Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Google is going straight for Apple's throat. In addition to announcing its first direct iPad competitor, the Nexus 10, it's also set to release a new high-end smartphone, the Nexus 4. How does Google's (and LG's) latest flagship compare to the iPhone 5? Let's take a look 
In every dimension, the Nexus 4 is larger than the iPhone 5. Thinness – long one of Apple's hallmarks – is a big advantage for its handset. 
The weight of the Nexus 4 corresponds to its size, as it's significantly heavier than the feather-light iPhone 5.
Both handsets have high-end resolutions, but the Nexus 4's 4.7-inch display offers more real estate. Whether that's an advantage or overkill may depend on your taste.
On paper, the Nexus 4 looks like the favorite. But performance can go beyond cores and gigahertz, and Apple's A6 is a benchmark record-breaking beast. The bottom line: both chips are top-notch, and neither is likely to be pushed to the limit by many currently-available apps.
The Nexus 4 packs 2 GB of RAM, double the 1 GB found in the iPhone 5.
Google and LG pinched pennies here to keep the Nexus 4's off-contract price low. US$299 gets you 8 GB of storage, and $349 boosts that to 16 GB. Considering that the iPhone 5 only costs $100 less on-contract, you may find the freedom that the Nexus 4 offers to be appealing.
Here's the other area where Google and LG skimped: the Nexus 4 lacks LTE. Though Google is promoting the phone's use of HSPA+ (often marketed as "4G"), you don't get the blazing-fast speeds of "true 4G."
On paper, this looks like a clear advantage for the Nexus 4. Like everything else here, though, take it with a few grains of salt. Many factors influence battery life, and the iPhone 5 should easily last a full day for most users.
These specs are looking similar: two 8-megapixel rear shooters, with the Nexus 4 having a slightly-higher number for the front-facing camera.
Both smartphones have distinctive designs, with particularly attractive backsides. The iPhone 5's anodized aluminum has a striking look, while the Nexus 4 sports a unique bedazzled appearance.
The Nexus 4 is one of the first mainstream smartphones to ship with wireless charging capabilities. Though you'll need to purchase a separate mat or dock, the device is compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard.
Google is taking another stab at bypassing wireless carrier subsidies, selling the Nexus 4 online and off-contract. That didn't work out too well for theNexus One, but that was almost three years ago. With Google Play established as a premiere marketplace for apps, music, and other media, the time may be ripe for Google to prove that, when it comes to selling high-end smartphones, the carriers can be circumvented.
Summing up
Is the Nexus 4 an iPhone 5 killer? Of course not. No rival smartphone is going to "kill" the iPhone; it will sell in bunches regardless. The Nexus 4 can, however, serve as the new cream of the Android crop. Despite its lack of LTE, its specs are top-of-the-line, and it's priced competitively. Its off-contract pricing could also grant you a freedom not typically associated with owning a smartphone.
No matter which phone you prefer, this holiday season is shaping up to be a great time to shop for a new gadget. Specs can be illuminating, but they're only part of the equation. Getting your hands on the devices in a store is still the best way to know which works best for you.

Monday, 29 October 2012

In the past she has been known for her intrigue with the dark side - with a fetish for blood and a huge collection of knives.
But now that she is a mother to six children, it is a more family friendly Halloween these days for Angelina Jolie.
The 37-year-old actress was seen rounding up some of her brood, including Shiloh, six, and twins Vivienne and Knox, four, for a trip to Party City in Sherman Oaks to shop for Halloween supplies on Sunday. 
And the children certainly got into the Halloween spirit. 
Little Vivienne looked cute in a black ruffled skirt worn over lace leggings, a black T-shirt and some fancy gold sneakers on her feet.
But the real standout accessory was her pink unicorn soft toy, which strapped around the youngster's body.
Vivienne wasn't the only one treated with a toy, her twin brother Knox was seen carrying a large dinosaur figurine.
The little lad looked dapper for the shopping expedition in a grey coloured shirt, black trousers and black shoes.
