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Jaipur Literature Festival – This Year

By Sunil Kumar

The cerebral orgy has ended. According to the organizers and sources, there were nearly 200,000 footfalls this year, compared to the 120,000 last year. As I sum up my impressions of this year, I would like to state that despite all the controversies, the fest is a trailblazer of sorts as it has spawned a slew of similar events across the country.

The music in the JLF this year was tacky; compared to the lively beat we had last year. Also, a delectable tall blonde(or a brunette, I don’t remember) who was at the Tata Steel Front Lawns last year had mysteriously disappeared. The lady vanishes, perhaps! Now, for the pros and cons of the event, compared to the overhyped visit of Oprah last year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was distinctly mild, rational, humble and gave simple, ethical practical advice. I am about to post a video of his talk on my YouTube channel, in case any of you who read this want to see it.

Flashback: in case my memory of this year fades away in a few seconds. “The Roots of Yoga” session with David White, Jim Mallinson, Mark Singleton and Birad Rajaram Yajnik attempted to project Hindu mystical ways as a universal belief system. David White gave a detailed historical perspective on the roots of one of India‘s most famous cultural exports. For anybody familiar with the idea as defined in our shastras; Patanjali‘s “Yoga Sutras” are considered by many to be the “Bible”. The long discussion attempted to project Yoga as a way of life; that could be enriched by more global contact.

Ruchir Sharma, Edward Luce and Gurcharan Das waxed eloquently on India’s trajectory in the “Inspite of the Gods Revisited” Session. While Gurcharan Das pointed out the lacunae in the country’s growth story, Luce gave a slightly different perspective. Both of them seemed to agree that India’s soft power and intellectual process lay in its freedom of expression and ability to deliberate. Although this can sound a bit farcical with all the bans around, the session was enlightening due to the passion of the speakers and the participating audience.

More updates on iqmathgames.co.in and this portal in some time!

300px Jaipur Column at Rashtrapati Bhavan%2C New Delhi Jaipur Literature Festival   This Year

 

 

 

 

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India Vs England: Live Score

By Aglaia Staff

Hosts India have named an unchanged squad and why would you change a squad that blasted England in the previous ODI?  Well, as for England, they’ve got Bresnan back in place of Woakes.

Meanwhile, an airshow paints the sky with a jet of colours. Quite the grand inauguration at Ranchi!

Toss: India have won the toss and elected to bowl first.

Teams:

India: Ajinkya Rahane, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Ishant Sharma.

England: Alastair Cook(c), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joseph Root, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter(w), Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach.

300px Yuvraj Singh India Vs England: Live Score

Visit aglaia.co.in Yuvraj Singh at Adelaide Oval (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Build-Up: With the series all square at one each and India finally securing a much-awaited big win, the third ODI between the hosts, India, and the resilient and resurgent England is likely to be a hard-fought affair.
ENGLAND: Overs: 17 II Score: 69/3 (Root 1*, Morgan 0*) 

Just three runs have come for England in the last 18 deliveries along with the loss of three wickets as well. This over from Ishant Sharma yielded just a single to Joe Root who gets off the mark with that.

 

 

 

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Dhawan Century Assists Delhi in Defeating England

300px Delhi districts.svg Dhawan Century Assists Delhi in Defeating England

Visit aglaia.co.in Districts of Delhi, with Narela in the North West Delhi district. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Sunil Kumar

Shikhar Dhawan stroked a brilliant century as Delhi defeated England by six wickets. This was the second consecutive loss for England in their warm-up matches and this gives them a lot of headaches ahead of the first ODI which begins on January 11th.

