Thursday, March 31, 2011

New technology makes hydrogen more viable car fuel - Water as a Fuel

A new technology that allows hydrogen to be stored in a cheap and practical way, could make its widespread use as a carbon-free alternative to petrol a reality, according to its developers.

The technology is based on a new way of producing nano-fibres from hydrides, materials that soak up hydrogen like a sponge, and then encapsulating them in tiny plastic beads so small they behave like a liquid.

The process is being developed by Cella Energy, a spin-off from Britain's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, who say that the technique allows hydrogen to be released at a much faster rate and at lower temperatures than before.

"What we've been doing is taking these materials and encasing them in plastic and making them into a very fine powder and that improves their properties," Cella Energy Chief Scientific Officer Stephen Bennington said. "It also means you can pump it like a fluid and it's safe. It is not gong to easily burst into flames," he said.

Hydrogen produces only water when its burned and is considered an ideal solution to cutting carbon emissions from petrol or diesel vehicles, which are estimated to cause 25% of all carbon release.

But until now, attempts to store hydrogen have not been consumer-friendly so this has not been a viable option. Cella Energy Ltd say their technology would allow people to use the carbon-free fuel with their existing car after a few modifications.

"You would pump it into your petrol tank of your car -- that would go off, be heated, drive the hydrogen off, which would go and run your vehicle and then the waste little beads that we have created you store in the car. And when you go and refuel your car you have two nozzles. One which puts in the new beads and one which takes out the old beads which goes off to be recycled and the hydrogen added to it again," Bennington said.

The development has been to turn hydrides into fibres or beads, 30 times smaller than a human hair, through a process of electro-spinning. This produces a white tissue-like material that can be controlled to capture and release hydrogen.

The encapsulation process protects the hydrides from oxygen and water, prolonging their life and making it possible to handle them safely in air and because it behaves like a liquid, current infrastructure will need minimal modification.

"You can use tankers to carry the material around," said Bennington. "You can take it to forecourts and then you can pump it into the vehicle and give the customer the same kind of experience they have now."

All part of the reason Cella Energy believe their process could herald a new era of carbon-free motoring.

"The experience that most people have now is using regular liquid fuels where it takes three minutes to fill your vehicle and then you can travel 300 miles," said Stephen Voller, Cella Energy's CEO. "Now you can have exactly the same experience with hydrogen but you can't have that experience with an electric car."

The company said hydrogen could be an economically viable alternative to fossil fuels if the gas is produced with renewable energy sources like wind or solar. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight and could power cars, planes and other vehicles that currently use hydrocarbons.

It said it is also attracting interest from large established companies in the energy and transportation sectors.

Source: Reuters

Cutting language barriers - New language translation tool - APJ Abdul Kalam

New language translation tool unveiled at the 20th International WWW conference

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam today launched the Machine translation (MT) systems, also called content multiplier tools, developed with funding from TDIL (Technology Development for Indian Languages) programme at the 20th International World Wide Web conference in Hyderabad.

Based on the Computational Paninian grammar (CPG), which works very well for free word-order languages, Indian languages in particular, the tools are available in three modules — Sampark (Indian to Indian), AnglaMT (English to Bengali, Malayalam, Punjabi and Urdu) and Anvadaksh (English to Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Oriya, Urdu and Tamil).

"India has more than 122 languages of which 22 are official. More than a billion people all over the world speak either Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil or Urdu. With the availability of e-content and development of language technology, it is now possible to overcome the language barrier," Rajeev Sangal, director of IIIT-Hyderabad (one of the 17 institutions that participated in the development of the tools), told mediapersons.

Sangal said three consortia comprising 17 academic and research institutions were involved in building 26 different pairs of languages. Right now, 12 pairs are available and the plan is to release more pairs every three-four months, he added.

"An amount of Rs 13 crore went into the whole exercise and about 200 students were directly involved in the development of these tools. An additional 200 students worked on the project as a thesis and their algorithms were embedded into the systems directly," Sangal said.

The MT quality, Sangal said, was better in case of translation between Indian languages because they were similar in many ways, both in grammar and vocabulary. Translation between English and Indian languages is harder and hence the output quality is likely to be inferior.

"We are now asking users to try using the tool as an experiment. Our only focus now is on improving quality," he said.

Stating that the MT technology is currently freely accessible, Sangal said the MT initiative would be monetised when special needs for further research arises.

"Company-based efforts can also be initiated. We are already working with translation houses and publishers," he said, adding students at the IIT-Hyderabad were working on a text-to-speech system, and at some point these two technologies (text-to-speech and MT systems) will be combined together.

Source: Business Standard

The world’s first artificial leaf ‘created’

Scientists have created the world's first practical artificial leaf that can turn sunlight and water into energy, which they claim could pave the way for a cheaper source of power in developing countries like India.
A team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that the artificial leaf from silicon, electronics and various catalysts which spur chemical reactions within the device, can use sunlight to break water into hydrogen and oxygen which can then be used to create electricity in a separate fuel cell.
"A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades. We believe we have done it. And placed in a gallon of water and left in sun, these artificial leaves could provide a home in the developing world with basic electricity for a day," Daniel Nocera, who led the team, said.
He added: "Our goal is to make each home its own power station. One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology."
For their research, the scientists identified a set of inexpensive, common catalysts including nickel and cobalt that get the job done with far less expense. And, in the laboratory their playing-card-sized leaves have worked continuously for 45 straight hours without a drop in output.
Though in laboratory, an artificial leaf prototype could operate continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity, the scientists say that they will next try to boost both efficiency and lifespan of their photosynthetic material.
The findings were presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Source: PTI via The Hindu