Meanwhile, the Girl Interrupted star looked stylish for the outing, opting for her obligatory black.
The brunette stunner slipped her very slender frame into a simple shift dress which she paired with some nude coloured flats.
The near make-up free star tied her hair back into a simple ponytail and shielded her eyes with some sunglasses.
Also dressed all in black like her mother was Shiloh, who wore a buttoned down shirt and shorts combination.
The six-year-old little girl wore flip-flops on her feet and a pair of sunglasses tucked into her shirt.
After shopping up a storm in the store, the family headed back to their black SUV to head home.
They were accompanied by a bodyguard who carried the family's parcels.
Angelina's daughter Vivienne was recently cast as the young Princess Aurora in the actress's upcoming live action film Maleficent.
And two of Angelina's other six children, whom she shares with fiance Brad Pitt - Pax and Zahara - will also make their big-screen debuts in the film.
'They have smaller parts,' a source told Us Weekly, adding the eight-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl will not have speaking roles.
'Shiloh was supposed to be in it, too, but she was bored and not in the mood during the day her part was supposed to happen, so she ended up not being in the film.'
The tomboyish six-year-old did, however, have a role as her father Brad's daughter in his film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button back in 2008.
The Oscar winner stars as the title role in Disney's re-imagining of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty told from the evil doer's point of view.
The focus of the film centres on the events that hardened Maleficent's heart, leading her to curse the Princess Aurora played by Elle Fanning.
Back in August, The Sun reported that once Vivienne was cast as the younger version of 14-year-old Fanning, the rest of the kids wanted to be included too.
'Ange thought it would be a fun experience for her and Viv to share, and Viv is a natural,' said the source.
'The other kids are now nagging Ange and Brad to land them roles.'
Both of the the twins Vivienne and Knox were spotted visiting their famous mother on the set back in June and at one point Angelina held one of them in front of the soundstage's green screen.
The next day, Pax and Shiloh were seen walking around the Buckinghamshire set with a minder.
Wearing her horned headdress, complete with prosthetic cheekbones and a long brown dress and matching cape, the dark-haired star looked frightening as the villain.
Speaking about her new film Angelina told EW: 'It’s not anti-princess, but it’s the first time they’re looking at this epic woman.
'I hope in the end you see a woman who is capable of being many things, and just because she protects herself and is aggressive, it doesn’t mean she can’t have other [warmer] qualities'
She said: 'It sounds really crazy to say that there will be something that’s good for young girls in this, because it sounds like you’re saying they should be a villain. [Maleficent] is actually a great person. But she’s not perfect. She’s far from perfect.
'In general, it’s a very good message to say, “Let’s look at something from the other side." But then also, what our challenge will be - and the script writer [The Lion King and Alice in Wonderland’s Linda Woolverton] has already cracked it - is not to simplify it, not to just reverse the story but tell a bigger story that doesn’t point the finger [at Princess Aurora] either.'
Juno Temple, Sam Riley, and Miranda Richardson also appear in the film directed by Robert Stromberg, which is set for release on March 14, 2014.
Meanwhile, according to the New York Daily News, the Jolie-Pitt clan have gotten into the autumn spirit as recent aerial shots of the A-list couple's Los Feliz home revealed a backyard table packed with Halloween pumpkins.
Jolie and Pitt, 48, also have an 11-year-old son named Maddox.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A few days ago, Nissan teased not just a new car, but a new genre of cars. That car is the EXREM, and the genre is something that Nissan calls an urban compact sports car. Nissan designed the new concept car specifically for the Brazilian market and introduced it at the São Paulo Motor Show.
Nissan Design America worked closely with Brazilian designers to develop a concept car that reflects the country's vibrancy and passion. It is Nissan's first concept developed specifically for Brazil, a country where it doubled sales last year and hopes to promote continued growth.