300px Kieswetter keeping wicket against Australia%2C 2010 Dhawan Century Assists Delhi in Defeating England

Visit aglaia.co.in England vs Australia ODI - Oval 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kevin Pietersen was rested for this match and England opted to bat after winning the toss. They got off to a good start with Ian Bell scoring at a confident rate. Alastair Cook chipped in with a confident 44 before he was sent back by Sumit Narwal. The feature of the England innings was a 113 run partnership for the fourth wicket between Bell and Eoin Morgan. Morgan was at his attacking best as he smashed 52 off 55 balls. Bell, who scored a fine 91 in England’s first warm-up game against India A at Palam, scored a wonderful century to continue his good form. Craig Kieswetter finished things off in style by blazing an aggressive 41 off 27 balls as England notched up 294/5.

The Delhi attack featured Parwinder Awana and Ashish Nehra but their bowling looked ordinary. The pick of the Delhi bowlers Varun Sood who picked up 3/45 in his 10 overs.

Delhi were faced with a huge task ahead but Unmukt Chand and Shikhar Dhawan got the team off to a great start. The opening pair notched up 70 runs before Chand was dismissed for 37 by James Tredwell. The Delhi team lost some quick wickets before Milind Kumar joined Dhawan and steadied the ship.

Dhawan was at his authoritative best and took the attack to the England pace bowlers. He drove the pace quartet of Steven Finn, Dernbach, Meaker and Chris Woakes through the covers. The moment the pacers dug it in short he was quickly into position to play the pull shot.

Milind Kumar, at the other end, showed a lot of maturity and paced his innings to perfection. Whether it was playing the slash over deep third man or driving on the up, Milind had an answer to everything that was thrown at him. Dhawan got to his ton with a big six off Tredwell before he was snapped up by Joe Root for 110. The knock came off just 109 balls and included 14 fours and three sixes.

Rajat Bhatia joined Milind Kumar and they ensured that there were no further jolts. Bhatia slammed an unbeaten 45 and finished off the run-chase with a flourish as they put together a 103 run stand off just 72 balls.

All the England bowlers struggled to check the flow of runs and their attack looked pedestrian. This second consecutive loss gives England further problems ahead of the five match ODI series.

 

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We Are All Living in A Computer Simulation

300px University of Oxford.svg We Are All Living in A Computer Simulation

Visit aglaia.co.in University of Oxford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Sunil Kumar

Will you take the red pill or the blue pill?

Some physicists and university researchers say it’s possible to test the theory that our entire universe exists inside a computer simulation, like in the 1999 film “The Matrix.”

In 2003, University of Oxford philosophy professor Nick Bostron published a paper, The Simulation Agreement,” which argued that, “we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.” Now, a team at Cornell University says it has come up with a viable method for testing.

Researchers at the University of Washington agree with the testing method, saying it can be done. A similar proposal was put by German physicists earlier this year.

 

Professor Martin Savage, one of the physicists working on the project says it’s unclear.

“Imagine the situation where we get a big enough computer to simulate our universe, and we start such a simulation on our computers. If that simulation runs long enough, and have the same laws as our universe, then something like our universe will emerge within that simulations, and the situation will repeat itself within each simulation,” he said.

The current understanding of string theory indicates that there are 10^500 universes with different laws that determine the behaviour of particles within them, the professor of physics said.

“So it is certainly true, that with enough computer resources, theorists would like to explore these universes.”

How the experiment works is a little tricky to understand, but physicists claim that finite computer resources mean that space time is not continuous but set on a grid with a finite volume, designed to create maximum energy subatomic particles. The direction these particles flow in will depend on how they are ordered on the grid (which may or may not be cubic, but could itself have some sort of non-continuous structure).

Still with me?

In a nutshell the physicists will be looking at the distribution of the highest energy cosmic rays in order to try and detect patterns that could suggest that the universe is the creation of some futuristic computer technology.

If it turns out that we are bit players in some sort of computer program, the physicist suggested that there may be a way to mess with the program, and play with the minds of our creators – all in the name of science, you understand.

“One could imagine trying to figure out how to manipulate the code, communicate with the code by moving information around, and questions that appear weird to consider today,” he said.

