That’s our experience on ecademy. Is that your experience on your platform or other platforms you frequent? Is this no different to real life or is it an online rule of thumb?
And if it is an internet law (bold) is it called theLaw?
1% of users are “creators”, driving large amounts of the social group’s activity. More often than not, these people are driving a vast percentage of the site’s new content, threads, and activity.
Formula One might have made its debut in the cricket-crazy nation with the inaugural Indian Grand Prix on Sunday but the country needs to build more motorsports infrastructure to produce world champions, feels legendary driver Sir Jackie Stewart.
The three-time world champion (1969, 1971, 1973) Stewart said India need to give more emphasis to the grass root level to produce champion drivers.
“You need to have more motorsports, more circuit to get drivers. You need to build more infrastructures,” Stewart said.
“You have lots of young people playing cricket but until you have lots of young people in motorsports you can’t produce champions,” said Stewart, who was nicknamed ‘Flying Scotsman’ for his daredevilry during his hey days.
Referring to iconic Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who was present with his wife Anjali and daughter Sara at the Buddh International Circuit for the race, he said, “This man standing here started his career at the age of 16 and that’s how he became a champion. You need to have more carting (in the country).”
Stewart, however, gave thumbs up to the brand-new BIC and said there is money in India for motorsports but it should be utilised in the right way.
“It is a first-class circuit. Presently, one of the best in the world. But you (Indian drivers) need to have more money to go to Europe to develop skills,” the 72-year-old said.
Even as 23-year-old Vinita and Ajay from Uttar Pradesh have been giving interviews after interviews after having brought to the world the seven billionth baby, another mother is being cheered miles away at a hospital in Philippines capital Manila for the same feat.
A baby girl, named Nargis, at a local community health centre at 7.20 am on the outskirts
of Lucknow, was welcomed as India’s seventh-billionth baby, Bhagyeshwari, executive director of NGO Plan India, which is conducting the exercise, said.
Weighing 2.5kg, Danica May Camacho was delivered just before midnight on Sunday amid an explosion of media flash bulbs in the delivery room at Manila’s Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital. A thrilled Camille Dalura, Danica’s mother, said, “I can’t believe she is the world’s seven billion.”
One of the reasons for this slide is that colleges have become more important as corporate job-placement centres rather than centres for learning – so their main role is to produce an assembly line of workers through mechanical rote learning rather than experientially develop young minds, encourage curiosity and independent thought.
“India’s college system is broken – most engineers aren’t good enough and many of those who are, don’t want to use their repository of knowledge and work as engineers.
Top engineering colleges have become pre-MBA finishing schools. Young people are making inappropriate choices due to peer pressure and the liberal arts and pure sciences are being completely sidelined,” says Naukri.com Founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani.
Tendulkar, who witnessed the race along with wife Anjali and daughter Sara, waved the chequered flag after double world champion Sebastian Vettel [ Images ] crossed the finishing line to win the race at the Buddh International Circuit.
“What an experience it was to wave the chequered flag!!! Got to keep it as well!!!,” Tendulkar wrote on his Twitter account.
He also praised the organisers, Jaypee Group, for the facilities at the circuit and the successful hosting of the race.
“Wonderfully organised F1 event by Jaypee. A world class track with excellent facilities for spectators. Truly a memorable day for all of us,” he said.
Tendulkar was the cynosure of all eyes as he mingled with the who’s who of motorsports, including F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone [ Images ], who himself had invited the star Indian cricketer for the race.
He later joined the F1 fraternity in observing a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli who recently died in tragic crashes in IndyCar and Moto GP races respectively.
Before I run through the services, let’s discuss eight different issues with social media metrics and how the ideal metric should be constructed.
- There is no single number that can really be universally useful. It isn’t like wining the World Series, where you have to score more runs by the end of the game. There are a variety of actions that you want to examine, and you can win in one area and be off elsewhere. My impression is that we place too much emphasis on the final number without really understanding the reasons for its calculation, as the recent changes in Klout have shown.
- You are also measuring two grossly different activities: giving and taking. This is more than just what you post and what you consume, and there are many subtleties to both. Just because you have tons of followers and friends doesn’t mean that you listen to any of them, nor they listen to you. And some of us, such as myself, are more givers (in that we are focused on outbound actions) than takers (collecting information from our networks). Or vice versa. The ideal social media metric should understand both directions and make appropriate adjustments.
- How transparent is their algorithm, really? By that I mean can you understand how they get the results that you see, and does the scoring make sense to you? Of course, one issue is having something so transparent that the service can be easily gamed or fooled.
- Can you examine any time-series? Klout has time series data but doesn’t label its axes very well, which can be very annoying. The others don’t have as much here as I would like. Sometimes you can understand the algorithms better if you can see how they track you over time.
- How much does the service care if your content is original vs. copied? If you most of your Tweets are retweeted content, is that as good as someone who comes up with original thoughts? The ideal metric should take this into account, and most of them have focused in this area, generally because it is easier to measure than some other things.
- How many different social networks should be scanned to derive your total score, and how should they be weighed? Klout has done a decent job of expanding their sources beyond Facebook and Twitter, but some of the other services haven’t gotten much beyond these two networks yet. Obviously, the wider the reach the better the view into how you are interacting across many networks.
- Does the tool provide qualitative suggestions in addition to just scores? The ideal metric should provide insight and suggestions for how to improve your engagement and increase your value to your chosen community. Some of them have overly general suggestions that don’t really tell you what you really need to do to improve your use of social media.
- Does your audience really, really like you? Often called sentiment analysis, it isn’t enough just to retweet your bon mots but approve of your point of view. There are tools that are beginning to measure this too.
So what alternatives to Klout are out there, and are any of them any better at capturing what you should be doing better for your social media activities?
- gives you a single score (I got a 2 out of 10, which seems somewhat low).
- TwitterGrader is another service that gives you a single simple score. I don’t think the score is very meaningful: I got 97.5 out of 100, and I know I am not that good.
- Tweetlevel was built by the Edelman PR firm and it gives some good explanations of its assessments and recommendations, although they could be more fine-grained. It tries to provide historical information but there is no way to manipulate the charts timelines.
- shows who retweeted you and some summary stats, and is useful to search across trending topic areas and not just specific Twitter accounts.
- TeraMetric Optimizer for Twitter. This gives you qualitative recommendations on what and how to Tweet. It costs $99/month and has a free trial but requires your credit card info up front.
Booshaka looks at top contributors to your Facebook page
Google has been buying up lots of companies this year, and there are probably others that I missed that are in this space. Here are two important ones:
- SocialGrapple has paid accounts starting at $6 a month and going up to $125 a month and is used for really deep dives into Twitter.
- Postrank. We have , which is used to analyze RSS feeds.