"Brazil is a country of great natural beauty and it has a passionate, rich culture," explains Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's Chief Creative Officer. "But this is not always reflected in the cars on its streets, especially the more affordable locally produced vehicles which tend to be conservative in design, color and specification. EXTREM, with a dynamic, high-character design, is far from conservative. It was created to appeal to the country's growing band of city-based young professionals who are passionate about design and want to make a personal statement."
The EXTREM is a two-door, four-seat hatchback. While Nissan tries to sell us on its new "urban compact sports car" genre, the EXTREM looks a lot like a sporty crossover. Nissan's description of it as an "urban rally car, a tough little street fighter that can handle the urban jungle with agility and confidence" supports the idea that it's just a sporty skin over top a crossover build, not all that different from Nissan's sportified Jukes. In fact, Nissan has called the Juke Nismo a "performance crossover," which seems like a perfect description for the EXTREM. The EXTREM is nearly 11 inches (279 mm) shorter than the Juke in overall length.
While we're not sure if it's distinct enough to spawn an entire automotive category, the EXTREM does have the design and equipment to effectively blend rugged utility with sporty looks. The car sits higher than the average hatch, adding ground clearance for navigating the "urban jungle." A rear aluminum skid plate adds further protection, and the roof rails ensure that the driver is able to carry the gear he needs to survive that jungle. Meanwhile, the sloping roof, wraparound glasshouse, sharp LED headlamps and bulging fenders add sufficient evidence to support Nissan's "sports car" claim.
Nissan developed the exclusive orange "Solar Cortex" paint color as an "homage to Brazilian nature." The roof pattern and its mix of gloss and matte textures was inspired by Brazilian graphics. Contrasting 19-inch wheels, gas cap and tow hook add some extra exterior flair.
The EXTREM has a two-tier storage system in its hatch. The lower tier is hidden below a removable storage bin, adding security for valuable items.
Nissan says specifically that the EXTREM is just a concept with no immediate production future, but it envisions it using its 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, which was inspired by the DeltaWing and is also used in the Juke. The hypothetical buyer would have his choice of front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive with torque vectoring.
While the car itself may not manifest into a production model, Nissan suggests the styling cues may show up in future products, both in and beyond the Brazilian market.
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Gravity waves are the big ticket item of physics. Predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 as part of his general theory of relativity, these waves could help scientists solve many mysteries about the origin of the universe – if they could detect them. In an attempt to do this, researchers at Stanford University and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are developing a new atomic interferometry technique that may be sensitive enough to record gravity waves for the first time.
Gravity waves are ripples in the space-time continuum caused by catastrophic events like colliding supermassive stars or the Big Bang. When they’re generated, it’s as if the universe was ringing like a gong. If they could be studied, these waves could provide scientists with a treasure trove of information on everything from black holes to being able to see back to the earliest moments of the Big Bang.
The problem for scientists is that these waves are very faint and when the Earth passes through one it expands and contracts by less than the width of an atom. Not surprisingly, this incredibly tiny response is extremely difficult to detect on even the most sensitive instruments. What the Stanford/Goddard team are trying to do in conjunction with AOSense, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California is to develop an interferometer that uses atoms instead of light to produce an ultrasensitive detector.
An interferometer is a device that can detect very small changes with great accuracy. The most familiar one from classroom laboratories uses light, though radio waves, x-rays and just about any other waves can be used. The basic principle is that a light ray is passed through a beam splitter and broken into two new beams. One beam travels along the original path and the other is sent off at a right angle. These beams are bounced off of mirrors and sent back the way they came and then the beam splitter directs both into a detector. The waves that make up the two beams then interfere with one another, forming a pattern.
The clever bit in all of this is that if something alters one of the beams, such as the distance traveled changing by the tiniest fraction, this changes the resulting pattern and from that scientists can deduce how big the change was. The sensitivity of the instrument depends on the wavelength used, the distance of the paths traveled and the stability of the instrument.