It will be years before we see any sort of definitive data proving, or disproving the team’s theory, so before you throw in your job, tell your loved ones what you have always thought of them, Professor Savage says that the possibility that you are just a piece of data in a computer simulation may be disturbing, but it doesn’t nullify your existence.

 

 

 

 

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iTunes Store Opens Shutters in India

By Aglaia Staff( Newswire: Agencies)

300px AppleStoreAvailability iTunes Store Opens Shutters in India

Visit aglaia.co.in The countries where iTunes Store is available are shown in green. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the better part of a decade, the iTunes Store has appeared to be a distant dream for music lovers in India. For despite the mouth-watering array of music, and later movies, ebooks and TV serials, available, all we could hope to download were a sorry collection of free ebooks and some podcasts. Well, those days are over — the iTunes Store is now available in almost-full glory on Indian shores as well.

On December 4,2012, Apple opened the doors of the iTunes Store to 56 new countries, including India. This means you can now buy music, as well as rent and buy movies at reasonable rates right from the iTunes application itself. The iTunes program is available free for the Mac and Windows platforms, and is already installed in your iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod touch).

Just fire up your iTunes application and go to the Store section to browse available wares. There are over 20 million songs available to purchase and download, spanning ‘local and international music from all the major labels and thousands of independent labels’. Apart from this, there is Indian content available from well-known labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music, EMI Records, Saregama, T-Series and YRF Music.

Single songs cost anything from Rs 7 to Rs 15 (average Rs. 12) whereas albums start at Rs 70 (average Rs. 100), all in the DRM-free AAC format.

Other Trivia

You can also download movies, starting at Rs 190 and going up to Rs 490 for an HD version. Interestingly, the iTunes Store also has movies on rent. Rentals start at Rs 80 for standard definition and Rs 120 for high definition, and are available for 30 days, though you must finish watching within 48 hours of first pressing the play button.

Of course, the comparison with Flipkart’s Flyte store is inevitable. Not only does Flipkart have a better collection of music, spanning many regional languages (while iTunes only covers Hindi and Tamil), it also works out cheaper with songs starting at Rs 6 and albums starting at around Rs 40.

Thus, you theoretically might be better off buying music from Flipkart, the iTunes store scores on making movies available too. Also, whereas Flipkart lets you download a purchased song on up four devices, iTunes lets you download to 10. However, legally-bought music on sites like Flipkart and iTunes are also DRM free, meaning that they don’t contain software to dictate restrictions on their usage.

The movies collection on the iTunes Store is not the greatest — you could search for some well-known classics and popular picks, both Bollywood and English films, in vain — but the ability to buy and download, or just rent for a one-time watch is very convenient. Sadly ,TV serials are not available to Indian viewers yet, and one hopes that the path will be paved for that very soon. Ebooks are also not available for purchase as of now.

Apple also unveiled its iTunes Match service for Indian users, which uploads your entire music collection — from iTunes and other places — to the iCloud for access from any iOS device. This service costs Rs 1,200 annually, but might be worth every paisa for dedicated music lovers.

Preceding the opening of the iTunes Store, a new version of the iTunes application for Mac and PC was launched last month. With a completely redesigned interface, yet retaining the old and familiar feel of the application, iTunes 11 is a much faster and responsive avatar. The sidebar has been removed from the default view, and accessing and playing music, making playlists and so on are much easier. A new Up Next feature displays upcoming songs in the selected playlist and you can add songs on the go. Overall, it is a welcome component to the Store.

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Japan’s Last Ninja: An Engineer

By Sunil Kumar

63-year-old former engineer may not fit the typical image of a dark-clad assassin with deadly weapons who can disappear into a cloud of smoke. But Jinichi Kawakami is reputedly Japan’s last ninja.