Multiple site focus
- PeerIndex is probably the closest competitor to Klout and examines three areas: Activity, Authority, and Audience. They cover multiple sites but are slow to update their scores and don’t have much in the way of time-series data.
- Proliphiq which has a wide array of measurements and explanations, trending hot topics and more.
- shows Klout and Peerindex values and costs $5 a month.
- How Sociable is more a general search tool across many sites, and it isn’t very accurate since it doesn’t tie the search to a particular Twitter username.
- Empire Avenue has lots of games and points for various activities, but underneath all this frilly stuff is some interesting analysis of multiple social network sites.
Sentiment Analysis tools
- We wrote aboutfor Facebook and Twitter .
- can monitor multiple networks and provide some sentiment analysis.
- Kred.ly is still in limited beta but offers some promise in terms of looking at sentiment for Twitter initially.
- Traackr is another sentiment analyzer and at $500 a month is one of the more expensive tools in this list.
Really, all of these tools are somewhat flawed, and we are just beginning to see some consolidation and improvements, such as what Klout is trying to do. And certainly, Google will help here, as they have purchased two companies this year alone in this space. If any of these tools can help improve your social media methods and increase your influence, then stick with what works and what will motivate you to become a better participant in this genre.
I WRITE from the pilot’s cabin of one of the world’s largest container ships, the Eleonora Maersk, moving almost imperceptibly through the South China Sea off the Vietnamese coast. Eight storeys up from the deck, my windows just about clear the top of the thousands of containers that are stacked in 22 rows across the vessel. This allows me a view to the ship’s forward navigation mast, a full 250 or so metres away. But the rain is coming in now, and it will soon disappear from sight.
The accommodation section, and above it the bridge, is a bit aft of amidships, so the stern is another 150 metres or so behind me. Or, put another way, the whole is about four football pitches long and half of one wide. Or again: about two-fifths the height of Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England. This is “economy of scale” made steel…and the reason why the retailer Primark will be able to sell me a Chinese-made T-shirt for just a pound or two on my local high-street in Britain, just inside a month.
The vessel is specifically designed to ply the world’s most important trade route, the Asia-Europe run: this is now (euro-area debt crisis notwithstanding) the main artery of globalisation. Having started its homeward-bound voyage in South Korea and having picked up most of its cargo in Shanghai, the Eleonora is due to dock in Rotterdam in a couple weeks’ time. I joined the vessel on October 26th at the container terminal of Yantian, the port of Shenzhen, just inside mainland China north of Hong Kong. I will disembark on October 30th when we reach another massive port, on the southern tip of Malaysia, just north of Singapore. Even if I wanted to stay on board for the next leg, non-stop to Europe, I wouldn’t get very far. As was explained to me in “the citadel”, a secure room in the bowels of the ship where everyone has to gather in the event of a boarding by pirates, no guests or even family are allowed on Maersk vessels past Sri Lanka, because of the threat from Somalia. In truth however, this ship is just too big (and fast) for pirates to grapple with.
So, what are we carrying? This boat will be fully loaded after Malaysia, with about 7,500 containers (or 100,000 tonnes) of European Christmas presents, mostly—and a New Year treat. For we must be shipping much of the continent’s New Year celebrations as well: 1,850 tonnes of fireworks, including 30 tonnes of gunpowder, probably from Hunan province, where most of these things are made. Oh, and about 28 containers (290 tonnes’ worth) of plastic cigarette-lighters, destined for the Danes, Swedes and Poles.
To make it worth one’s while to ship cigarette-lighters and sparklers most of the way round the world, it is best, of course, to have a ship as big as the Eleonora Maersk. Only with such behemoths can shippers and retailers achieve the economies of scale that are necessary to make the Asia-Europe trade pay. Maersk lines, the world’s biggest container-shipping company, has eight such E-Class ships—and has just ordered 20 even (slightly) bigger ships from Korean yards. High oil prices are now forcing all the main container-shipping firms to order ever bigger ships. They might be awesomely expensive (Maersk’s new ones will cost almost $200m each), but with fuel costs making up such a large part of their bills, all the shipping lines are looking to reduce the cost per mile per container on the Asia-Europe run. The only feasible way to do that is pile more containers on one ship.
So almost everything about the Eleonora, which was built in the mid-2000s, is quite simply—The Biggest in the World, Ever. It is not just the biggest kind of container ship, but the biggest ship of any sort in service. To move its load through the water, it boasts the largest combustion engine ever built—generating horse power equivalent to 1,000 family-sized cars. The 14-cylinder engine turns the longest propeller shaft (130 metres) ever built, at the end of which is the largest propeller, weighing in at 130 tonnes. Yet so efficient is the engine, says the Danish chief engineer, that cruising at an average of 17 knots the ship consumes just 3 grams of fuel per tonne per nautical mile—which certainly sounds low. This sort of calculation, above all, makes a sophisticated laptop or iPad made in China affordable in Copenhagen.
Alarmingly, at least for a container-ship neophyte like myself, the world’s biggest ship seems to have a crew of only 19. But that’s a few too few, surely? In fact, the Danish captain explains that, strictly speaking, the boat is designed to be run by just 13 people; but he likes to have some more on board, for maintenance and repairs…Sensible chap. Together with some cadets, that brings the full complement to a gangway-shoving 24.
But then the ship is so automated that the captain appears to exercise full mastery over everything in sight with only the slightest touch to a half-ball, the size of one hand’s palm, which protrudes from a control panel. I can see all the traditional signalling flags neatly stowed on shelves on the bridge—so neatly, in fact, that I suspect they might never have been used, together with the sextant, the flares.
(Picture credits: Wikipedia and )
5. Convention Center Jobs
The nitty-gritty: Convention centers in major cities can be wellsprings for a wide range of part-time jobs with various skill requirements. The panoply of shows rolls in and rolls out. Set ’em up and tear ’em down. Each week, the venues play host to various industry events from exotic food to car and boat shows, as well as concerts and even sports competitions. The demand for workers is a moving target — the perfect scenario if you’re looking for the occasional paycheck. Some part-time jobs include nurse, parking lot attendant, parking lot cashier, set-up worker/cleaner, usher and information booth attendant. Many of these jobs have little to no physical labor. There are also food service opportunities for banquets and special dining events. The center’s kitchen facility often hires line cooks and servers on an as-needed basis. In some towns, outside vendors will lease space inside a convention center and staff-up for each event. These positions can range from being a barista for a coffee stand to working at a concession stand. Sign on with one of these businesses, and the vendor will call and ask your availability depending on weekly needs.
The hours: The work schedules are irregular and no minimum number of hours is guaranteed. Work is typically available on all days of the year, including holidays. Evening and night hours may be required depending on the job.
Median pay range: Typically $10 to $20 an hour.
