Thursday, December 20, 2012

IPL 6 Deccan Chargers renamed Sun Risers with Kris Srikkanth and VVS Laxman as mentors

Indian Premier League (IPL) team, owned by the Sun Network, will be formally inaugurated in Hyderabad this Thursday. The Chennai-based media conglomerate, which acquired the team for Rs 425 crore, will unveil its logo and team name at a grand gala function. The team will be called Sun Risers.

The team has roped in Kris Srikkanth and VVS Laxman as mentors. Their exact roles in the team have not been defined by the team management, but some team officials say the two former India cricketers will have roles similar to that of Anil Kumble’s in Royal Challengers Bangalore.

VVS Laxman, who retired from international cricket recently, is unlikely to play for the Sun Risers although he has played play a couple of matches for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy this season. Laxman has previously represented Deccan Chargers and Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Interestingly both teams are nonexistent now. Meanwhile, a Sun official disclosed that Tom Moody will coach of the team. The former Australian all-rounder had also coached the Chandigarh-based Kings XI Punjab. Moody will be present at Thursday’s function.

The Sun Network took over the Hyderabad franchise Deccan Chargers after BCCI, the Board of Control for Cricket in India terminated its contract. The Sun Risers has retained all the Deccan players, including overseas players like Kumar Sangakkara, Dale Steyn JP Duminy and Cameroon White.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Neethane En Ponvasantham Movie Review

If you pick up Gautham Vasudev Menon's best three movies, his romantic flicks like Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, Minnale and Vaaranam Aayiram would be fill the spots, as the movies are well connected with youths. More precisely, emotions dealt betweens lovers are best captured in his movies. His latest movie 'Neethane En Ponvasantham', too had similar kind of expectations from the audience.Well, has he recreated the magic again?
Neethane En Ponvasantham is a soft-romantic tale starring Jeeva and Samantha. The film has a modern-day story, which we come across very often. The story of the film is all about the young couple played by Jeeva (Varun) and Samantha (Nithya). Varun and Nithya like each other since their childhood days. Interestingly, they fall for each other and part ways several times. They get separated for silly reasons but they cannot stay away, as both love madly at the bottom of their hearts. Their fights, ego clashes and emotions form the crux of the story. Like other romantic films, audience cannot expect twists and turns in this film but the film keeps you engaged throughout. Like Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa and Vaaranam Aayiram, the film runs in a slow pace and at parts it is boring.
Gautham Menon's perfection for technical aspects could be seen in every frame. Eye-pleasing picturisation, ear-pleasing songs and beautiful locations make it a colourful film. The director reminds us of his earlier film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa. However, the subject of Neethane En Ponvasantham is completely different from the Simbu and Trisha's film. The only similarity between the two film is that both the films are urban-centric targeting youths. Even in characterisation, Gautham has tried to keep the lead stars natural, and Jeeva and Samantha look apt in the lead roles.

Verdit - Neethane En Ponvasantham - Wasted Opportunity - 3.0/5.0

Kumki Movie Review

You can call him the biggest hero on the silver screen today, urging every hand to give an exploding applause for his long trunks and mischievous throughout the film. Though his presence with the audience seem to last only for a few hours, surely he has become someone very close to the heart, thereby bringing smiles on your face like an old friend you have always known in your dreams. Long gone are those days, where the participation of an animal seems to amount as much as the protagonist himself, and 'Kumki' indeed rekindles the old memories, swiftly leaving a special one, and of course a film that will be spoken about for years.
A very remote and dangerous village called Aadhi Kaadu is threatened and disturbed every now and then by the wildest of Forest Elephant called Komban. Every year the villagers seem to suffer, either by destruction of houses or by crops and they seem to become even more helpless when the forest officers refuse to help them bring down Komban. To survive and kill the merciless wild elephant, the villagers decide to bring a Kumki, an elephant that is exclusively trained to silence the wild elephants and keep them less harmful and this is where Bomman (Vikram Prabhu) and his innocent, harmless and soft Mannikam (a temple elephant that has never been exposed to wildness) comes into the picture.

Owing to situations and to favour his business friend, Bomman brings Mannikam to Aadhi Kaadu saying it as Kumki to substitute the original Kumki and plans to leave the village in two days once the original Kumki arrives. In the mean time, Bomman falls in love with Alli (Lakshmi Menon), daughter of the village head. To succeed in his love, Bomman decides to stay in the village longer than he has planned and continues to pretend that Mannikam is a Kumki and that he is a Kumki trainer. Now, does Mannikam (who is believed to be a Kumki by the entire village) defeats Komban and saves the village and will Bomman and Alli unites in their love is what forming the rest of the climax.

For a newcomer, Vikram Prabhu has given an excellent and flawless performance right from conveying emotions to humor, while Lakshmi Menon perfectly depicts the role of Alli, a silent and homely village girl, who can get funny in every way. Supporting characters played by Thami Ramaiah of 'Kazhugu' fame and Ashwin Raja of 'Boss Engira Baaskaran' fame indeed scored tremendous applause for their humour quotient as well as their part throughout the film.

The entire film which was set in a very natural backdrop, brings the essence of nature and makes the film much pleasant to watch. Indeed, Prabhu Solomon and D. Imman once again recreated their wonderful magic after their yesteryear superhit 'Myna'. Some of the best tracks 'Kumki' offers are 'Ayayyoo', 'Sollitale' and 'Onnum Puriyala', which not only elicits romance but the visuals are leaving spell bound. Special pat to Cinematographer Sukumar for framing every shot carefully, to make the film talk rather than project. And LVK Doss deserves an applause for his precise editing.

In every way 'Kumki' is one of the rarest and master piece, nevertheless, the climax could have been more precise to make it much more complete. Kumki evidently makes Prabhu Solomon one of the finest directors, making him a gem picked from pins.

Verdict: 'Kumki' – an original Prabhu Solomon film - 4.0/5.0

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hrithik Roshan crowned Sexiest Asian Man in the World

Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan has defended his title, "Sexiest Asian Man in the World" for 2012 in an online survey conducted by a London-based weekly.

The 38-year-old actor pipped the likes of "King Khan" SRK, Dabangg Khan, khiladi Kumar, John Abraham and Ranbir Kapoor to clinch the top spot.

The 'Agneepath' hero had a tough competition from around the world last year. But this year he won by bigger margin as he received votes from all over the world including Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

Even though he was the hot favourite and led right from the beginning, the win came as a major surprise to Indian cinema's hottest pin up.

"I am extremely humbled at the decision of the public, also a little embarrassed as I just can't imagine myself as sexy! I'm actually someone who's just trying to get by with his battered, bruised and broken tools. So a big thank you to all for this dose of encouragement! Thank you Eastern Eye readers for this very sweet recognition," said Hrithik.

He beat Pakistani singer-turned-actor Ali Zafar was the surprise runner up. 'Dabangg' hero Salman Khan finished third and while last year's runner up Shahid Kapoor came fourth.

Bollywood newcomer Sidharth Malhotra was the highest new entry at fifth place and narrowly beat off popular TV star Kushal Tandon who was sixth.

Shah Rukh joined the list at seventh place and was followed by John Abraham at eight and Ranbir at nine.

