Friday, February 25, 2011

Apple’s Mobile Browser is Fastest

Sick of waiting for pages to load on your mobile device? Get an iPad or iPhone. That’s the upshot of a mobile browser speed study done by a company called Gomez. They found that Apple’s mobile version of Safari was fastest and BlackBerry’s browser the slowest.

According to Gomez, the iPad fully loads pages in 8.4 seconds on average. The iPhone comes in second at 19.7 seconds, followed by Android at 36.5 seconds, and Blackberry at 61 seconds.

Gomez also analyzed perceived page loading times--that is, how long it took each browser to load the items visible "above the fold" on screen (i.e. the elements visible to you when you first visit the page without scrolling down). Perceived load times are shorter because … In this, the iPad again came out on top, with a perceived load time of roughly 6.6 seconds. The iPhone clocked in at about 15.7 seconds, followed by Android at 28.2 second, and BlackBerry at around 43.8 seconds.

Some have tested mobile browsers on a particular OS--such as our Android browser comparison from September--or have compared browsing on one phone to browsing on another, but as far as we're aware, nobody else has released this sort of mobile browser speed comparison before.

Here's a complete chart of Gomez's browser data, including its data for PC (i.e. laptop/desktop) browsers:

These are by no means end-all, be-all numbers. Browser speed testing can be a bit of a thorny issue. There are many variables involved, depending on your hardware, your network connection, your operating system, the Web site itself, and so forth. For example, Gomez's numbers don't match up exactly with the testing we've previously done.

In the case of Gomez, the company, which helps companies improve the performance of their Websites and applications, decided to take what it considers to be a "real-world" approach to measuring browser performance. Its data is based on over 282 million Webpages served across over 200 popular sites. Gomez used data collected from business customers that use its performance monitoring services. It only takes into account Webpages visited using the browser included with the operating system, so browsers like Opera Mini were not included.

Also, since the data is in aggregate, it includes data from both Wi-Fi and cellular network users, and users from different cellular networks. It also includes data from all sorts of different phones and tablets with different hardware configurations. Still the information they provided to us is interesting, and gives us at least an idea of what the general experience of using each browser is like.

And as we've said in the past, other factors beside speed should dictate your choice in browsers--and now, smartphone OSes. Go with whatever works best for you.

'Campus placement' at Tihar, 14 get jobs :: New Delhi

It was a special campus placement session. Eight companies came calling and interviewed 46 candidates. Fourteen were given job offers while the rest hope to make the cut in the next couple of days. What's special about that? Well, the 'campus' was Delhi's Tihar jail and the candidates inmates serving time there.

At the end of the day, what the lucky 14 held in their hands weren't just job letters — they were tickets to a new life of dignity.

"This is not just an appointment letter. It is an assurance of a rehabilitated life in society which would have otherwise maybe shunned me. I can now hope for a speedy acquittal by sending this letter to the court to convince them to acquit me soon. I can assure my wife and children of a decent life in Delhi," said 40-year-old Sandeep Bhatnagar, an undertrial in Tihar for the past five years. Bhatnagar is accused of dressing up as a "human bomb" and conducting a bank robbery in Vikaspuri in May 2006.

Said Neeraj Kumar, DG (Prisons), "These 46 inmates were chosen for placement as they fulfilled three criteria. They had impeccable conduct inside the jail where they utilized their time to gain education and vocational skills. Two, they all expect to be released within a year or so, and three, they were keen to rehabilitate themselves and lead a new life."

"We are expecting 100% placement. The rest should be given letters in the next couple of days," said Tihar law officer Sunil Gupta. Among the companies which agreed to be part of this exceptional recruitment drive was Agarwal Packers and Movers, one of the country's largest companies in their field.

Many of the inmates who sat for placement have completed their education — from schooling to multiple graduation degrees — in jail. "After I was sent to jail, it was a painful and stressful time for me as I had no clue what to do next. However, I was motivated inside the jail by officials and NGOs. I studied day and night to finish 10 years of education in five years. Now I am assisting a Supreme Court lawyer Michael Peter and preparing for civil services. Michael fought my case and has been a great help," said 26-year-old Dilip Kumar, who was booked under narcotics Act in 2005.

Dilip came to Delhi from Madhubani in Bihar as a youth who had studied up to Class V. He worked as a sub-contractor at a parking site in Sarojini Nagar when he was arrested. Now acquitted after fighting the case as an undertrial for years, he is about to complete his Bachelors in Tourism Studies from IGNOU and is planning to pursue LLB. He was one of the 46 inmates who were up for placement on Friday.

The action started around 11am at jail number 3 of Tihar. The excitement was palpable. "I am extremely nervous. I am willing to take any type of job offer I get and this placement drive may just help me regain some of the acceptance and prestige that I lost after coming to jail," said 23-year-old Gaijaomei George Kamei.

George is undergoing trial for criminal conspiracy for murder. He was the first inmate to be given an appointment letter — as a research assistant for JRA & Associates. He also received an offer to be a marketing associate for ASP Sealing Products. "Two years in jail have taught me to be careful and not make rash decisions. I will weigh both options and decide," he said, beaming.

Siddharth Bhatnagar, 29, an undertrial for murder, was offered a marketing executive position.

