May 31, 2007

Paving The Way for Attack on Iran

Recently a wonders in diplomatic history grew larger. US foreign officials met their Iranian counterparts for the first time in nearly 3 decades. Since the Iranian revolutionaries took 80 American citizens hostage, United States of America cut all its diplomatic ties with the Iranians and shut its Embassy there (although the embassy was shut practically when the revolutionaries captured it).
So what’s so unusual about Americans going to visit Iranians in a third country?
Right there is nothing unusual, but unusual is the timing.
Iran has been labeled as the forbearer of the axis of evil group, a nation who thinks helping terrorist is legitimate, a nation bent upon destroying Israel, etc.
When America attacked Iraq it forgot that it lacked many basic necessities and lacked ground realities analysis.
Iran used all this in its favor and provided the insurgents the ammunition it required. This helped the insurgents to keep the US military engaged in urban battle in the Iraqi cities.
So their military casualties mounted and still are mounting. In the meantime US had not let the axis of evil rhetoric down and thought that Iran would succumb to it, but not so happened. USA had also finalized the decision that it will attack Iran on one pretext or the other under the “Principle of Pre-emption”.

Iran used its oil manipulation card and nuclear card at the right time and got to the extend of labeling Israel its target and the wish to wipe it off the world’s map.
Now Israel entered and thought that it would be a child’s play to destroy the Irani nuclear facilities like it had done with the Iraqi nuclear reactors.
Iran, to threaten Israel continued progress of its long range missiles and also helped Hezbollah get the latest anti-tank, short range missiles and other necessary sophisticated weapons in the Israeli neighborhood of Lebanon.
Some analysts say that last year attack on Iran was eminent. But hats off to Irani tactics i.e. it let Hezbollah (the Middle Eastern guerilla warfare giants) kidnap the Israeli soldier on the issue of which Lebanon was attacked by Israel.
And the rest is history. Israel had to face the one of the most embarrassing military defeat in its military history.

It all summed up in the larger picture for American policy makers that
i) Unless America withdraws and regroups its military, it lacks the military muscle to effectively attack Iran so as to cripple its nuclear facilities.
ii) Until the Hezbollah is disarmed with its sophisticated weapons Israel cannot be regarded as safe.
Now suddenly, one and a half month before US agreed on what Iran was saying for years that talks with it can help US out of Iraq safely.
On Monday the 28th of May 2007 the meeting took place which continued for hours.
More importantly Lebanese Army (which did not fire a single shot in the last years war with Israel) got the teeth and will power it needed to take on a local militant organization predominantly composed of Palestinian refugees.
Lebanese Army is considered as an ally of Israel (for anyone who did not know) and there are trustworthy intelligence reports that American C-130 are dumping huge quantities of weapons (which may include some that are capable of taking on Hezbollah).
Not to forget that soon after Hezbollah-Israel war US had sanctioned the transfer of bunker busting bombs in huge quantities worth hundreds million of dollars.

Now with all said and done where will the US regroup its forces.
Answer; Maybe in Qatar (which has been made its regional headquarters after Saudi-Arabia declined to extend its stay) or Kuwait( unless Americans don’t mind getting fried in this tiny oil rich kingdom by Irani nukes) or maybe they will take them all back to the mainland US and launch a special force operations.
Billion Dollar Question: When will the attack begin?
The answer is simple but a for anyone who can understand crude oil based economies.
It will happen whenever the oil prices are low or whenever the America’s oil need season is off-season or whenever they have stored enough oil to last the unimaginable price per barrel of oil age that will soon follow.
As far as I can analyze is that the Iranians know that they are on the hit list of America and they also know that it would be largely directed on their nuclear installations.
They are also conducting their diplomacy with the utmost guile they can manage to delay the inevitable.

Are the Iranians going to fall for this bait i.e. retrieval of US forces from Iraq and will they let them regroup?
Only time will tell.

May 30, 2007

Sush left out of Don 2 team

Plans to create a sequel to Farhan Akhtar’s Don are fast concretising. All the members of the cast and the screenplay are being finalized, but irrespective the lead actors will be the same.

Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra will be doing an encore of their roles from Farhan’s Don. However stories that Sushmita Sen has been approached for Don 2 are being dismissed as baseless.

This is the first time any filmmaker will conceive and execute a sequel to a remake. He will have to get into the original screenwriter’s (Javed Akhtar) head to imagine where the plot that might have been, if the plot were to be carried further.”

The sequel is expected to be much more lavish, spectacular and gorged with effects because of the new technologically oriented films namely Dhoom and Krissh,raising the bar and standards.

Dubbed Hollywood movies such as Spiderman 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 make matters worse. The budget and the locations for Don 2 will be far more spectacular than the first part. Dates for Shah Rukh and Priyanka have been finalised for early next year.

Bollywood, Celebrities, Don, Don 2, Gossip, Movie, Shahrukh Khan, Sushmita Sen Bollywood, Celebrities, Don, Don 2, Gossip, Movie, Shahrukh Khan, Sushmita Sen

May 28, 2007

Ram Gopal Varma Ke Sholay Releasing On July 13, 2007

Ram Gopal Varma Ke Sholay is a forthcoming 2007 film, a remake of the 1975 film Sholay. This film will release on July 13, 2007.

Amitabh Bachchan who played Jai in the original will play the villain Gabbar Singh. Varma also roped in Mohanlal, the popular South Indian Super Star, to play the role of Thakur Baldev Singh played by Sanjeev Kumar in the original. Prashant Raj Sachdev will play Jai. It was later announced that Sushmita Sen will play Radha. Ram Gopal Varma's current favourite Nisha Kothari will play Basanti.

Abhishek Bachchan was originally meant to play the role of Veeru but dropped out. Saif Ali Khan was also offered the role but declined. It was announced in December 2005 that Ajay Devgan will now essay the role of Veeru. Sushant Singh will play Sambha’s role. Gaurav Kapoor will essay the role of Ahmed.