Others who made it to the top 20 includes One Direction star Zayn Malik (12), newcomer Varun Dhawan (13), singer Jay Sean (14), actors Akshay Kumar (15), Emraan Hashmi (16) and Imran Khan (17), Abhishek Bachchan (18), Saif Ali Khan (19) and Pakistani singer Atif Aslam the last.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray dies at 86

Bal Thackeray, a maverick politician who roused emotions on Marathi pride and catapulted Shiv Sena to power in Maharashtra in the 1990s, died in Mumbai on Saturday after having been critically ill for the past few days. The 86-year-old cartoonist-turned-politician, known for his strong views and speaking his mind, sometimes bordering on the offensive, breathed his last at 3.30 PM at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.

The body of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who breathed his last in Mumbai on Saturday afternoon, will be kept at Shivaji Park to enable millions of party activists and Mumbaikars to pay their last respects to the leader from 7am on Sunday, party MP Sanjay Raut told reporters.

Raut also appealed to all Shiv Sainiks to "maintain calm and remain peaceful" in the wake of the tragedy which has befallen them.

Shivaji Park in south-central Mumbai is the same place where 46 years ago, Thackeray addressed his first Dussehra rally and continued the annual tradition virtually uninterrupted till his death Saturday.

In October, Thackeray 'addressed' the rally in a videographed message in which he had confessed of his failing health.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Masterful Novak Djokovic sinks Roger Federer to win Tour Finals

Novak Djokovic produced a masterful display to end Roger Federer's reign as ATP Tour Finals champion as the world number one swept to a 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 victory in the final on Monday. Djokovic underlined why he will finish as the world's top ranked player for the second successive year as
the Serb withstood an early barrage from Federer in both sets before overwhelming the six-time Tour Finals winner in an epic encounter lasting two hours and 14 minutes at London's O2 Arena.
The 25-year-old's brilliant display clinched his second triumph at the prestigious season-ending event and his first since 2008 when he won the title in Shanghai.

After winning the Australian Open in January and then falling short in the following three Grand Slams -- he lost in the finals of the French and US Opens -- this was the perfect way to end any debate about Djokovic's right to be regarded as the world's best.

For Federer, bidding for a hat-trick of Tour Finals titles, there was only frustration as he failed to take advantage of some dominant spells.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion is the most successful player in the history of the event, having won more titles and recorded more match wins than anyone else.

But even he couldn't subdue the rampant Djokovic, who handed Federer just his second defeat in eight appearances in the final of the Tour Finals and only his third ever loss at the O2 Arena.

For just the fourth time in the 43-year history of the Tour Finals, the top two in the world rankings were meeting in the final and they produced an enthralling clash that lived up to its billing.

Federer had swept into the final with a dominant display against Andy Murray and picked up where he left off with a blistering start.

He fizzed winners past Djokovic from all angles to take the first nine points of the match, breaking in the second game in the process.

After absorbing that frenzied assault, Djokovic got on the scoreboard when he held serve in the fourth game.

Federer must have known Djokovic wouldn't surrender and the Serb turned the match on its head when he converted a break point in the next game.

Now Djokovic was in the ascendancy and he broke for a 5-4 lead when he unloaded a searing forehand winner on the run.

But Federer staved off a set point in the next game and took advantage of that escape to break back for 5-5.

Djokovic needed treatment after cutting his elbow while diving in vain to reach a Federer shot, but he regained his composure well enough to force a tie-break.

The breaker included a candidate for the best point of the year as Djokovic, on set point, lunged to clip a diving Federer volley past his opponent, only for the Swiss to contort his body and fire a forehand winner past the Serb from an impossibly acute angle.

But not even that could subdue Djokovic, who broke on the next point thanks to a Federer mistake before blazing a forehand winner to seal a quite brilliant set on his third set point.

Federer needed an immediate response and he delivered in the opening game of the second set with a break at the fourth attempt.

There was no let-up from Djokovic though. He kept grinding away and eventually wore Federer down, saving two set points before breaking back to level at 5-5.

Djokovic celebrated by thumping his chest and letting out a defiant roar. The message was clear. He was coming for Federer and he delivered the knockout blow with a sublime backhand winner to seal the victory on his first match point.

Friday, November 9, 2012

UFC Tickets Boxing Strikeforce is a website where you can find tickets for all of the strikeforce tickets matches and all pro and amature boxing tickets. You can rush now to get the tickets for the ufc tickets (ultimate fighting championship). It also has the world's largest selection of premium seating to sold-out events such as NHL, NFL, NBA, NCAA football and basketball.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

kimi Raikkonen wins Abu Dhabi F1 2012

The Icemen Kimi Raikkonen won an accident-strewn and thrilling Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix for Lotus on Sunday.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished second, just 0.8 seconds behind, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel a close third to retain the overall championship lead after a race with two safety car interludes. Vettel, who started from the pit lane, now leads Alonso by 10 points with two races remaining.
They are the only drivers still in contention for the title. The victory was the first of Raikkonen's comeback season and first since the 2007 world champion won in Belgium with Ferrari in 2009. It was also the first win since 1987 by a car racing under the Lotus name.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sun TV Kalanithi Maran buys Hyderabad IPL franchise Deccan Chargers

Chennai-based Sun TV Network won the Hyderabad franchise of the Indian Premier League - Deccan Chargers - for an amount of Rs 85.05 crores per year. The IPL Governing Council met here today to open the bids for the new IPL franchise and Sun TV was found to have the highest bid amount and has put an end to the process of finding a new team in the wake of the controversial termination of cash-strapped Deccan Chargers.

In a press release BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale said "SUN TV Network have won the Hyderabad Franchise for an amount of Rs 85.05 crores per year. This Franchise fee represents a premium of over a 100 % above the amount paid by DCHL for the Hyderabad Franchise in 2008".

The Kalanidhi Maran-promoted media group SUN TV Network bid was substantially higher than the second bid of PVP Ventures, which was Rs 69.03 crores. The franchise ownership contract will be for 10 years.

The BCCI had floated the tenders for a new IPL franchise after terminating Deccan Chargers' contract on September 15 but the team owners DCHL had challenged it at the Bombay High Court.

The High Court had ruled in favour of the BCCI after Deccan Chargers Holdings Limited failed to furnish bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore before October 12 5pm deadline. Later, an arbitrator had ordered for status quo but the High Court again ruled in favour of the Board.

DCHL then approached the Supreme Court which, however, declined on October 19 to interfere with the High Court decision which had set aside the status quo order passed by the arbitrator.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Maattrraan Movie Review

'Sometimes the ending will be the beginning,' says the caption of Maattrraan but it has an ending in the beginning! KV Anand's latest flick has rare characters of conjoined twins but has a predictable story and that makes it appear like a second part of Surya's last movie7aum Arivu directed by AR Murugadoss.