While Agarwal Packers and Movers picked up seven inmates for positions such as marketing executive, assistant manager, supervisor and data entry operator, Vedanta Foundation and Good House Keeping recruited two inmates each. JRA & Associates and ASP Sealing products made an offer each.

No hike in railway fares, sops for Bengal

The 2011-12 Railway Budget presented by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday saw no increase in passenger fares, 56 new trains and a clear focus on election-bound West Bengal, where her party, the Trinamool Congress, will be hoping to unseat the long-ruling Left Front government.

Apart from announcing no hike in passenger fares, Banerjee also cut booking rates for non-AC and AC tickets by Rs 10 and Rs 5 per ticket respectively.

Among the new trains that will be introduced, the Duronto (non-stop) trains will be introduced in 9 routes, including Allahabad-Mumbai, Pune-Ahmedabad, Sealdah-Puri, Madurai-Chennai, Chennai- Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai Central-New Delhi routes. Playing up to expectations of commuters in metropolitan cities, she also extended 32 new services for the Kolkata Metro, nine additional services for the Chennai suburban service and pushed for strengthening the Hyderabad suburban rail network. She also said frequency of 17 trains will be increased while introducing 3 new Shatabdis (Pune-Secunderabad, Jaipur-Agra and Ludhiana-Delhi) and double-decker AC trains on Jaipur-Delhi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes. To cater to the metropolitan commuters, a new 'Go India' smart card ticket will also be launched.

Though she came under Opposition attack for her splurge on Bengal, Mamata Banerjee announced Metro coach factories in Singur and Kolkata, track-making industry to be set up in Uluberia and a rail industrial park in Nandigram.

Giving a boost to safety measures that were badly needed for the Railways, she declared that all unmanned railway crossings will be scrapped. Further, she said more anti-collision devices will be commissioned for South and South-Central zones.

Expanding on plans for the Railways, she said the rail network to be extended by 700 km. One of the biggest gainers of this rail budget would be Manipur which will be connected to the rest of India by rail. The state has also been allotted a diesel locomotive centre. She also announced a new bridge factory in Jammu and Kashmir. The Railway Minister said the government undertaking will also open 442 new stations by March next year.

Giving a list of the Railway budgeting, she said the entire exercise seeks to allot Rs 57,630 crore to the Railways. While earnings are set to exceed Rs 1 lakh crore, Rs 9,000 crore would be spent on new lines and Rs 13,000 crore would to be spent on rolling stock. Explaining drains on the budget, she said the enhancement of employee benefits by the Sixth Pay Commission added Rs 73,000 crore to expenses in the last financial year.

Indian state allows claims against Coca-Cola

NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian state has passed a law allowing residents to seek compensation from soft drink giant Coca-Cola for alleged environmental damage from a former bottling plant.

Coca-Cola Co.'s Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, says the legislation passed Thursday by Kerala state is "devoid of facts, scientific data or any input from or consideration given to" the company.

Environmental activists and local residents say the plant in Palakkad district contaminated ground water, caused severe water shortages and leeched dangerous chemicals before it was shut down in 2004.

Coca-Cola denied the allegations. A Kerala committee recommended that a tribunal be set up to hear compensation claims, which the new law facilitates.

Login Edit Feedback Christchurch earthquake: Levels of liquefaction 300 - 500 pc worse

The level of liquefaction after Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude aftershock dwarfs the amount caused by the original earthquake that hit Christchurch in September, Mayor Bob Parker says. He says the amount of damage is particularly high in the city's eastern suburbs. "The scale of this is huge. "Possibly 300 to 500 per cent the level of liquefaction we had in September." Liquefaction happens when soil is subjected to severe shaking, causing it to lose strength or stiffness. It is most likely to occur in soils with poor drainage. At a press conference this evening, Mr Parker also reminded Christchurch residents to conserve water amid efforts to repair

Man kills daughter after failed rape attempt

Palwal, Feb 24 (PTI) A man was arrested for allegedly killing his eight-year-old daughter after she resisted his attempt to rape her in the district here, police said.

The victim, a student of class three, had gone missing since November 28 last year and a report had been filed with the police in the connection, they said.

The police yesterday recovered a decomposed body of a girl near a railway crossing here, which was later identified by the victim's mother.

The father of the girl first tried to rape her and later strangulated the minor to death when she resisted him

and then dumped her body near a tree, they said.

Victim's mother alleged that her daughter was last seen with her father near a railway track before she went missing. He had been sexually harassing the girl for a long time, she alleged.

Facebook will NOT end on March 15th. Hoax news story spreads like wildfire

Heard a story that Facebook is going to end on March 15th? You should take it with a pinch of salt.

A story is spreading like wildfire across Facebook this weekend, claiming that the world's most popular social network is closing on March 15th.

The reason? CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims that "managing [Facebook] has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness."

There's only one problem with the story. It's not true. Facebook is not going to end on March 15th, and Mark Zuckerberg never said any such thing.

But that's not stopping many many Facebook users spreading the message.

Many of the messages include a link to an apparent news story, where users can read more about the surprising announcement of Facebook's death:

If you click on the link, here's where you are taken. A news story by a publication that also tells us that Mike Tyson is a pigeon fancier, Michelle Obama is pregnant and alien spaceships are to attack earth in 2011:

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