Asha Bhosle, who was originally supposed to sing the famous track "Mehbooba O Mehbooba", the original song being sung by her late husband R D Burman, has been replaced by Sunidhi Chauhan, Amitabh Bachchan will pitch in a few lines. Earlier Himesh Reshammiya was to compose a different special remixed version of the original number for the film, however things seem to have changed and Ganesh Hegde roped in, because Himesh is quite busy with his schedule.

Screenshots of YouTube's New Player

YouTube tests a new version of its player that will improve the way you interact with videos and will create a cinematic experience.

The player will add a feature that was already available in Google Video: jump to any part of the video even if the video isn't fully downloaded.

For each video, you'll be able to see around ten related videos. You don't have to wait until the video ends to play a new one because they're available as thumbnails if you hover over the video. The effect is similar to the dock from Mac OS X. You can also click on the two arrows to go to the previous / next video.

The "menu" button gives you access to the embedding code or to the URL of the YouTube page that shows the video. If you click on the button, the video is smoothly minimized in the left corner and it continues to play.

From: Google Operating System

LEAKED: Windows Live Messenger 8.5, language trick

Today an internal build of Windows Live Messenger 8.5 was leaked by Messenger Addictos, a site dedicated to Windows Live Messenger and related products.

The new build includes a completely new installer system (though it appears it might need some tweaking). Messenger itself also got a complete overhaul, featuring a new UI that combines the best of Windows Live and Vista. The new build also includes several minor new features, some of which are still unknown. Unfortunately support for Plug-Ins (or "Add-Ins") has been dropped.

The leaked build is only available in Spanish at the moment, but if you managed to download it somewhere, you can copy the old language file ("msglang.dll") of Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0178 over the new one ("msglang.8.5.1235.0517.dll"). Note that the installation directory has also been changed to "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\" making the transition from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger complete.

Note: The new build does not appear to be compatible with Messenger Plus!, so if you have obtained the new version somewhere then you won't be able to compete for cool prizes in the Messenger Plus! Live competition, mentioned earlier on

[Reported by: Chris]

Reduced: 99% of original size [ 514 x 69 ] - Click to view full image

Great, it doesn't look rubbish in Vista anymore

From: Mess

May 27, 2007

Bird Sh*ts on Bush During Press Conference

"Seems a passing sparrow took an opportunity to weigh in on what the President had to say."

As President Bush took a question Thursday in the White House Rose Garden about scandals involving his Attorney General, he remarked, "I've got confidence in Al Gonzales doin' the job."

Simultaneously, a sparrow flew overhead and left a splash on the President's sleeve, which Bush tried several times to wipe off.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Dana Perino promptly put the incident through the proper spin cycle, telling ABC News, "It was his lucky day…everyone knows that's a sign of good luck."

From: Crooks and Liars

Alabama Boy Kills 1,051-Pound Monster Pig, Bigger Than 'Hogzilla'

An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog that just may be the biggest pig ever found.

Jamison Stone's father says the hog his son killed weighed a 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.

If the claims are accurate, Jamison's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004.

Click here to see a big pic of the big pig.

Hogzilla originally was thought to weigh 1,000 pounds and measure 12 feet in length. National Geographic experts who unearthed its remains believe the animal actually weighed about 800 pounds and was 8 feet long.

After seeing the pig in person, taxidermist Jerry Cunningham told The Anniston Star it was "the biggest thing I'd ever seen ... it's huge."

The Anniston Star reported that the feral hog was weighed at the Clay County Farmer's Exchange in Lineville. Workers at the co-op verified that the basic truck scales used were recently certified by the state. But no workers from the co-op were present when the hog was weighed.

Jamison is reveling in the attention over his pig, which has a Web site put up by his father — — that is generating Internet buzz.

"It feels really good," Jamison, of Pickensville, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a good accomplishment. I probably won't ever kill anything else that big."

Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in east Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Hogzilla II. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50-caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.

Through it all there was the fear that the animal would turn and charge them, as wild boars have a reputation of doing.

"I was a little bit scared, a little bit excited," said Jamison, who just finished the sixth grade on the honor roll at Christian Heritage Academy, a small, private school.

His father said that, just to be extra safe, he and the guides had high-powered rifles aimed and ready to fire in case the beast with 5-inch tusks decided to charge.

With the pig finally dead in a creek bed on the 2,500-acre Lost Creek Plantation, a commercial hunting preserve in Delta, trees had to be cut down and a backhoe brought in to bring Jamison's prize out of the woods.

It was hauled on a truck to the Clay County Farmers Exchange in Lineville, where Jeff Kinder said they used his scale, which was recently calibrated, to weigh the hog.

Kinder, who didn't witness the weigh-in, said he was baffled to hear the reported weight of 1,051 pounds because his scale — an old, manual style with sliding weights — only measures to the nearest 10.

"I didn't quite understand that," he said.

Mike Stone said the scale balanced one notch past the 1,050-pound mark, and he thought it meant a weight of 1,051 pounds.

"It probably weighed 1,060 pounds. We were just afraid to change it once the story was out," he said.

The hog's head is now being mounted on an extra-large foam form by Cunningham of Jerry's Taxidermy in Oxford. Cunningham said the animal measured 54 inches around the head, 74 inches around the shoulders and 11 inches from the eyes to the end of its snout.

Mike Stone is having sausage made from the rest of the animal. "We'll probably get 500 to 700 pounds," he said.

Jamison, meanwhile, has been offered a small part in "The Legend of Hogzilla," a small-time horror flick based on the tale of the Georgia boar. The movie is holding casting calls with plans to begin filming in Georgia.

The Anniston Star reported that congratulatory calls have come all the way from California, where Jamison appeared on a radio talk show. Jamison apparently has gotten words of congratulation from Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd, country music star Kenny Chesney, Tom Knapp of Benelli firearms and Jerry Miculek of Smith & Wesson.

Jamison is enjoying the newfound celebrity generated by the hog hunt, but he said he prefers hunting pheasants to monster pigs.