Genetic scientist played by Sachin Khedekar does not get due credit for his research works in India nevertheless loses his heart. With his sustained efforts, he becomes a successful businessman owning  an energy drink product. As the company grows, there is a lot of competition and his rivals were working  hard on the formula of the drink, which could make an ordinary man extraordinary.
His wife played by Tara gives birth to conjoined twins - Vimalan and Akhilan played by Surya. The conjoined twins are as different as chalk and cheese. While the former is good at studies and decent in nature, the latter is care-free man and when it comes to studies, he is very poor. Akhilan later realises that there is something fishy about his father-owned company and smells a rat. This costs his life and he is killed. Kajal Aggarwal as Anjali, who was in love with Akhilan, falls for Vimalan and they set to solve the mystery.
The first half of Maattrraan is good and entertaining. Director KV Anand has amazingly shot the conjoined twins portion for nearly 90 minutes. The director has to be really appreciated for showing the rarity in detail. But the second half is too predictable.
However, performance wise, Maattrraan has brought out the best out of Surya. It requires a strong will to take up conjoined twins role considering that a slight error could have made him a laughing stock. The actor has worked hard which is visible on-screen. The kind of energy that he has given to the characters are amazing. Kajal Aggarwal is not merely limited to arm candy role and she has good number of scenes to say in the movie. 
Sounder Rajan's cinematography is remarkable. He has wonderfully captured the best locales of Russia in his lens and his work in fight sequences is appreciable. Harris Jayaraj's music is good but not the very best. 
Maattrraan Rating:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Download Thuppaki songs - Audio Launch on October 10, 2012

Great news for all Vijay fans. It has been officially announced that Thuppaki's Audio launch is scheduled on October 10, 2012.  The upcoming Tamil action thriller film written and directed by A. R. Murugadoss has the soundtrack composed by Harris Jayaraj. Harris is working for the second time with Vijay after the successful album of Nanban and the third time with Murugadoss.

The lyrics were written by Na. Muthukumar, Vivega and Madhan Karky, who had written over 35 pallavis for one of the songs. Reports stating that Senegalese American R&B singer Akon would sing the title song of the film were dismissed later. Vijay and Andrea Jeremiah lent their voices for track titled Google Google, a party number, in the film. Also, Antarctica song brings out a romantic number that expresses one's heart-felt while leading a life at military. Both these songs are penned by Madhan karky.

The film is produced by S. Thanu and cinematography is handled by Santhosh Sivan, who with Thuppakki will introduce the Arri Alexa camera to Indian cinema. The film, which commenced production in December 2011 in Mumbai, is slated for a Diwali 2012 release.Thuppaki satellite rights was bagged by Sun TV for for a record price of 13.75 crores. 

Here is a list of 5 songs.Click on the songs to download.
  1. Antarctica
  2. Google Google
  3. Kutti Puli Kootam
  4. Poi Varavaa
  5. Vennilave
  6. Alaikaa

Friday, September 28, 2012

McLaren sign Sergio Perez for Lewis Hamilton

McLaren have confirmed they are signing Sergio Pérez on a multi-year deal from next season as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, who is on his way to Mercedes.

McLaren have trumped an announcement from Mercedes regarding Hamilton's switch with their own statement regarding the 22-year-old Mexican, who will leave Sauber at the end of this year to drive alongside Jenson Button in the 2013 season.

The McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, said: "We've been monitoring his progress carefully for some months. It was a string of giantkilling performances, a trio of podiums and a brilliant fastest lap in this year's Monaco Grand Prix that showed us that Sergio lacks nothing in terms of speed and commitment.

"Uniting Sergio alongside Jenson will give us a very broad base of driver ability. While Sergio is still developing his palette of skills, we're convinced that he's not only talented and quick, but also that he's willing and eager to learn.

"He's perfectly poised to develop into a world championship challenger. His addition to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team provides us with the perfect two-pronged driver line-up for the new season." Pérez added: "I'm thrilled and delighted to have become a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.

"The McLaren name is one of the greatest in the history of Formula One. For more than 40 years, McLaren has been a team that every racing driver has aspired to drive for - I was brought up on the great stories of Ayrton Senna's many world championship triumphs for McLaren – and I'm truly honoured that they've chosen me to partner Jenson from 2013 onwards."

Hamilton has decided to end his 14-year association with McLaren at the end of the season and join Mercedes on a three-year deal worth a reported £15m a year. Hamilton said: "It is now time for me to take on a fresh challenge and I am very excited to begin a new chapter racing for the Mercedes Formula One Team.

"Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning, which I share. "Together, we can grow and rise to this new challenge. I believe that I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top and achieve our joint ambitions of winning the world championships."

Whitmarsh paid tribute to the 27-year-old, who won the 2008 drivers' title with the Woking-based team. "It's entirely appropriate I should take this opportunity to pass on our thanks to Lewis," said Whitmarsh. "He wrote a huge chapter of his life and career with us, and was, and always will be, a fine member of an exclusive club – the McLaren world champions' club.

"It goes without saying we all wish him well for the future, just as it also goes without saying we hope and believe Sergio, too, will become a member of that exclusive club before too long." Hamilton will partner his close friend Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, with the veteran former champion Michael Schumacher moving aside and possibly to stay on as a brand ambassador for the team.

Lewis Hamilton joins Mercedes for 3 year deal leaving Mclaren

2008 F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton is all set to leave McLaren for Mercedes in a three-year deal worth $100 million, British and German media reports said on Friday. The agreement, expected to be announced later Friday, could spell the end of the Formula One career of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who is out of contract at Mercedes at the end of the year.

Sources told DPA Mercedes would not be extending Schumacher’s contract, although it is unclear whether the German will go back into retirement or seek a new team. British newspapers said an announcement could come later on Friday after the Mercedes board had signed a new commercial agreement binding the team to the sport.

The Telegraph said the three-year deal could be worth as huge as $100 million. Both teams were expected to hold news conferences later in the day. The decision by Hamilton to leave McLaren will be a major blow to the British team, which had offered their driver a new deal.

Hamilton had been with the team since he was 13 years old and won the world championship in 2008. The 27-year-old has reportedly been told by Mercedes he will be the number one driver, partnering the German Nico Rosberg.

A possible move by Schumacher to another team “is “not an issue today,” his manager Sabine Kehm told DPA. Schumacher returned to Formula One in 2010 after a three-year absence, but has registered only a single podium place with Mercedes since then.

On Thursday, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn told the BBC that Schumacher had “been a huge asset to the team, he’s really taken us forward.” He added: “I do think Michael contributes an awful lot, so I think the decision for Michael to stay or not continue is a difficult one.

“Obviously he’s very involved in that decision, and discussions are ongoing at the moment.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Google Street View maps the Great Barrier Reef

While Apple Maps on iOS 6 are giving you a bad time, Google Maps has given users another reason to cheer. According  to an official Google blogpost, Web users around the world can now access underwater pictures from some parts of the world.You can virtually scuba dive in the world's most beautiful reefs after a group of scientists map the seabed using advanced panoramic cameras.

Google has joined forces with the Catlin Seaview Survey, a scientific project studying the health of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, to add underwater photography to its Street View service.Starting with the Great Barrier Reef, reefs around the world have been captured in high-resolution, 360 degree panoramic photographs and made available on Google Street View for the public to access through 'virtual diving'.

It is hoped the photography will also provide the scientific community with a means of monitoring the effects of pollution and climate change on these sensitive ecosystems. Click here to view Great Barrier Reef or Click!/ocean

Friday, September 21, 2012

'Dhoom 3' first Bollywood film to release in IMAX

IMAX Corporation and Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd., India's largest film studio, today announced that the action thriller DHOOM:3 will be digitally re-mastered in the immersive IMAX format and released in IMAX theatres across India and selected global locations next winter. The film marks the first Indian local-language production to be released in IMAX.  The Company currently has 14 IMAX theatres open or contracted to open in India.

From producer Aditya Chopra and director Vijay Krishna Acharya, and starring Aamir Khan, DHOOM:3 is the next installment in one of the most popular franchises in Indian box office history. Also starring Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and Katrina Kaif, the film tells the story of the adventures of Jai Dixit, a no-nonsense cop, and his scatterbrained partner, Ali. The success of DHOOM and DHOOM:2 have established this as Bollywood's pre-eminent franchise.

