) indicates that it was a criminal act," the ministry said in the statement carried by the official MAP news agency.

An official source had earlier told Reuters it appeared the blast was caused by gas canisters in the cafe catching fire.

The official news agency said an investigation was under way to determine the cause of the explosion.

The blast is likely to hurt Morocco's tourism trade -- a major source of revenue -- which is already struggling to recover from the effects of the global downturn.

"Marrakesh is the main tourist destination in Morocco and Argana Cafe has been one of the most popular cafes in the square," said a Frenchman who owns a restaurant in the city.

"You can't find a more emblematic target than Jamaa el-Fna square ... With this attack and amid the worrying unrest in the region, tourism will hit the doldrums for some time," said the businessman, who did not want his name published.

BJP Backs Joshi, Accuses Govt Of Stalling Probe Into 2G Scam

New Delhi : Standing firmly behind PAC Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi against the onslaught by Congress and DMK members, the BJP today alleged that these were “calculated, deliberate and sponsored” attacks by the ruling coalition to stall the investigation into 2G scam.

“The BJP strongly condemns the attacks on the PAC chairperson. These are calculated, deliberate, concerted and sponsored attacks,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Joshi had faced stiff opposition from Congress and DMK members in the PAC meeting today, when they alleged that he was trying to destabilise the government. They opposed the draft report and said it had been outsourced.

Supporting its senior leader and former president against these barbs, the BJP alleged that when the probe reached the top levels of power like PMO and Finance Minister this “sponsored campaign” started.

“There is a design behind this attack,” Prasad said, adding that the attempt was to forestall the report.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier said Joshi is a seasoned politician and a senior parliamentarian. He had also offered to appear before the PAC. The Congress members had also praised the PAC earlier,” Prasad said.

He recalled that during the April 4 meeting of the PAC, the panel had unanimously decided that it should submit its report on 2G spectrum issue by April 30.

The BJP objected to the manner in which some Congress members of PAC commented in the press against Joshi.

“We want to ask the Congress a question that when the Prime Minister had praised Joshi how has he now been painted as a villian?” Prasad said.

The main opposition also charged the UPA government with attacking government institutions one by one.

“First Kapil Sibal attacked the CAG, then the others also attacked him. Then came the appointment of a person (with a tainted record) as CVC. Now a Parliamentary committee is being attacked,” Prasad said.

The Rajya Sabha MP alleged that Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal had visited some PAC members from other parties to influence them.

“The government does not want the PAC report. It had no objection when industrialists or editors were called. The whole hungama started when officials from the PMO and the Attorney General were called,” Prasad alleged.

“Regardless of repeated rebuffs from the media and the judiciary, the government has shown dogged determination to stall a fair investigation (into 2G scam),” Prasad said. PTI

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