In the case of atomic interferometry, the Stanford/Goddard team is exploiting an oddity of quantum mechanics that states that if an atom is cooled to near absolute zero it takes on the properties of a wave. According to Mark Kasevich, a Stanford University professor and team member, "Atoms have a way of being in two places at once, making it analogous to light interferometry."
What the team will do is insert a cloud of neutral rubidium atoms inside the 33-foot (10 m) drop tower in the basement of a Stanford University physics laboratory. As these atoms fall, they’ll be zapped with a laser to cool them down and spread them out. Because of the peculiarities of quantum mechanics, the rubidium atoms act like a light interferometer turned inside out with the lasers that make up the detector acting as the beam splitter and mirrors while the atoms give off “matter waves” due to a “superposition of states.”
The upshot of all of this is an interferometer that can detect a change of a picometer – that’s one trillionth of a meter. To put that into perspective, a helium atom is 62 picometers across.
The team hopes that this device will not only be sensitive enough to detect gravity waves, but that it will also be used for ultra-precise navigation for aircraft, submarines and asteroid-exploring probes. If the technique proves successful, the team plans to adapt it for a space mission consisting of three probes flying in a triangular formation 500 to 5,000 kilometers (310 to 3,100 mi) to form a gigantic atomic interferometer of even greater sensitivity.
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Saturday, 20 October 2012

In the tablet market, the iPad is still the undisputed leader. One of the ways that Apple retained that status was this year's introduction of a lower-priced iPad 2. Though its US$400 price tag is still enough to buy two Kindle Fires, it let Cupertino at least approach budget tablet territory. With next week's launch of a smaller iPad, though, we may soon bid farewell to the iPad 2.
That's the theory postulated by Evercore Partners' analyst Rob Cihra. He shot out a note to investors this week forecasting the iPad 2's doom. His rationale? Apple's broader vision calls for a clutter-free product line, so the redundant iPad 2 would get the axe.
We can't argue with this logic. Apple's success is built on streamlined simplicity and focus. Selling three different iPads – each with multiple colors and wireless capabilities – could lead to clutter. If the iPad Mini (or iPad Air?) starts at between US$200-300, that's inching closer to the $400 iPad 2. Carrying two iPads – the big premium one and the smaller cheaper one – may be all Apple needs.
We'd still take Cihra's prediction with grains of salt, and place the safe money on the iPad 2 hanging around until March. But if you're itching to get a full-sized iPad for no more than $400, you might want to act now. Should his advice prove sound, the iPad 2 will only have a few more days to live.
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With autumn well and truly here, the London Olympics and Paralympics is beginning to feel like a distant memory.
However, on Friday night, we were given a boost to our flagging Olympic spirit as a host of Team GB stars attended the UK Athletics Dinner.
Leading the glamour was gold medal winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis, 26, who showed off her toned legs in a black and pink mini dress.In the pink: Hepthalete gold medallist Jessica Ennis led the glamour at the UK Athletics Gala Dinner at the Royal Courts of Justice

The 26-year-old, who was named British Olympic Athlete Of The Year this week, joined her contemporaries to mark an amazing year in British athletics.
A host of past and present Olympians attended the black-tie dinner at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand.

Beijing gold and London silver 400 metre athlete Christine Ohuruogu went for an edgy look in a dramatic black dress with accentuated sleeves.
Retired athlete Dame Kelly Holmes went for a striking red dress, with London 2012 heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson also going for the same colour.
Newsreader Sophie Raworth also attended in a glamorous floor-length black gown.
Scottish steeplechase athlete Eilish McColgan showed off her amazing legs in black and white spotty mini dress.
Meanwhile, 800 metres athlete Lynsey Sharp complemented her golden locks with a white and gold shift dress.
Meanwhile, the male athletes in attendance included Dwain Chambers, Lord Sebastian Coe KBE, 
Jonathan Edwards CBE, Darren Campbell and Lewis Moody.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Once described as the Maharaja, the king of the skies, the country's debt ridden national airline has become a big defaulter.
