Category Archives: Uncategorized

ICC Women’s World Cup: India Women v Sri Lanka Women

Deepthi Sharma and Mithali Raj scored fine half-centuries as India Women are in a position of strength against Sri Lanka Women in a Group match.

Electing to bat, India Women lost their openers early but Sharma (78) and Mithali (53) did the repair work to push Sri Lanka Women on backfoot.

 

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Can America and India become real partners?

The future of US-India strategic ties is too important to be constructed solely or even primarily through a China-management lens, writes Sourabh Gupta in the National Interest.

As the US preps for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, pro/anti-India forces slug it out on the White House website, Seema Sirohi writes in the Economic Times.

The story of my Sanskrit

Ananaya Vajpei writes in The Hindu that Sanskrit must be taken back from the clutches of Hindu supremacists, bigots, believers in brahmin exclusivity, misogynists, Islamophobes and a variety of other wrong-headed characters on the right.

Can a Computer Virus Read Your Mind?

He grows biological brains in a dish and connects them to robots. He calls the brain “a squidgy mass of biology.”

He infects his own body with a computer virus.

He plants rays of electrodes into a colleague’s spine and simulates involuntary movement using electrical impulses.

No, this is not out of a science fiction novel or a horror movie. He is Dr. Mark Gasson, a distinguished scientist at the University of Reading.

Recently, Dr. Mark Gasson became the first person to transfer a computer virus from himself to a database, and from a computer database to himself. Here are excerpts from his interview with Sify.com

You recently managed to transfer a computer virus to yourself. How did that happen?

A little over a year ago now, I had an RFID device implanted in my left hand, and I used it for accessing my building at the university, and my laboratory.

What we’ve done is used the tag to conduct two experiments. One is infecting the tag with the computer virus, which means that when I try to access the building, the computer virus is actually transferred to the database which controls secure access to the building. So when we infected the database, that in turn infected other devices which were used to access the building.

The other experiment we’ve done is infecting the computer system first, and then allowing that to transfer itself to my device. So in effect, we’ve got a virus spreading from my implant to the building, or from the building to my implant.

How does infecting a chip affect the person?

If someone created a virus which could interfere with the functioning of a heart pacemaker, then that puts the person’s health at risk. A lot of medical devices don’t have any security or access control. So if you know how to talk to these devices, you can go right in.

Is the idea that at some point, you can download and upload information into human beings, a far-fetched one?

I don’t think we can say it’s not possible. Two or three hundred years ago, they’d never have thought it would be possible to walk around with a box that you could communicate with someone in a different country. So even though to us, something actually doesn’t seem possible, I don’t think we can dismiss it.

To find out why, learn about his experiment with growing biological brains and read the rest of the interview, go to http://sify.com/news/catching-a-computer-virus-the-brains-behind-it-imagegallery-international-kikoUpjaihf.html

Nandini Krishnan

Do we really need Sachin’s blood?

Sachin Tendulkar

No need for him to be another baba

Note: A day after this article was published on Sify, Sachin on Saturday (July 24) clarified that there won’t be any blood in the book. Read on to find out why it would have been an unnecessarily undignified act by the little champion, if he had allowed the publishers to go ahead with their original plan.

Almost 21 years ago, it was Waqar Younis who made the then 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar spill blood in his debut Test with an awkward bouncer.

Now, it is the turn of a publisher.

For those of you who haven’t heard the news already, Kraken Media, the publishers of Tendulkar Opus, plan to print 10 deluxe copies of their 37kg tome with a signature page that “will be mixed with Sachin’s blood – mixed into the paper pulp so it’s a red resin”.

The editions, which have already been pre-ordered, are priced at $75000 each (Rs 35 lakhs at the current rate) and will also feature a DNA profile of the little champion generated from his saliva and more than 1,500 pictures, with each of the 852 pages being edged in gold leaf.

Kraken Media’s chief executive Karl Fowler explained the decision to the UK-based Guardian in this manner: “It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s not to everyone’s taste and some may think it’s a bit weird. But the key thing here is that Sachin Tendulkar to millions of people is a religious icon. And we thought how, in a publishing form, can you get as close to your god as possible?”

Certainly, they have hit upon quite an idea indeed!

Even Deigo Maradona, the other sporting star whose autobiography was touted as an Opus, hasn’t been subjected to this kind of hagiography.

Agreed the cause is good. The Rs 3.5 crores raised from the deluxe-edition sale will go towards building a school in Mumbai.

Agreed also that the market for sports books in India, where Sachin has his biggest fan following, is rather thin.

I am reminded in this context of a friend of mine who ended up spending lakhs of rupees from his own pocket to get his biography on Prakash Padukone, the greatest badminton player India has produced, published. Passion, in his case, only served to burn a gaping hole in his purse.