Qualifications: This is showtime. It’s all about the customer, so people skills matter. Working knowledge of the event industry — including trade shows, conventions, consumer shows, concerts, athletic events and meetings — is a plus for some positions. Pre-employment drug screening and background checks are common. Many convention centers outsource their personnel management to companies that specialize in doing this for large convention and event centers, and hire locals to come in and do specific jobs for individual events. You might stop by at an event and ask booth operators about future openings. Your local convention, sports and entertainment agency should be able to provide employment information. Other job hunting sources: Tap into Convention.net or event management companies such as , a firm that manages convention centers, exhibition halls and trade centers, arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, theaters and specific-use venues such as equestrian centers.
Cotton candy, anyone?
Kerry Hannon is a contributing editor for U.S. News & World Report and the author of What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job.
I liked these articles by Kerry Hannon.
Wish there was something like AARP in India too.
4. Tour Jobs
The nitty-gritty: Imagine steering a group of curious tourists around historical monuments in Washington, D.C., on a sunny, cherry blossom-bright day in April. That’s particularly true if you’re a history buff and have a knack for storytelling and showmanship. You need to have a mind for remembering dates and historical facts. You also must interact easily with everyone — from excitable school kids on a field trip to seniors hailing from all over the globe. Tour guide jobs pop up in various places that attract visitors. You might lead visitors through points of historical or local interest, pretzel factories, wineries, breweries and more, doling out tidbits of information in a narrative format. The downside is that it can be hard on the feet and the vocal cords, and the patter can become stifling rote. Your job is to dig down for a fresh and energetic performance each round. Many of these jobs are walking tours, although you may land one where you drive a vehicle, or go with a group on a park shuttle or monorail system. Depending on the assignment, you might have to stand up to eight hours per day or walk and climb stairs. Plus, you’ll need to be sharp-eyed to visually monitor guests to ensure compliance with security and safety rules. Less demanding openings, such as ticket-takers, program sellers or cashiers, are also generally available.
The hours: Varying schedules including days, evenings and weekends. It might be difficult to receive time off around peak tourist times, such as holidays and school vacations.
Median pay range: Hourly wage: $7.72 to $18.87.
Qualifications: Tour guides often receive on-the-job training from employers. The academic background required for a position varies according to the venue. Best skill: The ability to hang on to historical facts, dates and anecdotes and relate that information to visitors in a compelling way. Some cities require licensing, and applicants may have to pass a written exam covering factual knowledge of specific locations and city history. Some community colleges offer short-term courses in tour and travel-related occupations. Certified Tour Professional (CTP) certification is offered through the National Tour Association.
Your hidden gem: Knowing where George Washington really slept.
3. Teacher’s Aide
The nitty-gritty: Kid-central. This post can take some nerves of steel and patience, but the rewards are plentiful. It can be frustrating for some aides to have to defer to the guidance of the teacher in charge, so you need to have a good rapport and working relationship. The teacher needs to respect and value what you bring to the classroom. If not, it’s a bust. Be prepared for some grunt work — clerical duties such as grading papers, recording grades, setting up equipment, entering computer data. One of the best aspects is one-on-one tutoring for a student who needs special help, or has a disability that requires individual attention. These are bonding moments of giving back that are worth more than a paycheck. While some of the school day is spent standing, walking or kneeling, most of it is sitting while working with students. Teacher assistants also supervise students in the cafeteria, school yard and hallways, or on field trips.
The hours: Three to five days a week, six to seven hours per day during the traditional school year (eight to nine months). Summer school hours may be available in some districts.
Median full-time pay range: Annual wage: $15,870 to $35,350.
Qualifications: On-the-job training combined with a high school diploma. Some states or school districts may require additional education beyond high school. A college degree, related coursework in child development and previous experience helping special education students can open up job opportunities. Self-starters who can multitask and work independently are highly valued. Fluency in a second language, especially Spanish, is in demand. Many schools require previous experience in working with children and a valid driver’s license. Most require you to pass a background check. For more information, go to American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals.
2. Athletic Coach/Umpire/Referee
The nitty-gritty: This one’s for the kid in all of us. Check into a coach, referee, umpire or scorekeeper post in high school programs, or various youth and amateur leagues. Stress and plenty of time standing go with the territory. And for outdoor sports, prepare for the elements. Travel is usually part of the job, but it’s probably a scoot across town. If you’re blowing a whistle, you better brace yourself for the possibility of verbal strip downs (parental ire).
The hours: These fluctuate widely by sport and organization. Coaches can figure three hours or so for late afternoons, five days a week; plus weekend days in season. Umpires, referees and scorekeepers usually work two to three hours per game. Figure on once a week for two or three games in an afternoon or evening.
Median pay range: For a coaching position at a school, $3,000 to $5,000 per season is possible. Umpires and referees can make $30 to $50 per game. Independent leagues or private travel teams might pay $50 to $75 per game.
Qualifications: You need to be good with children, possess moderate physical fitness and have an overall knowledge of the game. Specific education, training and licensing requirements for coaches and officials vary greatly by the level and type of sport. Some entry-level positions for coaches require only experience gleaned as a participant in the sport. Umpires and referees usually are required to attend a training course and pass a test. You can gain experience by volunteering for intramural, community and recreational league competitions. If you have a hankering to umpire, check out your local umpire association. For American Legion (high school age), you will need to contact your local division and attend a certifying clinic. There are one-day refresher classes and full courses with several sessions, plus an exam. Some leagues require that certification be renewed periodically. Estimated Cost: $50 application, plus $7.50 for a rule book, $5 for a flipping coin. You may need to pass a background check and applicable drug tests. Additional resources: National Association of Sports Officials and . Look to your local high schools, parks departments, recreational and church leagues, and soccer clubs for openings. Ask if they offer a club-certified referee or umpire class. For soccer, you might need FIFA certification.
The nitty-gritty: Most bloggers are making very little per month. Little wonder. There’s lots of competition out there for eyeballs. An estimated 126 million blogs were up and running on the Internet in 2009, the most recent figure available, according to Pingdom.com, which tracks Internet growth. It is possible, though, to break through. An income stream comes from steadily building a following through referrals and generating income from the ads on your page. You can also make money by selling merchandise directly — from books to T-shirts. Developing traffic flow (and money) to your blog is time-consuming. You can’t just come up with a few pithy posts on a whim every so often and expect visitors to show up with any consistency. It takes discipline. Use Facebook and Twitter to get the word out.
The hours: Flexible. It’s tough to measure how long it takes someone to write a post of around 800 words. It might take three or four hours. The real money-hungry bloggers log in full-time schedules of 40 hours or more a week managing their blogs. While that’s heavy duty, you should plan to blog at least three times a week. You also need to keep tabs on the business side — managing display ads and product sales adds up to a few hours a week.