"They are a little less dangerous."

Razor-thin TV screen you can wear as a T-shirt

In the race for ever thinner displays for TVs, cell phones and other gadgets, Sony may have developed one to beat them all - a razor-thin display that bends like paper while showing full-colour video.

Sony Corporation posted video of the new 2.5 inch display on its' web page.

In the video, a hand squeezes the 0.3 millimetre (0.01 inch)-thick display, which shows color video of a bicyclist stuntman, a picturesque lake and other images.

Scroll down for more...

Thin-display TV

Sony has developed a razor-thin display that bends like paper while showing full-colour video

Sony will present the research and video at an academic symposium in Long Beach, California, for the Society for Information Display this week, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company said.

The display combines Sony's organic thin film transistor, or TFT, technology, which is required to make flexible displays, with another kind of technology called organic electroluminescent display, it said.

The latter technology is not as widespread for gadgets as the two main display technologies now on the market - liquid crystal displays and plasma display panels.

Although flat-panel TVs are getting slimmer, a display that's so thin it bends in a human hand marks a breakthrough.

Sony said plans for a commercial product using the technology were still undecided.

"In the future, it could get wrapped around a lamppost or a person's wrist, even worn as clothing," said Sony spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa. "Perhaps it can be put up like wallpaper."

Tatsuo Mori, professor at Nagoya University's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said some hurdles remained, including making the display bigger, ensuring durability and cutting costs.

But the display's pliancy is extremely difficult to imitate with LCD and plasma screens, he said.

"To come up with a flexible screen at that image quality is groundbreaking," Mori said.

"You can drop it, and it won't break because it's as thin as paper."

From: Daily Mail

Microsoft buys online ad firm aQuantive for $6 Billion

Microsoft Corp. said Friday it will purchase online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. for about $6 billion in cash in a move to expand the software company's role in the Internet advertising technologies market.

Firefox 3.0 passes major milestone

Mozilla has met a major milestone in its march to Firefox 3.0, developers said yesterday, by adding another chunk of the new Places feature to the alpha set for release late next week.

Places -- a complete revamp of the bookmarks and history functions of the browser -- was at one point slated to debut in Firefox 2.0, but was yanked a year ago in the run up to that version's October 2006 release. Instead, it will debut in Firefox 3.0.

"We enabled the Places implementation of bookmarks on the trunk," said the Places team in a post to the Mozilla developer center blog. "Although there is still much to be done, this is an important milestone for us." Firefox 3.0 alpha 5 is scheduled to launch June 1.

Because Places uses the open-source SQLite database engine to store and retrieve bookmarks and history entries, it's incompatible with earlier Firefox editions' bookmarks. Alpha users must convert their existing entries, Mozilla developers said.

"If you make any changes to bookmarks.html (say, by running Firefox 2 and editing your bookmarks) you will need to manually export them and re-import them into the bookmark-on-places [Firefox 3.0 alpha] nightly," they said.

Firefox 3.0 alpha 5 will likely post to this Mozilla page when it releases. The preview, also codenamed "Gran Paradiso," has been rolled out for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in past iterations.

May 26, 2007


The European Parliament on Thursday passed with overwhelming majority the Baroness Emma Nicholson report on Kashmir criticizing the human rights situation in the Pakistani side of Kashmir.
Prior to the debate on the report at the plenary session of the European Parliament, Baroness Nicholson responded to a letter which she had received from Saeed Khalid, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the European Union.

The report, which despite efforts from many quarters over many months has remained largely anti-Pakistan and pro-India, refutes Pakistan’s historic position on the Northern Areas as responding to Ambassador Khalid’s contention that the Northern Areas of Pakistan were never a part of Jammu and Kashmir, and that the Siachen Glacier formed a part of the Northern Areas, Baroness Nicholson said that she could not ‘commend’ the Pakistan government’s ‘new position’ to the European Parliament.She claimed that she had rigorously revisited her earlier research on the geography and history of the region, including checking of maps, treaties, historic documents and speeches from 1846 till date, and had come to the conclusion that the Northern Areas belonged to the sovereignty of Kashmir.On the issue of Siachen Glacier as well, Ms Nicholson showed her Indian leanings and said that she could not incorporate Pakistan’s viewpoint on the issue that the Siachen Glacier belonged the Northern Areas into the final report, as the “issue only found small mention in the report, and new section would have to be created to adopt the eleven paragraphs of information provided by Islamabad”.

Certainly the report is labelled as bieng critical of the human rights situation in the Pakistani side of Kashmir but serves other designs.
The following facts indicate otherwise the claims of the report.


Kashmir as it can be searched from various records was a Mughul summer retreat and was occupied by the British when Mughul power dwindeled. It wasn’t of their interest other than a summer retreat and hill station (As China was not that powerful so as to threaten them and Russia could not think of braving the Himalayas to attack British India.
They later sold it to a Dogra Sikh rulersfor Rs. 700000 after frequent change of hands of rulers from Ranjit Singh to British occupation and finally Treaty of Amritsar upon which it was sold .
Gilgit was a princely Muslim State which has a great History.
Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakane Dynasty, which came to an end in about 1810. The area descended into internecine turmoil before being occupied by the Sikhs in 1842. It was ceded to Jammu in 1846. Gilgit's inhabitants drove their new rulers out in an uprising in 1852. The Khushwakhte Dynasty of Yasin and gulapure led the people of Gilgit to drive out the Dogras. After Yasin was conquered by the Katur Dynasty of Chitral the power of the Khushwakhte was crushed. The rule of Jammu was restored in 1860 but was never fully secured. Gilgit came under British rule in 1889, when it was unified with neighboring Nagar and Hunza in the Gilgit Agency. When British rule came to an end in 1947, the region was handed over to Kashmir against the whishes of the people.