"IMAX has always symbolised high-quality film entertainment and experience and this vision of the company works very well with the ethos of YRF, which has been synonymous with Indian film entertainment over the last four decades," said Yash Chopra, Chairman, Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd. "We are indeed happy to announce our association with IMAX for the additional release of DHOOM:3 in this exciting format next year. Added to the anticipated thrill that the film promises, this IMAX experience will give it an all-new edge-of-the-seat dimension altogether. We look forward to closely working with their team over the coming year."

The local Indian film market currently ranks number one in the world for attendance and film production with over 1,000 films produced a year and approximately 90% of revenues derived from non-English language movies.  Recent reports project the country's film industry to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $5 billion by 2014.

"Our network growth in India has reached a point where we're now able to present local-language films in IMAX, which is paramount to our success in the region," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President, IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We're very excited to begin this partnership with Yash Raj Films and look forward to working with director Vijay Krishna Acharya and Yash & Aditya Chopra on this highly anticipated Bollywood blockbuster. With its riveting action set pieces, global locales and stunning visuals, DHOOM:3 is an ideal film to take advantage of our immersive format as we begin our initiative with Indian-language/Bollywood films."

The IMAX release of DHOOM:3 will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

Curiosity discovers Pyramid shaped mysterious rock on the red planet Mars

Looking uncannily like an Egyptian pyramid, it is not something you would expect to see on the surface of Mars. Nasa engineers were so intrigued by the unique, football sized rock, they have driven the Curiosity rover up to it for a closer rock. The football-size rock will be the first on Mars to be examined by rover's robotic arm .

Curiosity is about 8 feet (2.5 meters) from the rock. It lies about halfway from the rover's landing site, Bradbury Landing, to a location called Glenelg. The team plans to touch the rock with a spectrometer to determine its elemental composition and use an arm-mounted camera to take close-up photographs. Both the arm-mounted Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer and the mast-mounted, laser-zapping Chemistry and Camera Instrument will be used for identifying elements in the rock. Nasa hopes this will give them a new insight into the structure of the red planet, and also allow cross-checking of the two instruments.The rock has been named 'Jake Matijevic' after a Nasa employee who recently passed away.

Nasa has named the rock after the late engineer Jacob Matijevic, who was the surface operations systems chief engineer for Mars Science Laboratory and the project's Curiosity rover.  He passed away on August 20th, at age 64.Matijevic also was a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity.

Ameer to direct Illayathalapathi Vijay for Kannapiran

Illayathalapathi Vijay who missed the magnum opus "Yohan Adhyayam Ondru" with ace director Gautham Vasudev Menon is all set to tally the loss. Sources inside kollywood say Vijay will join hands with another ace director Ameer for a film titled "Kannapiran". Vijay who is currently on the verge of finishing "Thoopakki" will start his next film with director Vijay post which he will start his film with Ameer. Ameer is also busy with his Jeyam Ravi starrer "Adibhagavan". This is the first time Vijay & Ameer are working together. Isaignani Illayaraja is being approached by Ameer to score the music for the film. If Isaignani says yes, it will also be the first time for Illayaraja & Ameer to work together, since Ameer's film always has Yuvan's music. The hunt for heroine is also underway with Amala Paul leading the race. Randy @ Rathina velu will be the cinematographer while Antony will take care of the editing process. The rest of the crew is yet to be decided. The film is expected to take off in next January and hit theaters by summer of 2013.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Watch Jab Tak Hai Jaan Movie Trailer Online

It’s finally out! After months of huge speculations, the first trailer of Yash Chopra directed ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ starring King Khan Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma released on the Internet. Earlier on, the teaser of the then untitled film was unveiled with Salman Khan’s mega release ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ in the theatres.
The trailer opens with the beautiful Ladakh in the background and SRK dressed in an army soldier riding a bullet. The trailer is devoid of any song but has SRK reciting beautiful poetry interspersed with AR Rahman’s music.
The trailer also depicts shots of London and Leh, where the film has been extensively shot. Like most heroines of Yash Raj Films, Katrina is presented in a beautiful avatar. Anushka Sharma plays the role of a documentary filmmaker in the film.Scheduled for a Diwali release, the film is being touted as a big release. It also marks a comeback for Yash Chopra as a director after 8 long years. And with SRK-Yash Chopra as part of a film, it is but obvious that Jab Tak Hai Jaan is all set to redefine romance in Hindi cinema Industry.
Click here to watch the trailer.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mahela Jayawardene replaces Virender Sehwag as captain of Daredevils for CLT20

Virender Sehwag on Friday stepped down from captaincy of the Delhi Daredevils and Mahela Jayawardene will now lead the team in the Champions League Twenty20 beginning October 9 in South Africa.

Delhi Daredevils mentor TA Sekar said that Sehwag's request to relieve him of captaincy for the Champions League has been accepted by the team management.

"Viru told us a few months ago that he wanted to bat freely and suggested that we make Mahela the captain of the side," Sekar said.

Delhi Daredevils have been drawn in Group A with Kolkata Knight Riders, Perth Scorchers, Titans and a qualifier.

Group B has Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Sydney Sixers, Highveld Lions and a qualifier.

The two qualifiers will be spotted from among Trinidad and Tobago, Sialkot Stallions, Uva Next, Yorkshire, Hampshire and Auckland Aces.

The Delhi Daredevils squad includes six overseas cricketers, among them Jayawardene.

Explosive batsmen David Warner, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor, IPL 2012 Purple Cap winner, paceman Morne Morkel and exciting West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell complete the set of overseas players in the squad of 15.

The squad: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), David Warner, Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor, Morne Morkel, Andre Russell, Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Venugopal Rao, Pawan Negi, Naman Ojha (wicket-keeper), Ajit Agarkar, Unmukt Chand and Aavishkar Salvi (as replacement for Varun Aaron).

Power Star Srinivasan Arrested

Popular Kollywood Actor 'Power Star' Srinivasan was on Friday arrested on charges of cheating a businessman of Rs 65 lakh. He was arrested on a complaint from G U Balasubramanian, proprietor of RBS International in Chrompet, to city police Commissioner J K Tripathy that the actor had taken the money after promising to get him a 10 crore loan.
Balasubramanian said he never got the loan. Police said Balasubramanian had approached the actor's finance company, Baba Trading, on Poonamalle High Road to arrange the cash to help him expand his business six months ago. The actor told the businessman that he would charge 5% as service charge for getting the loan. Subsequently he took the money claiming that the amount is towards documentation charges and commission.
"He failed to obtain the loan and kept dodging the businessman. He promised to return the sum when the complainant warned him of approaching us," said an investigating officer. Bala Surbamanian in his complaint alleged that he was threatened at gunpoint when he approached Srinivasan at his Anna Nagar residence.
Police have registered a case under IPC Section 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) 27 Arms Act. He was remanded in judicial custody and lodged in Puzhal prison. Police said several others had earlier gone to them with complaints against Srinivasan, but they all arrived at a compromise. On May 4, a Saidapet resident called Ganesan lodged a complaint that Srinivasan had taken 10 lakh promising a loan.
The police are investigating into the matter and are also probing the possibility of this being a 'false case' foisted by Srinivasan himself in order to garner some’ publicity.
Srinivasan is a physician who directed and acted in the movie Lathika (2011). He later made guest appearances in movies like 'Mandapam,' 'Unakkaga Oru Kavithai,' 'Neethana Avan' and 'Indrasena.' He is working on the film 'Kanna Laddu Thinna Asaiya' with Santhanam in the lead role.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apple iPad Mini Photos Leaked

You might be looking at a real prototype of Apple's next tablet. Just one day before Apple's scheduled iPhone 5 event, alleged photos of an iPad Mini have popped up on the Internet. And they're pretty convincing.