Median pay range: The majority of bloggers make less than $100 a month from their sites. Some bloggers produce more than one blog, which antes up income. There are bloggers who pull in more than $100,000, but they’re the exception. Google AdSense, Amazon’s affiliate program and Chitika are three income streams to check out. How much income they produce varies by blog. The key is to try out a few.
Qualifications: At the heart of it — passion, a micro-niche that you really know something about, decent writing skills and the commitment to keep feeding your site with fresh content. A successful blog is built on subject matter that’s valuable to people interested in the precise topic. Computer skills are a must and knowing how to post photos and YouTube clips is helpful. You have an edge if you know how to use keywords and other online links to lure people to your website via search engine results such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. If you’re interested, start with ProBlogger.net. File this under labor of love.
Whatever your motivation for working after retirement, here are five great part-time jobs to consider. Pay ranges, which will vary based on factors such as experience and where you live, are derived from U.S. Department of Labor data.
1. Librarian Assistant/Aide
The nitty-gritty: Duties might include fielding questions, shelving books, helping patrons check out, tracking overdue material and sending notices, as well as cataloging and keeping an eye out for lost and damaged items.
The hours: Schedules vary widely. Big libraries, or those on university campuses, tend to keep the doors open 24 hours a day, while small, local libraries might offer limited day and evening hours.
Median pay range: Small libraries can be cash-strapped and rely on volunteers, but at colleges, large city locations and specialty niche libraries, pay can range from $7.69 to $17.82 per hour. Those figures can more than double, depending on experience and where you live. Qualifications: Experience working in libraries is desirable, as is an undergraduate or master’s degree in library science. Larger libraries favor research skills using library resources, databases and other tools, along with the ability to get along with the various denizens of the library. Some skills that will help: Knowledge of word processing, data entry and online searching, ability to keep accurate records, understanding of library operations and general secretarial skills. Love of books is a given.
Indian businesses operating in China are shaken by China’s decision to impose social security obligations for foreign employees, which will push up the wage bill by over 40 per cent. It has put expansion plans of some companies in a quandary while new investors may have to reconsider their plans.
“It will upset our cost calculations and affect business prospects. This will be on top of our existing expense on medical insurance,” MVRabade, chief executive officer of Adani Power China, told TNN.
China has extended the social security system to cover foreign companies and their employees. Under the law, employers are expected to contribute 37% of salary and employees 11% into the social security pool. The maximum amount to be paid per month varies between 9,000 yuan and 11,600 yuan ($1,415 to $1,837) in various cities.
The plan has several components with employers and employees expected to contribute towards pension and insurance for medical, unemployment, maternity and work related injury.
“Indian companies will think twice before bringing in more personnel at senior levels. This will affect knowledge transfer between both Indian and Chinese staff,” EB Rajesh, head of China office of the Confederation of Indian Industry, said.
The increase in cost is both sudden and sharp. It will force companies to redo their budget outlays, he said. Besides, the benefits offered under the social security system are not attractive for employees of Indian firms. “Indian employees prefer foreign-owned hospitals rather than government-run facilities because of the language barrier,” Rajesh said.
Rabade of Adani Power wants the Indian government to try to convince China that Indian employees are covered by medical insurance, and deserve to be exempted. China has said it is prepared to exempt employees of countries that sign a reciprocal agreement provided they are making contributions to a similar scheme in their home country. Unfortunately, only three countries have come forward to sign such agreement with China, Xu Yanjun, deputy director general of National Social Security Management Centre under the Chinese ministry of human resources, told journalists on Friday.
Most Indian businesses see little hope in this area because India does not have a similar social security arrangement. Besides, New Delhi may not be keen to sign a reciprocal agreement with China on a sensitive labor issue.
Rabade also questioned the pension scheme, which offers pension payments after an employee has lived in China for over 15 years. Most foreign workers, who usually live in China for two to five years, would not be avail of it, he said.
I wish India follows suit with and Indian Social Security Plan. I do not think it is a Market Access barrier issue. It is labour friendly.
Six years after he was denied prison guard’s job in California as he refused to shave off his beard required by his Sikh religion, an Indian-American has finally been appointed as a correctional officer in the prison and won USD 295,000 in damages.
Trilochan Singh Oberoi, 63, has reached a settlement in this regard with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) as a result of which he would start his duty as a correctional officer from November 1.
“Oberoi’s legal battle exemplifies the challenges many Sikhs face in the US in seeking private and government employment after 9/11, as widespread ignorance, prejudice and hate pose serious challenges to equal opportunity for South Asians, and particularly Sikh Americans, who are often mistaken for Middle Eastern terrorists,” said attorney Harmeet K Dhillon, who represented Oberoi.
In 2005, Oberoi applied for a position as a correctional officer with the CDCR, according to a statement issued on Friday.
Oberoi advanced to the final stage of the application process, which involved being fit-tested with a particular model of tight-fitting respirator mask, and was told that he could not take the test unless he were to shave off his beard.
Oberoi requested that the CDCR accommodate his religiously mandated beard, but was not granted such an accommodation and was not hired by the CDCR in any capacity.
After making numerous attempts over the next year to ascertain the status of his accommodation request, in February 2007, he filed an appeal with the California State Personnel Board (SPB) concerning the CDCR’s denial of his opportunity to complete the correctional officer application because of his religiously-mandated beard.
When was the last time you saw a sparrow? They no longer flit around window sills, peck at grains or chirp noisily in the backyard; sparrows seem to have disappeared completely.
Over the past decade, Mumbai has seen a stark depletion in the number of small-sized common birds; birdwatchers say the number of sparrows in the city has dropped by a shocking 90 percent in the last couple of years.
The cause: our love for cellphones and fascination for Blackberrys, Androids and iPhones that has become one of the major threats to birds. Ditto for bees.
Scientists suggest that the radiation form mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world; the abrupt disappearance of sparrows and the bees is just the beginning.
A 10-member expert panel headed by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Director, Dr Asad Rahmani, submitted a report to the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 12 October this year with a list of recommendations to minimise exposure levels of wildlife to electromagnetic radiations.
The issue of ‘disappearing birds and bees’ was raised in the Lok Sabha in August last year, following which the expert committee was asked to study the ‘possible impacts of mobile towers on wildlife including birds and bees’.
Although, sparrows are tough birds, in Mumbai they have been subjected to an unholy combination of challenges that has broken their hardy backs.
Where have all the sparrows gone?
Sparrows are now making their winged presence felt in the city’s list of endangered species. “The disappearance of the highly adaptable sparrow is the first warning signal for humans,” says Rahmani, the director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Sparrows being very sensitive to the environment are one of the most preferred indicators of the urban ecosystem. A declining population of the bird is a clear indicator that something is wrong with the water you drink and the air you breathe.