Baltistan is a region to the north of Kashmir, bordering Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. It is situated in the Karakoram mountains just to the south of K2, the world's second highest mountain. It is an extremely mountainous region, with an average altitude of over 3,350 m (11,000 ft). It is inhabited principally by Balti Muslims of Tibetan descent who converted from Tibetan Buddhism prior to the 16th Century.
Baltistan was an independent state but was occupied by the Raja (King) of Kashmir in the ninteenth century. In 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence, it was still occupied by Kashmir. Now the region is divided between India and Pakistan. The districts of Skardu (Skardo) and Ganche) which is a part of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK), is a disputed territory claimed by both India and Pakistan, but controlled by Pakistan.
Siachen Glacier is glacier located in the region known to the world as “The Third Pole”.
It has been accessed by people all over the world from Pakistani side and is rightly claimed by it as there is no natural way upto the glacier except from Pakistan.

As Far as Gilgit and Baltistan are concerned, they were ceded forcefully by an Occupying Dogra King of Kasmir but could not remain in control for long of the two regions.
People revolted and drove the occupiers out.
They too are only accesible from land naturally by Pakistan and correctly fall on the British rule of Partition that
i)Religion of mojority population
ii)Natural access to the proposed states of India or Pakistan.
And Kashmir we all know how it was given to India by the British awarding committee by providing a Muslim Majority District of Punjab Gurdaspur , a natural way to Kashmir by land, and the rest is history.

This side of the story has been never told by the Indians to their children and niether by British their as well and they continue to harp on a string they don’t know how to harp melodiously.

Baroness Emma Nicholson claimed that she had rigorously revisited her earlier research on the geography and history of the region, including checking of maps, treaties, historic documents and speeches from 1846 till date. Clearly she is validating the Sikh acceding and the British involvement.
What she forgot was the fact that the facts before 1846 also fall in the category of meaningful history.
My question to the respected Baroness Emma Nicholson who is a member of British house of Lords She is a Member of the European Parliament, where she is Vice President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights
Is that
1)What do you call ceding without consent of the public?
2)If people try to force their will what are they called?
3)Is the will of people more powerful than the will of the individual ruler?
I am sure if she can answer al these questions correctly she will know how to report the truth correctly.
About EU the less said the better, but one thing can be said safely that they are just like Hindu traders i.e. only do what favours themselves.

May 25, 2007

Paris Hilton turning to religion?

Socialite heiress Paris Hilton, who is to serve jail time soon for driving without a license, was spotted picking up some reading material, including the Bible.

Hilton picked up a copy of the Bible and 'The Power of Now', a book by empowerment guru Eckhart Tolle. Though swamped by photographers at the Hollywood bookstore, she seemed more comfortable and was more willing to show her face, reports

While in jail, Hilton will be separated from the other inmates, supposedly for her own


Amitabh Bachchan praises Shah Rukh Khan

Bollywood mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan says superstar Shah Rukh Khan has done a great job as his successor on the popular television show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati'.

Bachchan told a magazine in its June issue that he disliked comparisons with SRK, who replaced him as the host of KBC.

The media have often published reports about a rivalry between the two superstars. "He is enjoying doing it and is receiving great acclaim," Bachchan was quoted as saying.

"Comparisons are odious. They only make good media copy."

"He is a warm and caring person deserving of all the love and affection that the masses give him," Bachchan added.

Bachchan, whose two films – Cheeni Kum and Shootout At Lokhandwala – hit the theatres today, also ruled out returning to the show. "TV is a tough job," he said.

"At 65, I doubt if I can face that challenge. Shah Rukh is a wonderful choice for KBC."

Coca-Cola acquires Glaceau for $4.1 bn

Atlanta: Soft-drink maker Coca-Cola Co said on Friday it will buy Vitaminwater maker Glaceau for $4.1 billion in cash, in a move to expand its non-carbonated beverage line.

The acquisition of glaceau, formally known as Energy Brands Inc, is expected to add to Coke's earnings per share in the first full year following the deal's closing this summer. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction.

"Glaceau has built a great business with high-quality growth, as well as a strong pipeline of innovative products and brands," said Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola. "We envision even faster growth for glaceau as part of Coca-Cola's enhanced range of brands for North American customers and consumers."

Coke said enhanced water and energy drink categories are expected to make up a large portion of the beverage industry's volume and gross profit growth in North America through 2010.

Whitestone, New York-based glaceau will operate as a separate business unit within Coca-Cola North America, and its top three executives - J. Darius Bikoff, Mike Repole and Mike Venuti - plan to lead the business for a minimum of three years after the deal closes. Other key managers will remain in the business, Coke said.

YouTube Sued Again

The latest YouTube lawsuit comes from an unlikely source: the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. They’re suing several video sites besides YouTube, for infringing on the copyright of car crash footage at the Great Egg Harbor toll plaza. The footage depicts a severe car crash, in which the 52-year old driver was killed. (Editor’s note: you may have seen it - it’s the one where the car travels at extremely high speed into the divider between toll booths and bursts into flames. Still image below, authorized under fair use.)

The lawsuit has an interesting angle to it. The footage appeared on YouTube; the New Jersey Turnpike Authority requested YouTube to remove it, and YouTube complied. However, what little time the video was online on YouTube was enough for users to copy the footage and upload it to other video sharing services, like Now, the NJTA is suing YouTube for not stopping other users from re-uploading the same video.

From a technical standpoint, this request seems quite unreasonable. YouTube would have a very hard time trying to prevent users from re-uploading a certain video, especially if it’s renamed and re-encoded (although Audible Magic’s technology is supposedly able to do this). The fact that the lawsuit doesn’t come from a media powerhouse, and isn’t revolving around entertainment, is also new. It seems that the recent avalanche of lawsuits has started a trend which can be summed up as “everyone is suing YouTube, so why can’t we?”

The uncensored video site LiveLeak was also sued, as well as NextPoint LLC, the owner of, however LiveLeak was dropped from the lawsuit after they removed the controversial video.