Air India (AI) owes Rs 566 crore to the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) - the consortium which manages the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport and faces a huge cash crunch - with Rs 26 crore due for this month.
Throw in the Rs 100-plus crore that Air India owes to GMR's Hyderabad airport operation, the amount is a staggering Rs 670 crore.
According to sources, despite several reminders, the dues have not been cleared.
After the GMR Group, which is the lead member of the consortium, followed it up with senior AI officials, Rs 15 crore was paid last month. On Monday, another cheque of Rs 5 crore landed in DIAL's account.
The dues are partly related to landing and parking charges, which every aircraft has to pay to land at the IGI Airport.
"I am aware that Air India owes certain dues. We have raised objections on certain charges that have been levied. We are in the process of meeting with GMR officials and will clear them soon," Rohit Nandan, chairman and managing director, AI, told MAIL TODAY.
"We are working out on a formula so this can be settled." What is of greater concern to DIAL is that the airport development fee (ADF) being charged from passengers - Rs 200 for domestic and Rs 1,100 from international passengers - is also not being deposited with DIAL.
"Every fortnight, we have devised a system where Air India and other private airlines have to remit the ADF to DIAL and GHIAL", a top DIAL source said.
"Finally, in disgust, we have written to the ministry because it is a matter of financial exigency now.
"It impacts our revenue stream and since there is a major revenue shortfall, we have to resort to borrowings. Our short-term borrowings alone are in the immediate vicinity of Rs 700 crore."
A senior GMR Group official said: "The outstanding dues of Air India are a cause of concern for DIAL and GHIAL's (GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd) airline as well the ministry of civil aviation at the highest level on a regular basis and hope that the matter will be resolved soon." 

Sources added that DIAL, which loses close to Rs 40 crore per month, is likely to suffer a loss of around Rs 900-1,000 crore in this financial year. 
The loss is primarily due to the delay by the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) in fixing airport tariff. Operators also earn from the non-aeronautical opportunities airports offer, such as by leasing space to shops. 
While about half of DIAL's income came from nonaeronautical sources earlier, the share is likely to fall to 30 per cent now. 
Last year DIAL's losses were Rs 450 crore, while they are expecting a cash break even this year. DIAL has massive debt, including foreign borrowings, of Rs 5,300 crore and is paying an interest at a rate of 10-10.5 per cent. 
As the airport operator and the Maharaja squabble, there are other problems that have plagued the airport.
The stand-off between DIAL and the airport regulator continues despite the steep hike in the Delhi airport charges the regulator allowed in April. 
Airlines have been protesting ever since DIAL first announced its intention to raise charges by a whopping 774 per cent. 
At least, one foreign carrier, Air Asia, stopped using Delhi and Mumbai airports from March-end soon after DIAL proposed the hike. 
With AERA agreeing to a lesser but still substantial hike of 346 per cent, several carriers under the banner of the Federation of Indian Airlines have challenged the decision in the Delhi High Court. 
The International Air Transport Association has said that the move would reduce passenger traffic by five to seven per cent and add more than $400 million to airlines' operating costs. 
However, DIAL sources say airlines have saved around Rs 500 crore on account of faster turnaround time and reduction in time wasted on circling the airport while waiting for landing permission. 
DIAL spent Rs 12,857 crore on modernising the Delhi airport, of which the equity contribution put in by all members of the consortium was Rs 2,450 crore.
Energy suppliers will be forced to tell customers about the cheapest tariff they have on offer under proposed reforms unveiled by the energy watchdog today.
Ofgem said its plans will put an end to complex tariffs and will usher in a 'simpler, clearer, fairer and more competitive' energy market.
But the proposals do not incorporate a requirement for companies to actually move customers to the cheapest tariff available - as suggested by Prime Minister David Cameron in a surprise announcement in the House of Commons this week.
Mr Cameron sparked confusion during Prime Minister's Questions when he said the government would be legislating to ensure energy companies were required to give the lowest tariff to customers - rather than simply informing consumers of what is available. 