At the same time, the abnormally high population of house crows that thrive on the garbage generated in the city, preying on eggs and nestlings of small birds has turned Mumbai into “a city of crows and no more of sparrows,” sulks birdwatcher Janardan Iyer. Echoing him is another Mumbai resident Chris Valentino, “I remember I used to feed them pulses when in school; over the years they are nowhere.”
This is what the committee has suggested:
Mobile phone towers are being installed in a haphazard manner across the urban area without any guidelines whatsoever. With nearly 800 million Indians using mobile phones, making it the second largest mobile phone subscriber population in the world after China, it is estimated that by 2013, India will have over one billion cellphone connections. In the absence of any policy on infrastructure development, that will spell destruction for urban flora and fauna.
The study says that radiation from mobile towers affects the reproductive and nervous system of sparrows and bees. The Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) from mobile towers acts as an irritant to the birds and bees, making them shy away from mating. The babies are often born with deformities due to the EMR interfering with their biological system.
A Sanity Check for Every Presentation
By any measure, Vinod Khosla is one of the most influential people in business today. In his long and distinguished career, Mr. Khosla has contributed to the growth of hundreds of companies, primarily in his role as a venture capitalist; first at the renowned KPCB, and then, since 2004, at his own firm, Khosla Ventures. Among his notable successes are Sun Microsystems, Nexgen/AMD, Excite, and Juniper.
On their way to maturity, each of the many companies Mr. Khosla touched came under the scrutiny of his expert eye, assessing their business plans, balance sheets, strategic relationships, marketing materials, and especially their presentations. During his 25 years in venture capital, Mr. Khosla has seen as many—if not more—presentations than a presentation coach. Most of them were on Mondays, the day Silicon Valley venture firms traditionally allocate to screening pitches from new companies. Then, once the companies make it into the portfolio, Mr. Khosla continues to monitor and critique the presentations they develop to pitch to their potential customers and partners.
For each of them, he applies his five-second rule: he puts a slide on a screen, removes it after five seconds, and then asks the viewer to describe the slide. A dense slide fails the test—and fails to provide the basic function of any visual: to aid the presentation.
By applying his simple rule, Mr. Khosla is addressing two of the most important elements in presentation graphics: Less is More, a plea all too often sounded by helpless audiences to hapless presenters; and more important, the human perception factor. Whenever an image appears on any screen, the eyes of every member of every audience reflexively move to the screen to process the new image. The denser the image, the more processing the audiences need. At that very moment, they stop listening to the presenter. Nevertheless, most presenters continue speaking, further compounding the processing task. As a result, the audience shuts down. Game over.
The simple solution to this pervasive problem is one that readers of my books will recognize: use television news programs as a role model. With vast high-tech graphics resources at their disposal, all the broadcasters show is a simple image composed of a picture and one or two words to serve as a headline for the story that the anchor person tells. In presentations, consider yourself as the anchor person, and design slides that pass Mr. Khosla’s five-second test to serve as the headline for your story.
News just in from ourexpedition and they too have enjoyed a successful trek to Everest Base Camp and climb of Island Peak. Well done to Tui, Peter, Kirsten, Tika and Dor on a great result. No photos as yet but I’ll post some images through as soon as the team send me some! A few images below from a recent Trek Climb Ski expedition to Island Peak so you can appreciate what they’ve just achieved. Congratulations again to Tika and the crew and that rounds us out with a 100% success rate for all our 2011 trekking and climbing expeditions in Nepal. Visit our website to learn about our range of and adventures for all ages and abilities.
“The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide” – Mr.Kapil Sibal
The most talked about ‘Made-in-India’ tablet, Aakashdeveloped by IIT-Rajasthan (Indian Institute of Technology, Rajasthan) and DataWind (a UK-based company owned by a Suneet Singh Tuli, a Canadian of Indian descent) is finally out for testing and will be available for purchase at retail stores shortly. It is commercially known as “Ubislate.” Check out its features, technical specifications, full review and price in India.
Features and Technical Specifications:
Dimensions: 190.5mm x 118.5mm x 15.7mm
Weight: 350 grams
Display: 7-inch Resistive Touch Screen (800 x 480 pixels)
Video Playback and Streaming: Full HD (1080p) support
Operating System: Android 2.2 (Froyo)
Storage: 2 GB Internal (Expandable upto 32 GB vi MicroSD card)
CPU: 366 MHz Connexant Processor
RAM: 256 MB
Battery Backup: Upto 3 hours/180 Minutes (1.5 to 2 hours while playing HD video) (2100 mAh Battery)
Data Connectivity: GPRS, Wi-Fi (802.11 IEEE a/b/g) and 3G (via Dongle)
USB Ports: 2 full USB ports
“Our goal was to break the price barrier for computing and internet access” – DataWind CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli.
– FHD (1080p) video playback/streaming
–Video Streaming (Video Download also supported for YouTube)
“The thing with cheap tablets is most of them turn out to be unusable,” – Technology Reviewer BGR India, Rajat Agrawal
– Very Poor Battery Backup
– Slow Performance
– Bad Touch Experience (Resistive Touch Screen)
– Big & Weird Stickers at the back
This tablet is basically designed for students and those who can’t afford high-priced gadgets. If you’re not one of those then, Move On. There are many other,or if you can go for a bit higher amount then, is the best option (iPad is not considered in this comparison so..)
Price and Availability:
“As a business, we need to make profit, and our distribution channel needs to make a profit, which is all covered in the MRP of Rs.2,999″ – Mr.Tuli
Aakash Tablet (Ubislate) will be launched in the commercial market at a price of Rs.2,999 (Mr. Tuli said). If you’re a student, then you may get it at 50% less price (Govt. subsidy).
Also called an Obelisk. This bad boy (on the left), and its two-headed friend (on the right) the Double Dagger or Diesis, represents a javelin, which is cutting out extraneous stuff from your text. Its primary use through the ages has been to mark out superfluous repetitions in translation, though nowadays it mostly just stands in as a kind of footnote.
Also called a Wedge, an Up-Arrow, and a Hat, which is cute. The word caret is Latin for “it lacks,” which is convenient, because the caret is primarily used to indicate something that’s missing from the original text.
Not to be confused with a slash! The Solidus is also called a Shilling Mark (presumably by old British dudes in top hats) and it is at a much steeper angle than a boring old backslash. Back before decimilization took the world by storm, the Solidus was used to set apart different values of currency from each other.
The Asterism has an awesome name, a cool look, and a really lame usage. It’s for indicating minor breaks in text. It can also mean “untitled,” apparently.
Guillemets means “Little Williams,” which is interesting but unhelpful. They’re named after a 16th Century French printer. Their primary role is in non-English languages that use them as quotation marks.