As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line of ninjas that can trace its history back so

300px Bansenshukai v8 diagram Japans Last Ninja: An Engineer

Visit aglaia.co.in English: A page from the Bansenshukai, a ninjutsu manual written in 1675 Volume 8. This diagram uses cosmology and divination practices to determine a good time to take certain actions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

me 500 years, Kawakami is considered by some to be the last living guardian of Japan’s secret spies.

“I think I’m called (the last ninja) as there is probably no other person who learned all the skills that were directly” handed down from ninja masters over the last five centuries, he said.

“Ninjas proper no longer exist,” he said as he demonstrated the tools and techniques used in espionage and sabotage by men fighting for their samurai lords in the feudal Japan of yesteryear.

Nowadays they are confined to fiction or used to promote Iga, some 350 kilometres (220 miles) southwest of Tokyo, a mountain-shrouded city near the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto that was once home to many ninjas.

Kawakami, a former engineer who began teaching ninjutsu — the art of the ninja — ten years ago, said the true history of ninjas was a mystery.

“There are some drawings of their tools but we don’t always find all the details,” which may have been left deliberately vague, Kawakami said.

“Many of their traditions were passed on by word of mouth, so we don’t know what was altered in the process.”

And those skills that have arrived in the 21st century in their entirety are sometimes difficult to verify.

“We can’t try out murder or poisons. Even if we can follow the instructions to make a poison, we can’t try it out,” he said.

Kawakami first encountered the secretive world of ninjas at the age of just six, but has only vague memories of first meeting his master, Masazo Ishida, a man who dressed as a Buddhist monk.

“I kept practising without knowing what I was actually doing. It was much later that I realised I was practising ninjutsu.”

Kawakami said training ranged from physical and mental skills to studies of chemicals, weather and psychology.

“I call ninjutsu comprehensive survival techniques,” though it originated in war skills such as espionage and guerrilla attacks, he said.

“For concentration, I looked at the wick of a candle until I got the feeling that I was actually inside it. I also practised hearing the sound of a needle dropping on the floor,” he said.

He climbed walls, jumped from heights and learned how to mix chemicals to cause explosions and smoke.

“I was also required to endure heat and cold as well as pain and hunger. The training was all tough and painful. It wasn’t fun but I didn’t think much why I was doing it. Training was made to be part of my life.”

Kawakami said he was “a strange boy” growing up but his practice drew little attention at a time when many in Japan were struggling to make ends meet in the hard post-war years.

Just before he turned 19, he inherited the master’s title, along with secret scrolls and special tools.

Kawakami is careful not to claim the title of the “last ninja” for himself and in the sometimes sectarian world of ninjutsu there are doubters and rival claimants, with the disputes centring on the authenticity of various teachings.

Kawakami says much of the ninja’s art lies in catching people unawares, rather than in brute force.

“Humans can’t be on the alert all the time. There is always a moment when they are off guard and you catch it,” he said.

It is all about exploiting weaknesses that allows the ninja to outfox much bigger or more numerous opponents; distracting attention to allow a quick getaway.

It is possible to hide — in a manner of speaking — behind the smallest of things, Kawakami said.

“If you throw a toothpick, people will look that way, giving you the chance to flee.

“We also have a saying that it is possible to escape death by perching on your enemy’s eyelashes; it means you are so close that he cannot see you.”

Kawakami recently began a research job at the state-run Mie University, where he is studying the history of ninjas.

But, he said as he showed an AFP team around the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum and its trick house with hidden ladders, fake doors and an underfloor sword box, he is resigned to the fact that he is the last of his kind.

There will be no 22nd head of the Ban clan because Kawakami has decided not to take on any more apprentices.

“Ninjas just don’t fit in the modern day,” he said.

300px Kano Jigoro Japans Last Ninja: An Engineer

Visit aglaia.co.in ????? (Kano Jigoro, 1860 - 1938), the founder of modern Judo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Infosys launches cloud management solution

By Sunil Kumar

Infosys has launched Cloud Ecosystem Hub, a solution that enables enterprises to create, adopt and govern cloud services across the ecosystem.