If the pictures are actually of an iPad Mini, then it pretty much confirms everything we've believed up to this point, such as it being roughly the size of a Kindle Fire (perhaps a little wider), with Apple's newer, smaller dock connector. If they're not--this is the best fake we've seen in a while.

While it's interesting that the photos would leak just a day ahead of the iPhone 5 event, it's worth remembering that many reports point to an October reveal for the tablet. This is in order to keep full attention focused on what is arguably the most important device in Apple's product line, and save a spot for its iPad Mini to be announced just in time for the holidays, effectively giving Apple two hot items to sell during gift-giving season.

If anything, the iPad Mini is admission by Apple that there is a market for smaller-size tablets. Amazon helped prove this with its offerings. If Apple can keep the Mini at a desirable price, it's easy for it to target that same market that invests in e-reader-focused tablets a la Nook Color and Kindle Fire.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' Yash Chopra and Shahrukh Khan film title revealed

This year's best kept Bollywood secret has been the title of Yash Chopra's with Shahrukh Khan.

Yash Chopra and the title of his much anticipated film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma is finally titled 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'. As the name suggests, the film promises an epic saga of undying love. The film also marks the comeback of Yash Chopra as a director after eight years.

Known for his larger-than-life screen depictions, Yash Chopra seems to have planned the film publicity too in a similar way. India woke up today to a full-page spread of Gulzar's lyrics for the title track and a suave Shah Rukh Khan, dressed as an army man looking regal on his Royal Enfield motorcycle.

The film is scheduled for November 13, 2012 Diwali release.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh finally let the cat out of the bag on Twitter last night – just a few hours before the official announcement was made through a front page advertisement in a daily this morning.

Although SRK had tweeted that the name would be revealed on Wednesday, the media beat him to it! Adarsh tweeted, "Breaking: Yash Chopra's new film is called 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'".

The lyrics of the song are:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jersey Shore's Snooki has cutest baby boy

Reality TV show 'Jersey Shore' star Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi gave birth to her first child, early last Sunday.

The baby boy, weighed 6-pound, 5-ounce was born at just before 3 a.m. Sunday at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., MTV said.

MTV congratulated Polizzi and her fiance and looked toward the newborn's possible appearance on Jersey Shore.

"We couldn't be happier for Nicole and Jionni on the healthy delivery of their baby boy!," MTV said in a statement. "We look forward to Lorenzo's first trip to the Jersey Shore and can't wait to see his first animal print onesie."

MTV has said it's bringing Jersey Shore back for a sixth season, with the 24-year-old Snooki as part of the action, but has declined to offer specifics on how big a part Snooki will play in the show about hard-partying Italian-American friends.

Her 'Jersey Shore' co-star Jenni 'JWoww' Farley took to twitter to congratulate the pint-sized star and fiancée Jionni LaValle following the birth or Lorenzo yesterday (26.08.12), and added she was 'proud' of her.

Fellow reality star Kendra Wilkinson also congratulated Snooki. She wrote: 'Yay congrats Snooki. So happy for you. Can't wait to see pics of Lorenzo! (sic)'

Rahul Dravid named for Padma Bhusan award - Gautham Gambhir named for Padma Shri awards

The Board Of Control For Cricket In India has decided to recommend the names of former Indian captain Rahul Dravid and his occational opener Gautam Gambhir's names for the most prestigious Padma Bhusan and Padma Shri awards respectively.

According to a BCCI official, president N Srinivasan and secretary Sanjay Jagdale were supposed to discuss the issue and forward their names to the government.

"Dravid and Gambhir's names were discussed earlier and president and secretary were to take a final call in this regard. The last date for filing nominations was August 15 and the names have been sent" a BCCI official told PTI today.

Padma Bhusan is the country's third highest civilian honour award after Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhusan.

Sachin Tendulkar is the only cricketer to receive the second highest civilian honour in Padma Vibhusan. Other cricketers who have received Padma Bhusan include Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Vinoo Mankad and Lala Amarnath.

Earlier Rahul Dravid was in line to get the most prestigious Rajiv Khel Ratna award but the only cricketer in the panel Ravi Shastri was not present during the meeting to make a strong support for the former Indian captain. Shastri said he did not get any invitation for the meeting.

Rahul Dravid has scored more than 24,000 international runs with over 13,000 runs in 134 Tests and almost 11,000 runs in 344 ODIs. He has scored 48 international centuries (36 Test and 12 ODI).

Gautham Gambhir is a deserving candidate for Padma Shri having been prolific in all three forms of the game. He has already been conferred with Arjuna award and his 97 in the last year World Cup final makes his case a strong one.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Samsung releases flagship tablet Galaxy Note 800 in India

Samsung hopes to sell around 1.5 million tablets in India by the end of this year, triple of what it sold last year. Ranjit Yadav, Samsung's India head for IT and mobile division, on Friday launched the company's flagship tablet Galaxy Note 800 in the country and said this would help the Korean company strengthen its leadership position here.

"India is one of the first 10 markets in the world where the Galaxy Note 800 is being launched," said Yadav. The device has been priced at Rs 39,990. Note 800 will primarily compete in India with iPad 3. Globally, Apple's tablet has been the bestseller and none of the tablets from the competitors like Samsung and Asus have managed to dent its market share. However, in India the situation is somewhat different. Products at different price points have helped Samsung take a lead here. According to GfK, a research firm, Samsung had a share of around 55% in Indian tablet market in Q2, 2012.

Instead of taking on iPad, which has an advantage due to the number of high quality apps available for it, head-on, Samsung hopes to lure customers to Note 800 with the help of a multi-functional stylus. The stylus, called S Pen, is key part of Note 800 experience and along with accompanied apps, allows users to create elaborate notes or illustrations. The tablet also features a unique multi-tasking mode that allows users to split the screen and use two apps simultaneously.

The tablet, which has a 10.1-inch screen, is powered by a 1.4Ghz quad-core processor and has 2GB RAM. It runs on Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), an operating software developed by Google.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Watch & Enjoy 3D films without glasses

Well an all new technology has been developed that will make it possible for viewers to enjoy 3-dimensional programmes without 3D glasses. Although prototypes of these TV screens already exist, consumers will not have to wait much longer for the market introduction of these autostereoscopic displays.

Nevertheless, the content might be a bit problematic as the 3D movies currently available on Blu-ray disc are based on two views, one for each eye. However, autostereoscopic displays need 5 to 10 views of the same scene (depending on the type). In the future, the number will probably be even more.

This is because these displays have to present a 3D image in such a manner that it can be seen from different angles, there is more than one place to sit on a sofa, and you should be able to get the same three dimensional impressions from any position

Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz Institute, HHI in Berlin recently developed a technology that converts a Blu-ray’s existing 3D content in a manner that enables them to be shown on autostereoscopic displays.

“We take the existing two images and generate a depth map – that is to say, a map that assigns a specific distance from the camera to each object,” Christian Riechert, research fellow at HHI said.