From: Mashable

May 24, 2007

Google is Buying Feedburner

I have just heard from a VERY trusted source that Google is buying Feedburner in order to get into the rapidly evolving RSS Ad market. The delay in announcing the deal, I am told is solely due to the delay in closing out the DoubleClick deal.

If true this deal makes a lot of sense for both parties. Today many of us predominately read blogs via our RSS readers and thus never actually visit the original blog source and/or see the sites supporting adverts.

So RSS has effectively eliminated the potential value of AdSense and DoubleClick because the majority of people never view them. This is already hurting publishers who rely heavily on the income generated by people watching or clicking on adverts.

Therefore I think it would be a smart move by Google to acquire FeedBurner, simply because Google could then start to serve their own ads (Adsense or DoubleClick) into the RSS stream.


Gmail increases its attachment limit

Gone are the days where you can only send a maximum of 10MB as an attachment on gmail, make way for the new 20mb limit!

Starting today, you can now start sharing more of those home videos, large presentations and files that were simply too big to send before, making your gmail space even more useful. This also makes gmail much more useful and practical for sending multiple attachments.

Yahoo, the leaders in online email (however that happened) currently only offer users attachments totaling 10MB unless you fork out on their premium service in which case you get up to 20MB.

Now that gmail accounts beat that, will we see a change in the market leader?

Jordin Brianna Sparks Wins the sixth season of American Idol

She's just 17, but to the "American Idol" voters, the way Jordin Sparks sings is way beyond compare. For that reason, the teen queen was crowned as the sixth "Idol" champion on Wednesday.

Jordin's triumph didn't surprise anyone. She was clearly better than Blake Lewis in the finale, with a big assist going to songwriters Jeff Peabody and Scott Krippayne.

The duo wrote "This is My Now," which won a contest to become the first single for the season-six winner. Each finalist closed with their version of it last night. Jordin's sounded something like a hit record while Blake's, well, did not.

But one song doesn't make a season, and Jordin isn't the champion just because the winning song happens to be a ballad instead of a more rocking tune. She won because she's both really good and really young, a combination of talent and potential that proved irresistible to viewers.

Wednesday's finale began with the two finalists singing "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles, which talks about how a teenage girl wins hearts. That was Jordin's season in a nutshell. Once viewers started voting for her, they never let up with the phone calls and text messages.

Jordin grew more confident each week
She wasn't an obvious favorite when the season began, and it wouldn't have been a shock had she joined the numerous teenage standouts who didn't even make it out of Hollywood. Instead, she made her way into the semifinals, cruised into the final 12, outlasted talented rivals like Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones, and overcame an anti-teenage bias that saw just three finalists under the age of 20. She did it all by showing strength in both vocals and personality.

While in the past, numerous teenagers have tied themselves in knots trying to please the judges, Jordin went onstage each week with increasing confidence, and won a wider audience as time went on.

Despite the lack of drama that even going over the show's the two-hour limit couldn't cure, Jordin appeared overwhelmed when she was declared the winner.

As runner-up Blake strode off into the dark recesses of the stage, the winner was in tears, and for the second night in a row broke down at the end of what's likely to be her first hit single. Hopefully, by the time the "Idol" tour starts, she'll be able to make it to the end of the song without the tears flowing.

Jordin got a sneak preview of what's in store for her when four of the previous winners performed — the fifth, Fantasia Barrino, was too busy starring on Broadway to make it. Some have made it big (Carrie, Kelly) and some haven't (Ruben, Taylor), but winning the hearts of millions of "Idol" voters is a pretty good sign that Sparks has a future in the music business.

Lack of buzz
Despite the red carpet pre-show and the crowd of celebrities in the audience, the show didn't seem to have the aura of previous finales.

Tuesday night's episode generated more votes than any previous show, but the tally of 74 million clearly doesn't represent a greater audience than in the past, since voters can call in more than once, and the show's ratings have been down this year.

That lack of buzz extended to the musical acts. Curiously, for a show that managed to land more notable guest mentors than in previous seasons, the list of performers for the finale lacked the star power of those who performed last season.

Rumors that lip-synch queen Britney Spears would appear proved untrue. Getting Green Day was a coup, and the band's cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" may well be the best performance ever on the show. Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight are musical legends, and any time they can show up, the show is the better for it.

But beyond that, the star-power wattage in the Season 6 finale wasn't close to the field that graced last season's finale.

Last season's stars got to sing duets with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Live, and Toni Braxton (and also Meat Loaf). This season? The duets were with Ruben Studdard, Doug E. Fresh, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and Aerosmith's Joe Perry. Gwen Stefani literally mailed in her performance, with a taped single from her tour stop, while Bette Midler showed only that she's seen better days when she sang "Wind Beneath My Wings."

Apart from Green Day, the biggest get for the "Idol" bookers were a couple of the show's previous champions, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

Oscar-winner and show alum Jennifer Hudson was in the audience and got a shout-out from Clive Davis, proving along with Clarkson that the show's massive appeal is a great reason for forgetting perceived slights and burying the hatchet.

Clarkson and Underwood illustrate what the show is all about. Both used "Idol" as launching pads to powerful careers, the path Jordin hopes to follow. With a bright musical future ahead of her, the season six winner has the chance to become a star as well.

May 23, 2007

Tech Myths: Busted and Confirmed

We examine common tech beliefs and do some digging to find out what's true--and what's trumped up.

We hate to break it to you, but Bill Gates is not going to give you money just for forwarding an e-mail. Eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda at the same time won't cause your head to explode (though we don't recommend mixing Mentos and Diet Coke). The Harry Potter books are not a secret plot to promote witchcraft and satanism. And that story about Richard Gere and his pets? We don't even want to go there.
These are, of course, urban legends that have been circulating on and off the Internet for ages. For more, see " The Top 25 Web Hoaxes and Pranks." But they're not the only misconceptions out there: Many intelligent, experienced computer users believe things about technology that simply aren't true.
We came up with 15 common myths in the tech world and did some digging to reveal the real story. Some rumors are wholly bogus. Others turned out to have more than a grain of truth in them. To give you a sense of how real these myths are, we've created a little 1 to 5 scale with 5 being totally bogus and 1 signifying that the rumor is true.