But his comments backfired when Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey failed to back the move, while Conservative Energy Minister John Hayes told MPs 'different options' were being considered. 
No 10 said energy firms would be obliged only to 'offer' the cheapest tariffs.
The Prime Minister last night insisted he was 'on the side of hard-working families', and that the government would be using the Energy Bill to ensure customers get the lowest tariffs.
When pressed on why the proposals do not include a requirement for companies to switch customers to the lowest tariff, as suggested by Mr Cameron, Ofgem said it believed competition was still the best way to protect consumers in the market.
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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

You may relate the words more with a truck on the highway, but the famous phrase caught actor Anushka Sharma's fancy enough to get it inked on the small of her back, or so she would have us believe.
At a press conference for her upcoming film Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola on Tuesday, Anushka was seen flaunting the new colourful tattoo that reads 'Dekho magar pyar se'. 
The cheeky body art is apparently part of a promotional strategy for the Vishal Bhardwaj-directed film that also stars a new-look Imran Khan.
At the press meet, Imran helped Anushka display the tattoo, in which the words are surrounded by flowers. 
Anushka and Imran made a grand entry at the event astride a motorbike. In the film, Imran plays a Haryanvi hunk named Matru and Anushka, a village belle called Bijli, and they dressed for the do in sync with their roles.
Anushka, looking cool in a blue crushed ghaghra, leather boots and a black stole, swirled around on the stage as Imran lifted her stole a bit to show the audience her tattoo.
The actor also revealed another tattoo on her neck, which is a mix of floral prints and a butterfly motif. 'I play a strongheaded, outspoken girl in the film. My look highlights the bold approach of the character,' Anushka said. 
She seemed more appreciative of Imran's look, though. 'I think he looks hot in the film,' she said. 
Imran's rustic look for the film is being compared with Saif Ali Khan's Langda Tyagi avatar in Vishal's Omkara. 
At the conference, Imran showed off his look, complete with a moustache, stubble, worn-out pants, kurta, a gamchha and earrings. He also wore dark aviators for effect. 
Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola is a satire set in rural Haryana. The third primary character in the film is Mandola, essayed by Pankaj Kapur. 
When asked about the film's unusual title, Vishal said that though it was unconventional, he liked it 'because it was recommended by lyricist Javed Akhtar'. 
'The film is a different kind of laugh riot. It will have earthy humour,' said Vishal, who Anushka says is a methodist to the core.
'He conducted several readings and made us understand the character before the camera started rolling. He knows his characters very well,' she said.
They reveal an intricate maze of computers that process Internet search requests, show YouTube video clips and distribute email for millions of people.
With hundreds of thousands of servers, colourful cables and even bicycles so engineers can get around quickly, they range from a converted paper mill in Finland to custom made server farms in Iowa.
'Very few people have stepped inside Google’s data centers, and for good reason: our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard,' the firm said.
'While we’ve shared many of our designs and best practices, and we’ve been publishing our efficiency data since 2008, only a small set of employees have access to the server floor itself. 
'Today, for the first time, you can see inside our data centers and pay them a virtual visit.
'On Where the Internet lives, our new site featuring beautiful photographs by Connie Zhou, you’ll get a never-before-seen look at the technology, the people and the places that keep Google running.'
The site features photos from inside some of the eight data centers that Google Inc. already has running in the U.S., Finland and Belgium. 
Google is also building data centers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Chile. 
Virtual tours of a North Carolina data center also will be available through Google's 'Street View' service, which is usually used to view photos of neighborhoods around the world. 
The photographic access to Google's data centers coincides with the publication of a Wired magazine article about how the company builds and operates them. 
The article is written by Steven Levy, a journalist who won Google's trust while writing 'In The Plex,' a book published last year about the company's philosophy and evolution. 
The data centers represent Google's nerve center, although none are located near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. 
As Google blossomed from its roots in a Silicon Valley garage, company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked with other engineers to develop a system to connect low-cost computer servers in a way that would help them realize their ambition to provide a digital roadmap to all of the world's information. 