“From there we compute any of several intermediate views by applying depth image-based rendering techniques. And here’s the really neat thing: The process operates on a fully automated basis, and in real time,” he said

Previous systems were only capable of generating such depth maps at a dramatically slower pace; sometimes they even required manual adaption. Real-time conversion, by contrast, is like simultaneous interpretation: The viewer inserts a 3D Blu-ray disc, gets comfortable in front of the TV screen and enjoys the movie – without the glasses.

Meanwhile, a hardware component estimates the depth map in the background and generates the requisite views. The viewer is aware of nothing: He or she can fast forward or rewind the movie, start it, stop it – and all with the same outstanding quality.

The flickering that could appear on the edges of objects – something that happens due to imprecise estimations – is imperceptible here. The researchers have already finished the software that converts these data.

In the next step, the scientists, working in collaboration with industry partners, intend to port it onto a hardware product so that it can be integrated into televisions. Nevertheless, it will still take at least another calendar year before the technology hits department stores. The technology will be unveiled at the IFA trade show in Berlin from August 31 to September 5, 2012.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mercedes AMG team to quit Formula 1 by 2014?

Mercedes is considering a partial withdrawal from Formula One at the end of the 2013 world championship season, according to Auto Hebdo who are basing the reports on the Stuttgart carmaker's dissatisfaction with certain developments within the sport at the highest level.

Mercedes, who are yet to agree a new Concorde Agreement deal with Bernie Ecclestone, reportedly could then field only a semi-official team from 2014.

Mercedes would however continue to supply customer engines, as it does currently to McLaren and Force India, whilst its 'semi-official' works team might become known as 'AMG F1', Auto Hebdo said.

AMG is Mercedes' high-performance arm.

The magazine speculated that Brackley based AMG F1, currently known as Mercedes AMG, would continue to be run by team boss Ross Brawn, with Michael Schumacher in the cockpit.

But Mercedes would focus more strongly on engineering than team ownership and management, Auto Hebdo said.

It is likely that F1's only engine suppliers in 2014 will be Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, meaning they all could take on more customers for the new V6 rules.

Reasons cited for Mercedes' rumoured change of direction are the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption scandal involving F1's chief executive Ecclestone, and the latter's push for Mercedes to make a long-term pledge to the sport.

Another reason mentioned is Mercedes' lack of success with its full works team since 2010, despite Nico Rosberg's breakthrough win from pole in Shanghai this year.

Lewis Hamilton closing in on McLaren deal

McLaren are close to confirming a new deal with 2008-world champion Lewis Hamilton, managing director Jonathan Neale has confirmed.
Hamilton, who has spent his entire Formula 1 career with McLaren since his debut season in 2007 - in which he came one point short of taking the title - is out of contract come the end of the current year.
Neale though says the two parties are close to an agreement.
"We are closer and of course we are in dialogue," he told Sky Sports. "For obvious reasons I can't speculate more at the moment. We are working very hard to find a common ground."
"He is a fighter, he loves a challenge. He just needs a sniff of it and to feel that the team is behind him and pushing," he added.
It's believed a three-year deal is the likely outcome, though the sticking point reportedly remains the ownership of trophies. McLaren have historically kept all original trophies at their Woking factory, with copies going to the drivers. Hamilton is keen for this to change.

Virat Kohli nominated for the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award

Young and Vibrant Indian cricketer Virat Kohli along with Maestro Sachin Tendulkar has been nominated for the ninth annual ICC Awards, which will be held on September 15 in Colombo ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

While in-form Indian batsman Virat Kohli has been nominated for the Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year awards, Tendulkar has once again been nominated for the ICC People's Choice award.

Indian captain MS Dhoni and opener Gautam Gambhir have also been nominated for the ODI Cricketer of the Year award. However, India failed to get a single nomination in the Test Cricketer of the Year award category.

Those nominated for the People's Choice award include Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, South Africa's Veteran Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander, while England's James Anderson makes up the quintet of nominees.

Six players have been nominated in three different categories - South Africa's Hashim Amla, Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, Australia captain Michael Clarke, Sri Lanka's Kumara Sangakkara, England's Alastair Cook and West Indies' Stafanie Taylor.

This year's awards include 11 individual prizes and also features the selection of the Test and ODI Teams of the Year. Cricket followers will have the opportunity to decide the winner, this time by accessing an application on the ICC's official Facebook page: Voting will be open until midnight of August 31.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Usain Bolt to play in Australia's Big Bash League

Negotiations are underway for cricket-mad 'Fastest man on the Planet' Usain Bolt to play in Australia's Twenty20 Big Bash League, with Shane Warne leading the campaign to bring him to Melbourne. Bolt, who defended his 100 and 200-meter titles in London is hailed by International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge as the greatest sprinter, played junior cricket before turning to the track and has long voiced a love for the game.
The Ace Leg-Spinner Shane Warne is the marquee player for the Melbourne Stars franchise and he has begun a social media campaign to win support for Usain Bolt to play for the team. According to Australian media, Bolt clean bowled the then West Indies captain & T20 Storm Chris Gayle in a charity match in 2009, having earlier hit him down the ground for six.
The eight-team Big Bash League comprising international and local cricket players, will run from 7 December to 9 January. West Indies captain Chris Gayle is the league’s leading scorer and star attraction.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yuvraj Singh named in World Cup T20 Indian squad

India batsman Yuvraj Singh has been named in India's T20 squad for the ICC World Twenty20 next month in Sri Lanka, marking a return to cricket after battling with cancer.

Yuvraj, who last played for India during the home Tests against West Indies, was passed fit when the selection committee met in Mumbai to pick the respective squads. During his recovery from cancer, Yuvraj said last month that Twenty20 would be ideal format to mark his return to competitive cricket. However, he was picked despite lacking in match practice.

The Twenty20 squad had a few surprises, most notably the recall of the legspinner Chawla (in both squads), offspinner Harbhajan Singh and the seamer L Balaji. Chawla last played for India during the 2011 World Cup, and his previous Test goes back a further three years. Balaji, who suffered career-threatening injuries through the previous decade, last played for India in 2009. What may have boosted his selection was a successful IPL 2012, during which he played a key role in Kolkata Knight Riders' title win.

T20 Indian squad: MS Dhoni (C/WK), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, L Balaji, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hamilton gets McLaren's 150th pole position

Formula 1 2008 Champion Lewis Hamilton eased to McLaren's 150th pole position on Saturday for the Hungarian Grand Prix with a time four tenths faster than second placed Lotus's Romain Grosjean. The pole marks McLaren's return to the front of the grid after a difficult last few races which have seen them off the lead pace set by rivals Ferrari and Red Bull.
Grosjean will start ahead of current Champion Sebastian Vettel in third, with Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button in fourth, seven tenths slower than the pole lap. 'Iceman' Kimi Raikkonen completes the top five with Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Bruno Senna(his first time in Q3), and Nico Hulkenberg complete the top ten cars. Mark Webber was the surprise of Q2 as he failed to get into in the top 10 and starts 11th ahead of Force India's Paul di Resta.

The following seven drivers have been eliminated in Q2:
1) Webber
2) di Resta
3) Rosberg
4) Perez
5) Kobayashi
6) Vergne
7) Schumacher.