According to the firm, with the Cloud Ecosystem Hub businesses can accelerate time-to-market of cloud services by up to 40 per cent, improve productivity by up to 20 per cent and achieve cost-savings of up to 30 per cent.

Infosys maintains that the Hub provides a single-window view of the enterprise cloud ecosystem. The solution enables easy monitoring of cloud resource usage and optimises utilization.

 Infosys launches cloud management solution

Visit aglaia.co.in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vishnu Bhat, Vice-President and Global Head – Cloud, Infosys, says: “Our clients are dealing with complexities of a fragmented Cloud environment. The Infosys Cloud Ecosystem Hub provides organizations a unified gateway to build, manage and govern their hybrid cloud ecosystem. This solution allows clients to fully realize the benefits from the long-standing promise of the cloud.”

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Kya Supercool Hain Hum: No-No For Children

By Sunil Kumar

According to actor Tusshar Kapoor, ‘Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum’ is a complete no-no for children. “Kids cannot see this film. Teenagers can see it,” he said . The movie film has an A-certificate, but it won`t affect its box office performance. Now, the cast; Riteish Deshmukh, Tusshar Kapoor, Neha Sharma etc.

The music video from the movie ‘ Dil Garden Garden’ is kind of inspired but interesting.

300px Easyjet bus box office at London Stansted Airport Kya Supercool Hain Hum: No No For Children

Visit aglaia.co.in The Box Office (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Facebook Launches Mobile Ad Version

By Neelam Kumar

300px The social network.svg Facebook Launches Mobile Ad Version

Visit aglaia.co.in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facebook Inc is making it easier for advertisers to reach the growing ranks of users on smartphones and mobile devices, taking a significant step toward addressing one of investors’ most pressing concerns and broadening its appeal to marketers.

The company, which has seen revenue growth slow in past few months, began letting marketers craft ads destined specifically for mobile versions of the No. 1 social network on Tuesday. It’s also letting advertisers direct ads into users’ news feeds.

 

 

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The Great Gatsby Trailer Released

By Sunil Kumar

There’s a newly released trailer of Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.

“New York, 1922,” Maguire says. “The tempo of the city had changed sharply, the buildings were higher, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper. The restlessness approached hysteria.”

The movie sounds interesting.

The Great Gatsby Trivia

Full title  ·  The Great Gatsby

Author  · F. Scott Fitzgerald

Type of work  · Novel

Genre  · Modernist novel, Jazz Age novel, novel of manners

Language  · English

Time and place written  · 1923–1924, America and France

Date of first publication  · 1925

Narrator  · Nick Carraway; Carraway not only narrates the story but implies that he is the book’s author

Point of view  · Nick Carraway narrates in both first and third person, presenting only what he himself observes. Nick alternates sections where he presents events objectively, as they appeared to him at the time, with sections where he gives his own interpretations of the story’s meaning and of the motivations of the other characters.

Setting (time)  · Summer 1922

Settings (place)  · Long Island and New York City

Protagonist  · Gatsby and/or Nick

Major conflict  · Gatsby has amassed a vast fortune in order to win the affections of the upper-class Daisy Buchanan, but his mysterious past stands in the way of his being accepted by her.

Rising action  · Gatsby’s lavish parties, Gatsby’s arrangement of a meeting with Daisy at Nick’s.

Themes  · The decline of the American dream, the spirit of the 1920s, the difference between social classes, the role of symbols in the human conception of meaning, the role of the past in dreams of the future

Motifs  · The connection between events and weather, the connection between geographical location and social values, images of time, extravagant parties, the quest for wealth

Symbols  · The green light on Daisy’s dock, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, the valley of ashes, Gatsby’s parties, East Egg, West Egg.

 

6466695499 33ae5d14be m The Great Gatsby Trailer Released

Leonardo Dicaprio Vector Image (Photo credit: Vectorportal)

 

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