We hope this research will make you a little wiser when you encounter future tales of technology--whether they're fact, fiction, or something in between.

Myth 1: If you download files from a peer-to-peer network, the MPAA or RIAA will know who you are.

Bogus Meter: 2.5 out of 5
It all sounds like George Orwell's 1984: "If you are downloading movies, television shows, music, or video games using a P2P network, the files that you have downloaded can be traced back to your IP address," says MPAA spokesperson Elizabeth Kaltman.
But BayTSP, which keeps watch on file-sharing networks like BitTorrent and eDonkey, is a tad less self-assured. When the company monitors these services for various clients, it can indeed capture a file swapper's IP address, the date and time of the download, the name of the file, and information on the individual's Internet service provider--but only for large downloads.
"If the file is big enough--a movie or software application (as opposed to a single song)--it is highly likely that BayTSP can identify an individual before that person has completed the entire file download," says Jim Graham, spokesperson for BayTSP. "Not 100 percent likely, but pretty close. We never claim to have complete insight into every downloader."
Connecting an IP address to an actual name or physical address isn't a sure thing either. Typically, attorneys for the record and movie industries approach ISPs or universities with evidence of alleged copyright infringements. It is up to that organization to identify its customers based on their IP address--and not all of them comply.
There are other challenges as well. Peter Eckersley, staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation , says that using anonymous IP networks, anonymizing proxies (sites or servers that let you keep your IP address hidden while surfing the Web), or open Wi-Fi connections can make it much harder to trace your identity. Note, though, that using a dynamic IP address via DHCP will not protect you. ISPs keep track of who was using a certain IP address at a particular time, and if they're willing to cough up that information, you could be hosed.
Myth 2: Using third-party ink in your printer voids the warranty.
Bogus Meter: 5.0 out of 5
15 Tech Myths: Busted and Confirmed (© PC World)
This one has bogus written all over it--in any kind of ink. According to Canon, Epson, and Lexmark, using another company's ink cartridge or refills does not automatically nix your warranty. (However, PC World tests have shown that using third-party inks may not yield the best results.)
The exception to this rule is if the ink itself causes a problem with the printer. Epson spokesperson Cheryl Taylor likens it to the 50,000-mile warranty on your new radial tires. "Your car tire has a warranty on its tread life," she says. "If the tread wears out before it's supposed to, it's covered by the warranty. If you go out and slash your tire, well, something's wrong with your tire, but that's not damage covered by the warranty."

Myth 3: If you type a URL into your browser, you're safe from phishing attacks.
Bogus Meter: 3.0 out of 5
The surest route to having your identity stolen is to click a link inside a phishing e-mail and naively hand over your personal information. But typing into a browser is no guarantee that you'll foil the phishers.
There are at least two dangers still lurking, says Dave Jevans, chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
The first is "pharming" or "domain name poisoning" attacks, which intercept legitimate URLs en route to their destination and redirect the requests to bogus sites. So far, a handful of pharming attacks have struck domain name servers on the Internet, including one in February that targeted the Web sites of at least 50 financial institutions. Jevans says the only defense against pharming is to type or bookmark the address of the site's secure log-on page (it should begin with https:), since pharming attacks tend to target the top-level page of financial sites. However, you also should be on the lookout for warnings from your browser that the page's security certificate is invalid, in case the pharming attack has gone deeper.
The second danger is malware, which can achieve the same effect as phishing by rewriting your PC's Hosts file or otherwise hijacking your browser. But there are ways to protect yourself from that threat, says Fred Felman, chief marketing officer for MarkMonitor, which provides brand and fraud protection for Fortune 500 firms. According to Felman, if you keep your system patched, your firewall running, and your spyware and virus scanners up to date, you'll greatly reduce the odds of becoming yet another victim. Programs like the free Spybot Search & Destroy or WinPatrol can help protect your Hosts file.
Myth 4: Google finds everything on the Web, and once it has your information, it can't be removed.
Bogus Meter: 4.0 out of 5
Though it sometimes feels like the invisible fingers of Google touch everything, it's really not so. Google will find something on the Web only if another site links to that page, notes Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of Search Engine Land. "If you don't want information found, then don't put it on the Web at all, or ensure it can only be viewed with a password," he says. "Google doesn't do passwords."
You can also keep Google's searchbot from indexing your site--or get it to remove pages it's already found--by following the instructions at Google Webmaster Central. If the site has already been spidered, however, it will take time before the results are flushed from Google's cache.
The trickier question is how to remove personal information from Google if it's on a site that's not under your control. You can politely ask the site owner to remove the page or block Google from spidering it. If the owner refuses, and the site contains sensitive information like your Social Security number or copyrighted material, you can ask Google to delete it from its index. Otherwise you may need the services of a site like ReputationDefender, which attempts to eliminate inaccurate, embarrassing, or offensive material about you for a $30 fee--but offers no guarantees.