6. Sheffer Stroke
Mainly used for Boolean functions and propositional calculus. Truth tables. Stuff like that.
7. Because Sign
This one’s so cool. It’s like the “Therefore” sign, but upside-down, and it means because.
8. Section Sign
To indicate sections in a text, mostly by lawyers, who are too good for regular punctuation marks. You probably knew this one, but it’s cool-looking, so.
9. Exclamation Comma
Just because you’re excited about something doesn’t mean you have to end the sentence.
10. Question Comma
The interrogative version of its best friend the Exclamation Comma.
It’s a combo-Exclamation/Question mark, and it’s awesome. It is the glorious punctuational equivalent of saying OMGWTF?!
Hedera is Latin for ivy. Why that is relevant here is not very clear at all, but this little glyph was used back in the day to mark paragraph breaks. Seems like it was probably really hard and annoying to draw, but it looks nice.
This one’s also for paragraph breaks. Most people will be familiar with it, though not with the fact that it’s called a Pilcrow. It’s also referred to as “The Blind P,” which sounds like a good name for some hopelessly twee indie band. “Pilcrow” is the Middle English word for “Paragraph.” You will never be able to use that fun fact in real life.
Also called the Percontation Point and the Irony Mark, this one’s used to indicate that there’s another layer of meaning in a sentence. Usually a sarcastic or ironic one. So it is essentially a tool for smart people to use to make stupid people feel even stupider. Which makes it the best punctuation mark of all.
The Simpsons is a show that has been a part of television for over 20 years. It has even claimed the title of being the longest running scripted show in the history of television. It has gone from “Eat my shorts” to covering every type of controversial issue engrained within American culture. And while people around the country (and beyond) enjoy watching it, there are actually things that entrepreneurs can learn from the successful long-running series.
1. Test out your concept before betting the farm
Many people who watch the show may not realize that it actually started out as a segment on Fox’s The Tracey Ullman Show. This gave creator Matt Groening, who still leads the show, the perfect platform for testing out the crazy family and seeing how people reacted to them. People liked the segment, and just two years later The Simpsonsshow found its way into Fox’s lineup of programs. Because Groening tested out the concept for The Simpsons before heading straight for its own place in the line-up, it gave him a chance to hone the show, build up an audience base, and smooth out any rough edges. When it hit the network as its own show, the kinks had been worked out, fans followed, and the buzz began building.
2. Don’t fix what ain’t broke
Have you ever noticed that Homer, Marge, Bart and the entire gang haven’t aged one bit? Even their personalities have remained the same over the last couple of decades. Shoot, they haven’t even changed the furniture in their house, and we are talking over 20 years! This just goes to show, if what you are doing is working, stop looking to make changes. Keep doing what is working, and you will keep reaping the rewards.
3. Ignore the copycats
As an entrepreneur, you have to be aware that people will always copy what is successful. The Simpsons started a trend of the new “adult cartoon” age. They were followed by shows like King of the Hill, South Park and Family Guy. But that didn’t phase them. The Simpsons just chugged along and didn’t complain or continuously focus on what others were doing. Instead, they just let the copy cats come and go, and still they remain. They focused on being their best, not on beating the other guy.
4. Be a rule breaker
The Simpsons was cutting edge. When it came out, people were shocked. Shoot, many of us had to sneak it in by putting the kids to bed early. They had real violence in cartoons, like actual blood and gore—shocking! They said things were weren’t used to hearing. Shocking! Those things got attention at that time. Now that the “shock” has been around for so long, it is no longer shocking. Now for many families, it has jut become a family favorite.
When you study something that has been successful, regardless of what field it is in, you can learn a lot. Even a popular cartoon television show has lessons that all entrepreneurs can learn from in order to help their business become great. The bottom line is that The Simpsons have stood the test of time because they tested the concept, continued doing what was working, ignored the competition, and broke some rules. Repeat that, and you will have the recipe to what it takes to have a great business!
3: Fruit Ninja HD
“Fruit Ninja” by Halfbrick Studios took the world by storm as a game for iPhone and Android mobile devices. It’s a simple concept: Fruit is tossed onto the screen, and you must slash through it by swiping your finger across the screen before it falls back out of view again. You earn points for the fruit you slash, and bonuses for catching multiple fruits with a single swipe. Some rounds add the challenge of avoiding bombs that are tossed up with the fruit.
At $2.99, “Fruit Ninja HD” for iPad has sharper graphics than the iPhone version, plus support for slashing at the airborne fruit using up to eight fingers simultaneously. In terms of sound during game play, you can hear the fruit being launched a fraction of a second before you see it on screen, which might appeal to some players. However, the launching sound is very quiet compared to other sound effects, and it’s quickly drowned out with the sounds of slicing and dicing the fruit. Thus, if you ever need to play “Fruit Ninja” noise-free, it’ll probably just sharpen your reaction time rather than detract from the game. Look for options to turn off background music and sound effects separately in the app.
The next game on our list has won several awards, and it’s great to play noise-free.
Mukherjee is so upset with the lousy drafting of notes submitted by the top bureaucrats in the government for consideration by the Cabinet or the GoM that he got a circular issued that “notes should be of a high quality and procedurally compliant.”
It adds: “In some cases, it is seen that the notes forwarded by the ministries/departments are often rushed one or two days prior to the scheduled meeting, which hardly leaves any time for scrutiny.”
This is one of half a dozen such circulars issued only this year, including one in which the bureaucrats were pulled up for padding up notes with unnecessary jargon that confuses more than throwing more light on the issues under discussion.
Yet another circular wanted the bureaucrats to give full form of acronyms and abbreviations in the first reference and better avoid those not common.
Once a political science lecturer in a South 24-Paranas college in West Bengal [ Images ], Mukherjee is quite strict in use of words by anyone in the government. That was the theme of the lecture he gave to the newly-elected Congress MLAs in Kolkata [ Images ] in July.
Mukherjee is not the first to frown at the notes not passing the muster as only a few months ago Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] too expressed unhappiness over the poor quality of English and grammatical mistakes in notes sent to the Cabinet.