And of a senior colleague, who was offered a paltry Rs 10000 to do a ‘quickie’ on one of our current batting greats by a publishing major because anything more elaborate and costlier wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

With the sports publishing scene in India being this bleak, Sachin and Kraken Media might have felt (and justifiably so) that it made sense to target just an exclusive clientele instead of reaching out to the hoi polloi.

Finding 10 people capable of forking out Rs 3.5 crore was definitely an easier task for them than launching a search for a million readers willing to part with Rs 350 and buy the book.

Be that as it may, why at all let Sachin’s blood seep into its pages?

Funnily, the batting great was reported to have said that he wanted us to see it just as a “mind-blowing” tribute.

But don’t you feel that while it might behove the leaders of a cult, Sachin has little need to lend his name and his blood to something this shamanistic?

Even his bosom pal Vinod Kambli was shocked enough into admitting that “This is something you could have expected from a Vinod Kambli and not Sachin Tendulkar.”

For once, he  is right.

This is an unnecessarily undignified act for Sachin, whose career has been built on the bedrock of dignity.

With February 2011 being the launch date of the book, the little champion will be well advised to have a relook at this decision of his.

Just to drive home the point once again, Sachin…

Spilling blood on the field is one matter; spilling it in a book for a publisher who considers you a “religion icon” on the strength of your skill with the willow is quite another.

Don’t you all agree too?

R Rajesh Kumar

Flirting in office: Do you approve?

More than twelve years ago, a woman nearly unseated the President of the United States.

Just a few weeks ago, a woman got a publishing icon fired from a company he had raised.

Before shutting himself off from the world, David Davidar decided to confuse us all with three words – ‘consensual, flirtatious relationship’.

Can flirting turn into sexual misconduct? We spoke to professionals in the media, theatre and publishing industries across India, and here’s some of what they had to say:

“I think it’s essential to have an office spouse.”

“Sometimes, you vibe so well with someone that you like dressing up for that person, you miss that person when he is not around, and work is a lot of fun because of that connection. The colleague I’m referring to is married.”

 “I’ve gone as far as kissing. I do love my boyfriend very deeply. But…”

“You know, honestly, I think women are to blame.”

“An experienced correspondent said he wanted to discuss a story and stayed in the girl’s room until past midnight. Then he told her he could make sure she went places, if she cooperated, and when she asked what he meant, he tried to force himself on her.”

Watch out for the complete article on Sify.com this weekend! You can read it at http://www.sify.com/weekend

Nandini Krishnan

http://disbursedmeditations.blogspot.com

At last! A slice of real India in a Hindi movie

Udaan

Udaan

Enough has been written about the bloodbath at the Mumbai box office this year.

Mexican heroines, painted American presidents, songs shot in pretty places, heroines based on US sitcom clichés (Thou shalt eat a tub of ice cream when dumped) failed utterly to help matters.

As we yawned through one “Let’s-sell-our-film-to-the-world” attempt after another, we even began to wonder if we were better off with those tacky old themes and all-too-convenient storylines.

If the Roshans had fed their heroine to the crocs a la Khoon Bhaari Maang, and of course, ensured the heroine slid out of the water, picture-pretty with cosmetic surgery, would Kites have worked?

This weekend, though, a coming-of-age film about a teenager (A real teenager; not 40-plus men playing teenagers) shook off the boredom and cynicism.

There are many reasons why you should watch Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan.

Sonia Chopra’s review on sify.com calls it a  a film worth savouring.

Times of India’s Nikhat Kazmi calls it “a moody, introspective and ekdum different look at teenage angst”.

Anurag Kashyap sees it as a metaphor for the brave new cinema that can rid itself off the baggage of old-world filmmakers and cliches.

Udaan has its powerful performances, its silences, the sounds of the night it captures, its sensitivity in dealing with abusive parents.

You should also watch it for its hero (Rajat Barmecha). And for its two talented actors – Ronit Roy & Ram Kapoor. Such a shame that we associate them only with saas-bahu serials.

But most of all, Udaan gives a voice to the adolescent: The ones who’ve been too awkward for mainstream Hindi cinema.

We’ve caught glimpses of a young Lucky in Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.

And fans of Malayalam cinema will remember the glory days of the very young on screen (The Hariharan-MT team’s Nakakshathangal & Aaranyakam are personal favourites).

But when was the last time you saw a bunch of gawky teenagers who look and speak like gawky teenagers throughout a Hindi film?

Udaan must also be commended for daring to tell a universal story rooted in an Indian town. For bringing alive the best and worst of Jamshedpur: Its steel factories, the garish buses, the seedy bars, statues, secrets, dinner parties loaded with the unsaid…

It’s not often that you catch a slice of the real India at the movies.

Don’t miss this one!

Sarita Ravindranath