Myth 5. You're fully protected when you buy something on eBay.
Bogus Meter: 3.5 out of 5
The world's biggest auction site and its online payment division PayPal offer an arsenal of tools to guard against fraudsters, con artists, and the criminally stupid. But the protection falls short of 100 percent.
"When buyers use PayPal to purchase a physical item on, they are automatically provided with $200 of coverage on the transaction," says eBay spokesperson Catherine England. "If the buyer uses PayPal to purchase an item from an eBay seller who is PayPal Verified, then the transaction automatically has up to $2000 of coverage."
Unfortunately, if you pay by some other method--personal check, money order, or wire transfer--all bets are off. These protections also don't apply to nonphysical items, such as software or electronic documents. And if you're fooled by a misleading or confusing item description, you may be out of luck.
For example, PR professional Greg P. thought he got a great deal when his $300 auction bid scored him a Microsoft Xbox. If he had merely received a broken Xbox, Greg P. would have been covered. But what he actually bought was a Word document listing places where he could buy Xboxes at a discount. Because (a) the item he purchased was electronic, not physical, and (b) the item for sale was accurately described, even though it displayed a photo of an Xbox, PayPal's Buyer Protection did not apply.
Myth 6: Static images on a plasma TV will burn in, so you can't leave them on for too long.
Bogus Meter: 2.0 out of 5
15 Tech Myths: Busted and Confirmed (© PC World)
Plasma burn-in is not a myth, but it's something that most people need not worry about. According to, plasmas and some CRTs can suffer from burn-in when "a static image such as a video game, stock or news ticker, or station logo remains on-screen for an extended period. Over time, these images can become etched into the phosphor coating, leaving faint but permanent impressions on-screen."
Crutchfield product advisor Dallas Simon says this is extremely rare, since the image refreshes itself during commercial breaks and when you change channels. But it can be a problem for hard-core gamers, who may be playing the same first-person shooter for hours at a stretch, notes Andre Sam, a sales specialist for Best Buy in New York City. For instance, many titles display a static set of in-game statistics, such as scores, medals, energy bars, and radar.
Still, thanks to advances in plasma technology, newer flat panels are less likely to suffer from burn-in. "Like anything, if you abuse it you will probably break it," says Paul Meyhoefer, VP of Marketing and Product Planning for Pioneer Electronics. "With that said, new generations of plasma TVs have made significant improvements with things like the phosphors, cell structure, and filters to alleviate this issue."

May 22, 2007

A Mighty Heart - A Movie On Daniel Pearl's Murder

A Mighty Heart is an upcoming 2007 film adaptation of Mariane Pearl's memoir, A Mighty Heart. It was reviewed for the Cannes Film Festival by Variety on May 21, 2007.
The film recounts the life of Daniel Pearl and his murder in 2002 by Pakistani militants as told in the published memoir by Mariane Pearl, his widow.Currently, this film is in post-production and due for release in June 2007. It was shot at locations in Pune, India because of its similarities to Karachi, Pakistan, which could not be used because of security concerns.Famous Pakistani actor s Adnan Siddiqui & Sajid Hasan have acted in this movie.From India Irfan Khan has played an Important Role

Aaj Tv under Attack

TV channel, Aaj TV, faced a harsh day on 12th may after its offices were caught in an exchange of fire between two rival groups. Many of the staff became stranded for six hours in the building located near Guru Mandir. The TV administration said they made many requests to the law-enforcement agencies for protection, but these were not entertained. After many hours, the firing ended finally after security agencies intervened.

Pakistan seminary students held (The Lal Masjid Issue)

Heightened tension over the standoff between the religious students and the capital administration continued on Monday when another religious school � Jamia Faridia � briefly held hostage three policemen.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Kohsar Police Station was, however, lucky enough to manage his escape.Jamia Faridia is a branch of Lal Masjid, which is at the centre of a row with the administration over the forcible occupation of the Children�s Library by the female students of the Jamia Hafsa, another subsidiary of the mosque, and still holding two out of the four policemen hostage on the pretext that the police and other law-enforcement agencies have arrested their students.

On Monday, four cops � SHO Kohsar Police Station Haq Nawaz, SI Muhammad Islam, ASI Muhammad Sharif and Constable Afrasiab � were on a patrol in E-7 at about 5pm when a baton-wielding group of local Taliban intercepted and kidnapped them after thrashing them badly. The SHO, however, managed to flee.

Subsequently, thousands of religious students gathered on the main road leading to the Jamia Faridia and vent anger against the government for detaining the seminary students. After the deployment of police contingents and Punjab Constabulary in the area, SDPO/ASP Kamran Adil held negotiations with the Jamia Faridia administration and secured the release of the kidnapped police officers after three hours.

The deputy commissioner Islamabad issued the following press note at the end of the episode: �Today at about 5.15pm, three policemen in the vicinity of Jamia Faridia were taken hostage by the students of the seminary. Immediately, the ASP (City) and the SHO Kohsar contacted the students of Jamia Faridia for their release. However, no breakthrough could be achieved and they returned without the hostages.

Later, the deputy commissioner and the SSP Islamabad also reached the site. The deputy commissioner immediately directed that preparations to meet any contingency by the ICT Police be ensured. Consequently, contingents of the ICT Police as well as those from the Rangers started assembling in the vicinity. The ADC(G) along with the AC and the magistrate also arrived at the site. Simultaneously, the deputy commissioner also established contact with the management of E-7 Madrassa and conveyed that the three hostages from ICT Police should be released unconditionally otherwise available legal course would be adopted. On this, the management of Madrassa handed over the hostages along with their weapons to the deputy commissioner Islamabad at about 7.45pm�.

AFP adds: The policemen who were held for a short time on Monday were released after the authorities warned the students that direct action would be taken to rescue the hostages, Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao told a private TV channel.

Sherpao said the government was seeking a quick resolution to the crisis. �We will apply all pressures to secure the release of the two policemen,� he said. �We are in contact with the administration of the mosque. We have avoided any operation because of the presence of a large number of women there.�

�We don�t want bloodshed,� he added. Large numbers of police, including commandos, had gathered near the Jamia Faridia seminary, a sister organisation of Jamia Hafsa. The authorities on Monday denied planning to storm the mosque to rescue the two police hostages, who were taken on Friday.

The capital authorities have detained about 40 religious students over the hostage-taking standoff, officials said Monday. The men were arrested Sunday as they tried to go to the mosque, where students are locked in a three-day confrontation with armed security forces, government spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said.

�The 40 or so arrests that have been made were of potential troublemakers,� Cheema told AFP. �Security has been beefed up at entry and exit points of the capital to make sure that unwanted people do not enter.� Islamabad police chief Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudhry refused to rule out a raid on the mosque. �All options are open and these options are being considered,� he said.