The following seven drivers have been eliminated in Q1:
1) Ricciardo
2) Kovalainen
3) Petrov
4) Pic
5) Glock
6) de la Rosa
7) Karthikeyan.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

'The Jeffersons' star Sherman Hemsley dies at 74

Actor Sherman Hemsley, famous for playing Archie Bunker's former neighbor George Jefferson in the "All in the Family" spin-off "The Jeffersons," has died. He was 74. Hemsley appears to have died from natural causes, TMZ, who first reported the news of his death, said. Sources say he was discovered by his nurse who initially thought that the actor was sleeping. On "The Jeffersons," Hemsley played a dry-cleaning tycoon who'd worked his way up from a small store to a chain. Isabel Sanford played his wife Louise, whom George often called Weezie, and Marla Gibbs played the couple's maid, Florence.

The iconic star, who rose to fame after his appearances on “All in the Family” and ultimately the spinoff, “The Jeffersons” was also a professional singer. Hemsley was born in Philadelphia and ultimately dropped out of high school to join the Air Force, People magazine reports. He later worked for the U.S. Postal Service before turning to show business. “The Jeffersons,” which ran earned Hemsley both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

As with producer Norman Lear's "All in the Family," the show didn't shy away from racial humor and jokes. Hemsley's George was in his own way as stubborn and prejudiced as Archie Bunker, regularly trying to exploit his own maid, and often delivering jokes at the expense of Helen and Tom Willis, a married couple of different races. "The Jeffersons" ran from 1975 to 1985. After that show ended, Hemsley moved on to star as Deacon Earnest Frye on the sitcom "Amen."

Hemsley also performed on Broadway and appeared on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "The Hughleys" and "Clunkers." He also voiced Triceratops B.P. Richfield on Jim Henson's "Dinosaurs."

In 1989, he released a single, "Ain't That A Kick in the Head." Hemsley never married and has no children. He was living in El Paso, Texas at the time of his death.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Think eggs, think nightmares

Think eggs, think nightmares.

Dwight Howard deal still up in air

As of now, center Dwight Howard remains with the Orlando Magic, but the team is still searching for the best deal to make in trading him and remains active in doing that.

Whether it was former general manager Otis Smith or new GM Rob Hennigan, just two weeks on the job, the Magic have been patient while knowing Howard wants out and the Brooklyn Nets are his preferred team.

Throughout, the Magic have focused on getting first-round picks, younger, talented players and salary cap relief.

Tuesday afternoon, the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers re-emerged as potential trade partners, a person familiar with negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing negotiations.

The person cautioned that nothing is imminent, just as Monday's trade talks among the Magic, Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers were exploratory.

The Magic continue to preach patience, looking for the best deal they can get for the All-Star center.

The Cavaliers seemed to be involved as a conduit team for the Magic and Nets to make a deal happen, but any involvement on their part had not advanced beyond exploratory in nature, a person familiar with negotiations told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing negotiations.

Another person familiar with trade discussions for Howard told USA TODAY Sports that Orlando was never exclusively talking to the Nets. The Magic are and have been listening to other teams and trying to maximize the assets they get in exchange for Howard, this person said, also under condition of anonymity while negotiations are ongoing.

When Cleveland's interest in being part of a complicated multi-team deal seemed to wane, the Charlotte Bobcats were approached about the possibility of stepping into the deal and taking free-agent forward Kris Humphries, who played for the Nets last season, this person told USA TODAY Sports.

Humphries is not the only roadblock to a deal, but he is one of them. He signed a one-year contract for 2011-12 and is looking for something in the three-year, $24 million-$27 million range. He averaged 13.8 points and 11 rebounds for Brooklyn last season.

His agent, Dan Fegan, is also Howard's agent, and Fegan is trying to work deals that appease both clients.

Cleveland and Charlotte weren't interested in a guaranteed three-year deal for Humphries, and Humphries isn't thrilled with another one-year deal.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rafael Nadal pulls out of London Olympics

The London Olympics was shorn of one of its biggest attractions on Thursday when reigning championRafa Nadal said he would not be able to defend his tennis singles gold because of injury.

Spain's Nadal, who won gold in Beijingfour years ago and was to carry his nation's flag at next Friday's opening ceremony, said he had failed to recover from a knee problem.

"I am not in a condition to be able to compete," the 26-year-old said in a statement.

"It is one of the saddest moments of my career." Nadal won a record seventh French Open title in June but crashed out in the second round at Wimbledon in a massive upset against lowly-ranked Czech Lukas Rosol.

Earlier this month he pulled out of a charity match against Novak Djokovic at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium saying he was suffering from tendonitis and needed to rest.

He had hoped to return to Wimbledon this month to defend his Olympic title and his withdrawal echoes his plight of 2009 when a similar knee problem meant he had to withdraw from the grasscourt grand slam, a year after winning it for the first time in an epic defeat of Roger Federer.

"I have to think of my colleagues, I cannot be selfish and I have to think of the well-being of Spanish sport, especially Spanish tennis, and let a colleague play who has had a better preparation and is in a state to compete," the world number three added.

"Today is one of the saddest days of my career as it was one of my biggest dreams, and perhaps the most anticipated moment to be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony for the Games in London.

"You can imagine how difficult it has been to take this decision."

The tennis competition at the All England Club begins on July. 28 with Serbia's Djokovic seeded one.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why Kalam should be the President of India

Amidst the mess that the search for India’s Prez resembles, there is a silver lining – Abdul Kalam is back in the reckoning.
If the celestial stars and the numbers are in the right place, the most deserving of the various candidates now in the fray for occupying Raisina Hill is back in the reckoning - former President A P J Abdul Kalam. 
Arguably, no President of Independent India has fired the imagination of the citizens as this former President. The former rocket scientist had, with his child-like enthusiasm, energy and most of all, his sync with grammar and language of New India , become an icon of his times - the people's president. 
He rescued the presidency from the prisoner that an incumbent of Rashtrapati Bhawan had become - of protocol, propriety and ceremony. It was as if, the highest office of the land had to necessarily stand above and beyond the citizens to retain its place under the Indian sun. Seen and heard only on ceremonial occasions keeping to a prepared script and protocol. 
President Kalam broke that mould and reached out to the citizens, especially the young; with a sincerity, panache and aplomb which far from eroding the eminence or authority of the highest office burnished it as no president before or since. He proved to be an extraordinary president, India's best.
When he left office he had provided a tutorial for his successors on how to raise the bar in the functioning of an Indian President. Unfortunately, in the last five years the baton that Kalam passed on has been dropped. President Pratibha Patil's tenure has been singularly lacklustre and banal - with many reports questioning her propriety, if not her integrity. 
Time has come again for the presidency to be priced out of the hands of political legatees. Or, be treated as just a sinecure for services rendered to political families or political parties. Surely, the highest office of the land deserves better. 
Who then, more qualified than Kalam on every stringent benchmark that you can throw at him - past record, integrity, honesty, constitutional propriety? And, most of all - the respect and affection of the larger body of citizens. 
The yearning for Kalam is a not a cry in the wilderness. 
While the shock that Mamata and Mulayam administered to the UPA may be more to do with the latter's antipathy to both the Congress nominees Pranab (for past wrongs done to her by the Congress stalwart) and Hamid Ansari (for being the nominee of the Left) rather than her overwhelming love for Kalam, if the duo stick to the stated positions then Kalam has every chance. 
For, the numbers do stack up. Because in an electoral college of 10,98,882, Mamata's Trinamool Congress has 48,044 votes while Mulayam's Samajwadi Party has 68,771. Without their numbers, the UPA will be hard pushed to get their nominee past the post. 
The NDA, who have so far been off the radar in the run-up to the presidential polls due to lack of numbers will latch on to Kalam. Not just because they are Kalam-positive but also because it will be a handy stick to embarrass the ruling Congress and exacerbate the dissensions that the selection will cause among the UPA coalition. 
That will encourage the non-UPA parties, Mamata and Mulayam (and possibly Mayawati) to coalesce their support around the candidate that is palatable to all - A P J Abdul Kalam. Will the numbers and the arcane compulsions of our political class bring the 'Bharat Ratna' back to where he belongs?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

INFINITI "Curved Visions"

Designboom, in collaboration with INFINITI, are launching the next stage of their amazing International Digital Art Competition – his time inspired by the theme “Curved Visions”.