- P. Chidambaram Releases NCRB Publication ” Crime in India -2010″
- World Bank Signs Loan Agreement Worth US$ 975 Million with Government of India
- MMTC Records Highest ever Trade Turnover
- Wholesale Price Indices for Primary Articles and Fuel & Power in India (Base: 2004-05 = 100)Review for the week ended 15th October, 2011 (23 Asvina, 1933 Saka)
- Government Approves 21 New Textiles Parks
Rs 2100 Crore Projects to be Implemented in 36 Months: Anand Sharma
- Missing MIG-29 Crash Site Located
- India Elected Vice Chairman of Association of Asian Election Authorities
- Rice Procurement Crosses 341 Lakh Tonne
- 65 Proposals Found Eligible for Consideration under
P. Chidambaram Releases NCRB Publication “ Crime in India -2010”
Crime in 2010 Rose by 4.9% Compared to 2009
The Union Home Minister Shri. P.Chidambaram released “Crime In India-2010” a publication of national importance brought out by National Crime Records Bureau in New Delhi today. Shri N.K. Tripathi, Director General, NCRB, Smt. B. Bhamathi, Additional Secretary, MHA and Shri.P.R.K.Naidu, Joint Director, NCRB, were present during this occasion. NCRB publishes Crime in India from the year 1953 and the current edition “Crime in India-2010”is its 58th edition. Crime in India is a compilation and analysis of crime statistics on various types of crimes which had taken place in that year in India. This report is widely referred by policy makers, police personnel, researchers, NGOs, media persons and other stake holders.
On this occasion, the Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri.P.Chidambaram also released another important publication of NCRB, “Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India-2010”. Looking at the value of human life, NCRB brings out this publication annually from the year 1967 to analyse the loss of valuable human lives in various types of accidents, natural calamity and suicides in this country. This publication helps various ministries and other stake holders to analyse the reasons for such accidents/suicides and take preventive steps required to prevent the loss of valuable human lives in such incidents.
NCRB has digitized all the editions of Crime in India from 1953 to 2010 and Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India from the year 1967 to 2010. The digitized editions can be accessed world wide from the web site of NCRB http://ncrb.gov.in.
NCRB has planned to bring out the next edition of these reports in the month of April 2012. NCRB is also implementing CCTNS(Crime and criminal tracking network and systems) a mission mode project of the Home Ministry under national e-Governance plan to connect all the 15000 police stations and 6000 odd higher police offices across the country. This project is likely to be rolled out by March 2012. Once this project becomes operational, the publication of these reports would become available at the end of the year as NCRB will receive data on-line.
“Crime in India 2010” throws light on the crime scenario in the country for the year 2010.
Crime in 2010 has increased by 4.9% compared to 2009. In 2010 a total of 22,24,831 crimes were reported under Indian Penal Code against 21,21,345 cases in the year 2009. Murder cases during the year 2010 (33,335) went up by 3.0% as compared to 2009 (32,369).
Cases under the following heads shown an increasing trend in the year 2010 compared to 2009 – Attempt to commit murder increased by 1.3%, rape cases increased by 3.6%, Kidnapping & Abduction cases increased by 13.5%,Robbery cases increased by 4.4% and Dowry Deaths increased by 0.1%. Crime against women during 2010 (2,13,585) has gone up by 4.8% compared to 2009 (2,03,804). Crime against children has also gone up by 10.3% in 2010(26,694) compared to 2009 (24,201).
Crime against Scheduled castes declined by 2.6% in 2010 (32,712) compared to 2009 (33594).Crime against Scheduled Tribes during 2010 (5885) has shown an increase of 8.5% as compared to 5425 cases in 2009.
As per another publication, Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2010 3,84,649 lives were lost in Accidents in the year 2010. In 2009 this figure stood at 3,57,021 indicating an increase of 7.7%. Road accidents caused the death of 1, 33,938 persons in the year 2010 which is 5.5% increase compared to 2009(1, 26,896).
1,34,599 persons committed suicides in the year 2010.Family problem was the major reason for such suicides (31,856) followed by illness (28,464). Of the total suicides reported 44,535 persons (33.1%) consumed poison to commit suicide and 42,266 persons (31.4%) committed suicide by hanging.
More details about crime analysis are available on NCRB site: http://ncrb.gov.in.
Kareena Kapoor arrived to unveil her wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, Northern England. She is the only Bollywood actor in the Blackpool Museum.
Kareena’s statue is replica of her popular image from the song Mauja Hi Mauja from the movie Jab We Met.
At loggerheads with the WICB, West Indian opener Chris Gayle, on Thursday, asked the board to “state clearly” what it wants him to apologise for.
The WICB had said the batsman would be considered for selection in the national team only if he retracted his statements about the board and its officials.
“They need to come clear and say what Chris Gayle should apologise for, and what should Chris Gayle retract, what are the terms, really and truly,” Gayle said.
“So they need to make it clear, rather than stating just one particular thing and leaving the public to speculate again, and just make this one big issue which I’m tired of, so they need to just cut it out now.”
The Indian government thinks the $35 Aakash Android tablet has the power to change the world. After testing one out, we’d tend to agree.
An Aakash tablet was brought to the VentureBeat office on Tuesday by Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Duke. Wadhwa, who is researching the Indian education system, and is a columnist with the Washington Post, was given the tablet by Kapil Sibal, the Indian minister of human resources and development, who has been the driving force behind the tablet project. The device (whose name means “Sky” in Hindi) was produced entirely in India — a point of pride for the Indian government.
The 7-inch Android-based device will be distributed at a government subsidized price of $35, making it the world’s cheapest Android device. The general retail price will be $60, which is still remarkably cheap for such a powerful device. A contract between the Indian government and Canadian development partner DataWind, should put between 10 and 12 million devices in the hands of students across India by the end of 2012, according to Computer World.
We tested the Aakash, surfing the web, using apps, typing text documents, plugging in peripherals and playing Bollywood videos. Here’s our exclusive first look at what a $35 tablet can really do. (See a video of the Aakash in action at the end of the article.)
Hands on with the Aakash
Jugaad is an Indian word which means “to make-do.” The Aakash tablet is a Jugaad in a very high tech way. The components inside the Aakash tablet are cheap, and easily sourced. For example, the Aakash tablet has a headphone jack and an audio-in jack, but no external speakers — an obvious cost-savings measure. However, with the addition of cheap headphones, and an equally cheap microphone, the owner can make calls on Skype and has the potential to communicate with people around the world.
The screen is pressure sensitive (also called resistive touch) and responds somewhat slowly to gestures. It’s definitely not as dazzling as the high-end tablets familiar to Western audiences, such as the capacitive touchscreen iPad, or even the HP Touchpad.
The Aakash is running Android 2.2, Froyo, with the UniSurfer browser installed. Made by DataWind, UniSurfer is supposed to make webpages process faster, probably to compensate for the slower processor and connection speeds. However, while browsing the Internet and testing out apps, we couldn’t help but notice that the reaction time seemed very slow. Scrolling, for example, is a swipe-and-wait affair. However, the speed is going to be quite sufficient for someone who has never in his or her life had a smartphone or computer. It’s all relative after all. Compared with the iPhone 4s, the iPhone 3G is a “slow” smartphone, only because speedier alternatives are available. Even in a context where the market is full of smart devices, like in the U.S., speed helps us make decisions incrementally faster, but rarely are these issues of genuine consequence.