Initially, Google just wanted enough computing power to index all the websites on the Internet and deliver quick responses to search requests. As Google's tentacles extended into other markets, the company had to keep adding more computers to store videos, photos, email and information about their users' preferences. 
The insights that Google gathers about the more than 1 billion people that use its services has made the company a frequent target of privacy complaints around the world. 
The latest missive came Tuesday in Europe, where regulators told Google to revise a 7-month-old change to its privacy policy that enables the company to combine user data collected from its different services. 
Google studies Internet search requests and Web surfing habits in an effort to gain a better understanding of what people like. The company does this in an effort to show ads of products and services to the people most likely to be interested in buying them. Advertising accounts for virtually all of Google's revenue, which totaled nearly $23 billion through the first half of this year. 
Even as it allows anyone with a Web browser to peer into its data centers, Google intends to closely guard physical access to its buildings. The company also remains cagey about how many computers are in its data centers, saying only that they house hundreds of thousands of machines to run Google's services. 
Google's need for so many computers has turned the company a major electricity user, although management says it's constantly looking for ways to reduce power consumption to protect the environment and lower its expenses.
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Monday, 15 October 2012

The number of gadgets many of us use every day has multiplied significantly over the past decade. Most people have a smartphone, a PC, and maybe even a tablet and a laptop. The NexPhone concept aims to bring all these devices together into one mobile device that can dock into a tablet, laptop or full-size monitor to fulfill all your daily computing needs. It's an interesting concept that would do away with cloud syncing and the need to copy files from device to device.
The proposed device uses Ubuntu for Android to offer a desktop experience when you want it. While you are carrying the phone around, it functions like most Android phones, but when plugged into one of the docks, it would expand and change to Ubuntu. If you plug it into the tablet dock, it stays with the mobile version of the OS, but would scale the interface for more usability.
In all, there are three docks that you would use depending on your needs. On it's own, the NexPhone would function as a smartphone. If you're after a bigger screen but want to retain mobility, the NexTablet dock would fit the bill. If you need a portable desktop experience with a trackpad and full keyboard, plug the smartphone into the NexLaptop. Finally, if you want a full-size monitor and keyboard, plug it into the NexMonitor.
This is not the first device to blur the lines between the smartphone and other devices. Motorola has its Lapdocks, ASUS has its Transformer Primeline and plenty of third-party accessories bring full keyboards to various tablets.
Obviously, the NexPhone is taking this idea to another level with an Ubuntu-based desktop experience. It's clear that there is interest in merging all of our hardware together, it's just a matter of someone taking the steps necessary to make it happen.
The creators have some estimated prices for the phones and its various docks. The device and the main dock would retail for around US$499, while the NexTablet is expected to cost $149 and the NexLaptop and NexMonitor both coming it at $199. To get all of them, it would set you back a little over $1,000, which is cheaper than buying similar devices separately. Plus there's the flexibility of buying only the bits you need.
The NexPhone is seeking funding on Indiegogo to turn the device from a concept to a functioning prototype, and the creators are certainly looking for a large sum. The goal for the NexPhone is $950,000. Will it hit the goal? That, of course, remains to be seen, but the concept is certainly intriguing.
This all begs the question: do you want one device that does everything, or do you prefer having a separate device for each function?
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Lenovo has confirmed an October release date for its IdeaPad YOGA 13-inch, 360-degree flip and fold Ultrabook that was shown at CES in January and IFA 2012 last month. It will be joined by another three Windows 8 devices to create a new convertible product family. A smaller 11-inch YOGA and an 11.6-inch tablet named the IdeaTab Lynx will be released later this year, while the business-oriented ThinkPad Twist Ultrabook will appear around the same time as the pack leader. 