Recently, designboom and INFINITI launched an international competition worldwide to find the best of the best talent in the digital art world, with each theme focussing on one element of the INFINITI brand.

The first theme was “Inspired Performance” ( and garnered huge international interest, with over 500 entries from all over the globe. Six finalists were announced and their work was exhibited at various INFINITI Centres across Europe.
In March this year, Japan-born Shinji Nukumi was announced as the winner and was awarded €10,000 for his brilliant artwork entitled ‘INFINITI Passion’ at the official inauguration of the INFINITI Centre Marseille. His design is composed of a series of eye-catching projections on to an Infiniti G Coupé model, which focuses on the ‘inner’ dimension of the car to be able to see the potential of the brand.
Now, designboom and INFINITI are launching the next theme in the competition – “Curved Visions”. Participation is open to applicants worldwide, particularly professionals, design-enthusiasts and students. Participants are asked to design a memorable experience via spectacular or interactive digital artworks or performance, to be displayed in the new showrooms that INFINITI is opening throughout Europe and during other premium events of the brand.

This is a sponsored Post.

All New Hybrid Cars from Volvo - V60 Plug-in Hybrid

There are many hybrids on the market, but none of them can match the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.

The world's first diesel plug-in hybrid is Volvo Car Corporation's most technically advanced model ever - an electric car, hybrid car and muscle-car all rolled into one. At the mere touch of a button you can choose which of your three cars you want to drive at any given moment in time.

The production version of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be launched in just one color - Electric Silver. Sales get under way at the start of 2012, and the first cars will be built in the autumn of that year. "Our plug-in hybrid has received considerable attention since it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Now we're taking the next step by presenting the production model, which is graced with a distinctive profile featuring a spectacular silver color, an exclusive interior and generous standard equipment," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

The first 1,000 units of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid are only available in Electric Silver livery. The car is also distinguished by aero-designed 17-inch wheels, integrated exhaust tailpipes and a number of bodywork features in glossy black, such as the grille and the aerodynamic front spoiler. The chromed "Plug-in Hybrid" emblem is found both on the lower part of the tailgate and in a smaller version on the front wings.

Exclusive interior
The interior of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid has black leather upholstery with contrasting stitching and inlays of blue-grey wood. Other distinctive interior details include a leather-covered steering wheel, specially designed mats and a gear lever knob with integrated indicator.
The list of standard equipment includes features such as speed-dependent power steering, electrically adjustable driver's seat, parking sensors front and rear, Bluetooth phone link and Volvo on Call.
Standard is also the High Performance Multimedia DVD audio system with its 4x40 W amplifier, eight loudspeakers and seven-inch screen.

Smartphone app
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the first Volvo to be launched with an entirely digital Driver Information Monitor (DIM). The conventional analogue gauges have been replaced by a one-piece LED screen offering a large number of display options. The driver can choose which information to show via the car's menu setup.
It is also possible to communicate with the car via a mobile app. This gives the owner access to a number of smart functions such as air conditioning, pre-cooling and after-cooling, and a reminder to connect the charge cable if this has not been done by a predetermined time.

The first Volvo with the D6 badge
On the car's tailgate there is a D6 badge. The reason is that the combined performance of the five-cylinder turbo diesel and electric motor puts the car firmly within the same horsepower range as the petrol powered T6.
The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel producing 215 hp and maximum torque is 440 Nm. The car has a six-speed automatic transmission.
The rear axle is powered by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower. The electric motor is supplied with power from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
The sophisticated and exceptionally compact battery pack consists of 10 modules each containing 20 cells. An integrated computer monitors the system and compares temperature and charge level in each of the 200 cells. The battery pack also has an integrated water-cooling system driven by the car's climate unit.

Three driving modes - three cars in one
The driver selects the required driving mode via three buttons that give the car three entirely different temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.
  • In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. If the battery pack has been recharged with electricity from renewable sources, its range is up to 50 kilometers and its carbon dioxide emissions are zero. The electric range varies with terrain, climate and driving style.
  • Hybridis the standard setting whenever the car is started. The diesel engine and electric motor cooperate to ensure optimal balance between driving pleasure and environmental footprint. CO2 emission (NEDC, mixed driving cycle for certification) is 49g/km, corresponding to diesel consumption of 1.9l/100km. The car has a total range of up to 1,000km.
  • In Power mode the technology is optimized to give the car the maximum possible power. The diesel engine and electric motor have a total power output of 215+70 horsepower and maximum torque of 440+200Nm. The electric motor's lightning-quick torque delivery contributes to the car's acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds.
Save battery power for later  
The driver can choose to save battery power in order to drive on pure electricity later on, for instance in an urban green zone or in the heart of a city.
When Save is activated, the on-board system ensures that there is always sufficient charge for driving later in Pure mode. If necessary, the high-tension generator will charge the battery pack so there is sufficient capacity for driving in Pure mode.
The aim is that the Save mode should ensure there is sufficient battery power for about 20 kilometers of driving on electricity alone.

Charge at home - cooling or heating in advance
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid can be recharged from a regular power outlet (230V/6A, 10A or 16A) at home or in a parking lot. Recharging time varies with amperage. A full charge with 10A takes 4.5 hours. This is cut to 3.5 hours with 16A, while a 6A charge takes 7.5 hours.
It is also possible while recharging the car to heat or cool the passenger compartment to provide a more comfortable start of your journey. This also means that more battery power is used for actually propelling the car.
The pre-conditioning function can also cool the batteries. The ideal operating temperature for the battery pack is 20-30°C. This means that cooling prior to driving is very important in order to maximize battery charge and thus also range.
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid has two heating systems. In electric mode the car uses a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) air heater. The car also has a diesel-powered heater.

Better pulling power with four-wheel drive (AWD) 
Pressing the AWD button activates the electrical four-wheel drive. Instead of the mechanical power transfer of conventional four-wheel drive, the central control unit distributes power between the diesel-driven front wheels and the electrically-driven rear axle. The electric four-wheel drive system has been designed to provide better grip when starting and when driving on slippery roads, for instance in snow or mud.
However, owing to the electric motor's lower power, torque to the rear wheels is limited and four-wheel drive is active up to 120 km/h.
When four-wheel drive is activated, the diesel engine operates continuously and the generator ensures that the charge level in the battery pack is sufficient to supply the rear axle with the necessary power.
Since electric four-wheel drive is only activated by the driver when necessary, it is more economical than conventional permanent four-wheel drive.

Two-stage braking system
A two-stage braking system is yet another smart feature of the Volvo Plug-in Hybrid. When the driver presses the brake pedal, the system starts braking the rear axle's electric motor. This braking energy is then used to recharge the car's battery pack.
The mechanical brakes are activated only when the situation requires more braking power than the rear axle can provide.


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