And given how slow navigating the user interface is, watching videos on the device was incredibly impressive. We used YouTube to watch a clip from a Bollywood film, and the video came through fast and clear, with no hiccups.
The Aakash has both GPRS and Wi-Fi capabilities. Its battery power is limited to 180 minutes of use on a full charge, but it comes with an AC adapter. What’s important isn’t that the tablet can run off of the battery for long periods of time, but that it will still be able to work and surf the net when the power goes out.
Weighing in at less than double a handheld smartphone (350 grams), the device itself feels a bit like a toy. A goofy plastic cover protects the screen, slowing down the touch response considerably. It might remind you of the conference call controller in a corporate boardroom. Though its design is minimalistic, absent are any Apple-like design flourishes that might evoke the word “magic.”
Unlike the XO, the low-cost laptop produced by One Laptop Per Child for the world’s poorest children, with help from Frog Design, the Aakash tablet is not going to win any beauty pageants. This is certainly one of its strengths. A big problem with the XO is it was seen as relatively arcane technologically by the time it was actually available.
What makes the Aakash tablet different is that its creators didn’t strive for perfection. Instead, the emphasis was on getting the product into the market quickly so it could be adopted, tinkered with, and improved over time. As Wadhwa said, “to get the cost down, you have to make some compromises.”
The unmistakable impression we all got from using the Aakash tablet was that it is built for performance. Every design choice that might seem like a negative reveals three, four, five — or more — net benefits.
Why does it have two USB ports? So you can plug in a keyboard, of course, and still have a free slot for an external hard drive, or some other device. What about that screen cover that seems like it’s made from laminating material? If the tablet is meant for educational use, it’s probably going to have to contend with some pretty rough handling, dirt, dust and moisture. Better that it should withstand damage than look the extra bit nicer.
Seeing the tablet’s potential
The Aakash Tablet is an example of a “leapfrog technology,” a concept where the latest innovations jump directly into areas where legacy technologies never penetrated. Tens of millions of people throughout India who never had access to a landline phone now walk around with cell phones in their pocket. Many of those likely to use or own the the Aakash Tablet will never have used a desktop computer, and it’s possible they never will.
Now imagine the educational potential of the world’s lowest-cost tablet being unleashed to hundreds of millions of Indians eager to join the world economy. At the heart of the Aakash tablet is an HD video co-processor that will connect viewers to one of the largest educational libraries ever assembled: YouTube. When the Aakash tablet reaches villages across India, an entire generation will have instant access to rich educational content such as the Khan Academy, and anything else their hearts desire.
And with the Aakash tablet in hand, students across India will be free to do what their global counterparts do — or should do — with their computers. There are the educational basics such as creating documents and spreadsheets, and browsing the web for research materials. But as with anything, young people will probably spend a fair amount of time playing games online and chatting with their friends.
India’s history with affordable tech
India, which has a population of nearly 1.2 billion and is home to 40 percent of the world’s poor, has experience paring down high-end technology and making it affordable and accessible.
A similarly transformative Indian-created product is the Tata Nano car, a revolution in automobile design built to give mobility to millions of low-t0-mid-income Indians. When it came out in 2009, the Tata Nano was heralded as the world’s cheapest car. But while the Tata Nano is ultimately a destructive force — adding drivers to the congested roads and vehicle exhaust into the air — the Aakash tablet will be used to educate hundreds of millions of children.
The Hole in the Wall initiative is another example. It put a computer kiosk in several rural villages throughout India, giving thousands of children and adults their first access to a computer and the Internet. The organizers compared it to the village well, where the community could come together to exchange knowledge and learn from each other. In this case, however, the well was connected to the world’s deepest reservoir of knowledge, the Internet.
And next month, the first Aakash tablets will go on sale throughout India, and millions of children will be able to join the tablet revolution that is transforming education, communication and entertainment across the world.
Have you ever wanted to walk across the bottom of the river, lake or ocean
to see all the ships that have sunk? Well…. The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth-largest saline body of water. It has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s, after the rivers that fed it were diverted by the Soviet Union irrigation projects. And now it’s almost gone leaving a desert full of old sunken boats.
The 100-year-old marathoner snubbed by Guinness World Records
Centenarian Fauja Singh completes the Toronto marathon, but the record keepers say he doesn’t have adequate proof of his wise, old ageposted on October 25, 2011, at 4:25 PMCentenarian Fauja Singh may have impressed the world when he completed the Toronto marathon earlier this month, but Guinness World Records won’t officially acknowledge his feat. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images SEE ALL 97 PHOTOS
Hearts were warmed around the world earlier this month when Britain’s Fauja Singh, 100, became the oldest man ever to complete a full marathon. On October 16, Singh finished the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in eight hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds. It was one for the record books, or so it seemed. Now, Guinness World Records is refusing to recognize Singh’s feat because he can’t produce his birth certificate from 1911. Here, a brief guide to the sporting world’s birther scandal:
Who is Fauja Singh?
After his finish in the Toronto marathon, the 100-year-old east Londoner began claiming the title of world’s oldest marathoner. As a younger man, Singh earned a place in Guinness World Records’ “over 90” category for finishing the 2003 Toronto marathon in five hours and 40 minutes. (The organization says that record isn’t ratified either.) Singh has lived in the U.K. since 1992. He previously worked as a farmer in Punjab. In recent years, he’s appeared in the Adidas “Nothing is Impossible” campaign. He has completed marathons.
What proof is Guinness demanding?
The organization requires Singh’s 1911 birth certificate from India. Singh’s trainer, Harmandar Singh, who acts as a spokesperson for the runner because Singh doesn’t speak English, has said that such documents weren’t available at the time. “In the developing countries, their standards simply aren’t up to western standards,” he says. In lieu of a birth certificate, Singh has offered his passport and a letter from the Queen wishing him a happy 100th birthday. The record keepers say that just won’t do. “We would love to give him the record,” says Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records’ editor-in-chief. “The problem is there is just no evidence.” “Come on! Just… look at him!” exclaims Mark Remy at Runner’s World. “He’s gotta be 100 years old! At least! Did you not see the man’s beard?”
Has Singh’s passport been enough proof for other organizations?
Yes. The World Masters Athletics website accepts the passport as proof. Singh’s 2003 marathon is listed on the site. There are also claims that Singh holds the U.K. records for his age group at various short distances, from 200 meters to 3,000 meters, but the British Master Athletics says they’re not official records because official timekeepers were not present.
How long has he been running?
Not long. When his wife and son died 11 years ago, Singh took up competitive running and decided to pursue a world record so as not to wallow in his grief. He credits running, his vegetarian diet, and his stress-free existence for his long life. “I won’t stop running until I die,” he says.
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