When Lenovo outed the YOGA 13 in Las Vegas back in January, only a few basic specs were revealed. While these haven't changed, the remainder have now been disclosed. The first of the company's new convertible range, the YOGA 13 can be placed in Tent mode (standing on its edges) or Stand mode (with its keyboard laid flat against the desk) as well as more familiar laptop and tablet orientations. 
Upon release on October 26 for a starting price of US$1,099, the 13.1 x 8.9 x 0.67-inch (333.4 x 224.8 x 16.9 mm) Ultrabook will be available in third generation Intel Core i3-3217U, i5-3317U and i7-3517U processor configurations (with integrated HD 4000 graphics), sport a one-megapixel HD webcam and benefit from a Dolby Home Theatre capabilities. There's both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectivity, a 2-in-1 media card slot, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The hoopla over the Saifeena wedding, scheduled for October 16, kicked off on Sunday evening when the Bollywood power couple threw a 'fun party' for close friends and family on Sunday evening. 
The venue was the terrace of Kareena Kapoor's Bandra apartment building. Dressed every inch like a bride-to-be, Kareena dazzled in an orange-yellow lehenga and a shimmering golden choli, teamed with green bangles and a low hair-bun decorated with gajras. 
Beau Saif Ali Khan turned out more on the simpler side. He looked dapper in a white outfit.While a section of the press reported that the event was Saifeena's sangeet ceremony, it turned out to be otherwise.
'It was just an Indian-themed party with a desi feel and desi music. It was a fun party and everyone was there to enjoy,' Kareena's close friend, designer Manish Malhotra, who had designed the actress's outfit and was a guest at the do, told us. 
Sara Ali Khan, Saif's daughter from his first marriage to Amrita Singh, arrived at the wedding looking dainty in a traditional outfit.
Incidentally, she was spotted showing the invitation card at the entry gate. The buzz is that Saif 's children will also be present at the wedding, which takes place today. 
Saif's sister Soha Ali Khan decked up in a churidar saree, came with actor-boyfriend Kunal Khemu. 
From Kareena's side, aunt Reema besides uncle Rishi Kapoor's wife Neetu Kapoor were present. 
Karan Johar, Sanjay Kapoor with wife Maheep and Malaika Arora Khan were among the B-Town set that turned out at the event. Amrita Arora flaunted a baby bump as she arrived with husband Shakeel Ladak. 
According to sources, Saif and Kareena will go for a registry marriage on Tuesday in the afternoon. 
This will be followed the same day by a grand reception at a five-star hotel in the city. 
Another reception is scheduled to take place in Delhi. Nothing as of now has been revealed about any wedding ceremony at the grand Pataudi Palace.

The Delhi government has started cracking down on black marketing of domestic LPG cylinders in the city. The enforcement wing of the food and supplies department raided an illegal godown in outer Delhi and seized 64 cylinders.
'Enforcement department officials conducted the raid and an FIR has been registered with the local police. We seized cylinders, nozzles and weighing machines from the place.
The local police are investigating the matter,' S.S. Kanawat, special commissioner (enforcement), said. 
'The place had been converted into an illegal godown for storing cylinders. The accused were using domestic LPG cylinders, bought illegally to fill smaller cylinders and sell these in the market,' he added.
The accused are on the run but the authorities said they would be arrested soon. 
The crackdown comes after a series of reports in Mail Today exposed the black marketing of LPG cylinders in the city. 
The reports also exposed the unauthorised use of LPG cylinders in the city. Officials in the food and supplies department said they will soon crack down on the distributors of LPG cylinders hand in glove with the black-marketeers. 
'Many dhabas and small eateries use domestic cylinders for commercial purposes. This is illegal. Raids will continue to stop the black marketing of cylinders,' an official said.
Delhi residents are facing a tough time keeping the fire in their kitchens burning because of a spurt in the black marketing of LPG cylinders after the central government imposed a cap on the number of subsidised cylinders for domestic use at six per financial year. 
The cost of every additional cylinder will depend on the prevailing market price. Many people are purchasing cylinders from the black market at Rs 1,200-1,300 per cylinder.
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