The mosque deputy chief, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, however said, �We fear that the authorities may carry out the operation in the next couple of days.� �The remaining two policemen are still in the custody of our students and will be freed only after the government releases our students as per the understanding reached between us and the local authorities,� he said.

May 21, 2007

More tension in mosque stand-off

Radical Islamic students in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, have kidnapped three more policemen in the city, police officials say.

The incident has created a second tense police hostage stand-off in the Pakistani capital.

Students from the city's Red Mosque kidnapped a group of four policemen on Friday, but two were later released.

The incident comes in the face of a possible operation against the mosque and its associated seminaries.

'Illegal detention'

One report says that the three policemen were driven off in a car with clerics from the mosque, amid rumours that they were about to be released.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says that the policemen kidnapped in the latest incident on Monday afternoon were part of a mobile patrol that was stormed by students from the Jamia Fradia seminary.

Our correspondent says that the two sets of kidnappings in the heart of the Pakistani capital are another serious challenge to President Musharraf's authority.

Eye witnesses say that while the officer in charge managed to escape, two junior officers and a constable were dragged off to the confines of the madrassa, which is located in an up-market part of the city.

The madrassa administration is currently negotiating with the authorities over what they say is the "illegal detention" of their students.

A senior official with the local police has confirmed the incident to the BBC, and said they are trying to resolve the matter by negotiations.

On Sunday, about 40 Islamic students were detained amid continuing tension over the two policemen still being held hostage at the mosque.

Officials said the students are being held to stop them from going to the Red Mosque to support those who seized the policemen on Friday.

Two of a group of kidnapped policemen were released on Saturday.


Clerics said the remaining ones would be released in exchange for several students being held for some months.

The Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) mosque and a seminary attached to it has campaigned for strict Islamic law to be enforced in Pakistan.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema was quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying that some people were "intercepted" to stop them from going to the Red Mosque.

"The government is not planning any operations against the seminary or the mosque," Mr Cheema told Reuters.

"We will not let things get out of control. They are not enemies, but our own people, and we hope this will be settled through dialogue," he said.

Mr Cheema said the detained students were expected to be freed later, but did not give any details.

A defiant Maulana Abdul Aziz, chief cleric of the mosque, threatened "jihad" or holy war if the authorities raided the mosque.

Reuters reported Maulana Aziz as saying, "We are ready to fight, we are ready to die, but we will not back down."

On Saturday, dozens of students from the Lal Masjid seminary seized the four policemen and took them inside, demanding the release of 11 students detained by intelligence agents.

Kajol-SRK together again?

If all goes as per schedule, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol will feature in Karan Johar's next film that follows the travails of an Indian couple post 9/11.

Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan first starred together in the romantic family drama ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, a film that was so successful and it continues to run uninterrupted till date in a theater in Mumbai! Their last film together ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam’, produced and directed by Karan Johar, was a huge success too.

Kajol is currently working on ‘U, Me Aur Hum’ in which she is paired opposite her husband Ajay Devgan, who is also the director. In addition she has signed up for Raj Kumar Santoshi's ‘Ramayan’.

According to an industry source, the dusky 31-year-old found it hard to turn down Karan Johar with whom she enjoys an excellent professional rapport. Besides, Kajol feels, while taking on more work may keep her away from her daughter Nysa it will allow her to spend more time with her husband Ajay Devgan.

Interestingly, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam’ featured Amitabh Bachchan, another close friend of Karan Johar besides Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan. However, in view of a simmering professional rivalry between Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan it is moot if he or any of the Bachchans will feature in the new film.

Aamir Khan turns director by default

It was not so much out of conscious choice than the lack of an accomplished director that prompted Aamir Khan to direct his home production 'Taare Zameen Pe'.

It is no secret that Aamir has long harbored an ambition to direct a movie someday. But how this ambition would realize, he himself had not suspected.

When Aamir decided to produce ‘Taare Zameen Pe’, a children’s movie, he let the film’s writer Amol Gupte don the director’s cap. Aamir was happy producing the film and acting in it.

But some creative differences cropped when Aamir saw the rushes of the film that Gupte had directed. Reports have it that Aamir was disappointed by Gupte’s directorial skills. He brought this issue with Gupte and the latter decided to step down.

Then lay ahead the big decision: who would direct the film if not Gupte? The work was already in swing, the child artistes were finalized and everything was set for shooting. Delaying would have meant a loss to the production company.

Left with no options, Aamir decided to direct the movie himself. However, the actor did much deliberation before taking the decision because it is difficult to produce and direct a movie while also acting in it.

But Aamir took the challenge. Today, the film’s shooting is complete and postproduction work remains to be done.

Aamir says ‘Taare Zameen Pe’ will be his only release this year. The film tells the story of a teacher and a dyslexic child. Child artiste Darsheel Safary plays the role.

May 20, 2007

Microsoft to buy Yahoo?

Microsoft is looking to buy Yahoo as a way of staving off Google, according to sources speaking with the New York Post. The newspaper claims that the Redmond software company is considering a deal that could be worth $50 billion to buy Yahoo to improve its distant third-place standing in search advertising, which is dominated by Google. The frustration is said to have reached a boil in recent months as Google has bought many of the companies Microsoft had been interested in, especially web advertiser double click. This in particular may have been the tipping point, as shown when Microsoft argued that Google was creating a monopoly.

"The minute you hear Microsoft start arguing against something on antitrust grounds, you know they are desperate and need to do something big," noted one of the Post's sources.

A takeover would narrow the gap in overall ads to just 13 percent between a Microsoft/Yahoo partnership and Google. However, the partnership could potentially affect not just search websites but also hardware devices. Yahoo services might be accessible through the network links on the Xbox 360 or Zune, the paper suggested.

The merger could also have an effect on third-party hardware such as Apple's iphone, which will come with Yahoo mail service as a built-in feature. Sanskrit's sansa connect already uses Yahoo's music and photo services to bolster its media jukebox functions.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo have declined comment on the report.

May 16, 2007

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