The 'Holy Grail' of science: The artificial leaf researchers claim will turn every home into its own power station

Scientists claim to have found the 'Holy Grail' of science in an artificial leaf that could turn ever British home into its own power station.
The leaf, which is the same size as a playing card, mimics the process of photosynthesis that plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.
Scientists behind the invention say it could provide an affordable solution to the third world's growing energy crisis.
Holy Grail: The leaf, which is similar to this separate prototype, mimics the process of photosynthesis that plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy
Holy Grail: The leaf, which is similar to this separate prototype, mimics the process of photosynthesis that plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy
Dr Daniel Nocera, who led the research team, said: 'A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades.
'We believe we have done it.
The artificial leaf shows particular promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries. Our goal is to make each home its own power station.
'One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology.'
Future: The leaf splits water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen which are stored in a fuel cell that converts energy into electricity
Future: The leaf splits water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen which are stored in a fuel cell that converts energy into electricity
The device bears no resemblance to Mother Nature's counterparts on oaks, maples and other green plants, which scientists have used as the model for their efforts to develop this new genre of solar cells.
About the shape of a poker card but thinner, the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts, substances that accelerate chemical reactions that otherwise would not occur, or would run slowly.
Placed in a single gallon of water in a bright sunlight, the device could produce enough electricity to supply a house in a developing country with electricity for a day, Nocera said.
It does so by splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen.
The hydrogen and oxygen gases would be stored in a fuel cell, which uses those two materials to produce electricity, located either on top of the house or beside it.
Nocera, who is with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, points out that the 'artificial leaf' is not a new concept.
The first artificial leaf was developed more than a decade ago by John Turner of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.
Although highly efficient at carrying out photosynthesis, Turner's device was impractical for wider use, as it was composed of rare, expensive metals and was highly unstable — with a lifespan of barely one day.
Nocera's new leaf overcomes these problems.
'Our goal is to make each home its own power station'
Dr Daniel Nocera
It is made of inexpensive materials that are widely available, works under simple conditions and is highly stable. In laboratory studies, he showed that an artificial leaf prototype could operate continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity.
The key to this breakthrough is Nocera's recent discovery of several powerful new, inexpensive catalysts, made of nickel and cobalt, that are capable of efficiently splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, under simple conditions.
Right now, Nocera's leaf is about 10 times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf. However, he is optimistic that he can boost the efficiency of the artificial leaf much higher in the future.
'Nature is powered by photosynthesis, and I think that the future world will be powered by photosynthesis as well in the form of this artificial leaf,' said Nocera, a chemist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
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I am against censorship: Tim Berners-Lee - Founded Wolrd Wide Web

Berners-Lee wrote first Web client in 1990

It makes sense to be connected in both the physical world and the virtual world, since it will complement each other, feels the inventor of World Wide Web

A graduate of Oxford University, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an Internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. He wrote the first Web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URLs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread.

He is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization founded in 1994, which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web, to its full potential.

He is a founding Director of the Web Science Trust (WST) launched in 2009 to promote research and education in Web Science, the multidisciplinary study of humanity connected by technology.

Tim Berners-Lee is also a director of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched in 2009 to fund and coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity.

Tim Berners-Lee, who is in India to attend the 20th International World Wide Web Conference at Hyderabad, met with CIOL to share his views and thoughts on social media, censorship and the Internet in general. Excerpts:

Where do people live in 2020? Physically or virtually?

In both places. In 2020, people will have to be connected on the Web and also physical environment. It makes sense to be connected in both the places since it will complement each other.

Did you ever think of Internet as one of the main tools for social media? How social media will change in next ten years?

My initial goal was to create a collaborative tool for those working together, like a sandbox to share the ideas and work together. I thought that different communities could work on single platform using hypertext as the medium.

Any form of monopoly is a threat

Why have you warned that Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites represent "one of several threats" to the future of the world wide Web?

(These sites have begun to "chip away" at its founding principles, Berners-Lee wrote in a scientific American journal essay published in November 2010. Berners-Lee also said there was a worry that a social networking site could become "so big that it becomes a monopoly, which tends to limit innovation.)

Yes. Any form of monopoly is a threat. When you have a monopoly on the particular system, it could limit innovation. That is one of the concerns I feel. There is a danger if innovation happens only in one particular layer. This trend will let very few companies to cash on Innovation. At the end of the day, innovations are different from each other; monopoly can restrict innovations from smaller companies.

People look at Wikileaks as a newspaper

Share your views on Internet as a medium of freedom of speech. Especially with what we have seen recently on two extremes: China's attempts to muffle public voice and on the other hand all the feathers that Julian Assange has been ruffling with Wikileaks. Where does freedom become valid? Or should there be indeed a watchman around?

Generally, I am against censorship. The society should figure out when we should keep unanimous and we don't. Certainly in the case of Wikileaks most people agree that people sell government information when it is clearly available. So people look at Wikileaks as a new newspaper. The role Wikileaks played is that it operated like a newspaper – information is sourced out, it is up to the people to believe it and relate to it.


I differ on the idea of releasing information about organizations bit by bit. I do not appreciate media's role in spying on everything. Media should not sensationalize. Media should discuss the information that is public and then disseminate.

Why Internet has not reached everyone?

Isn't it amazing that Web has reached 20-25 per cent of people on the planet? When you give that number, people say Wow! That it has reached 20 per cent of the planet and some say still it has to reach 80 per cent of the people. Some don't have access to Web browser; if they have the Web browser, it would not be in their language.

In India, that could be one of the reasons. Even if Web browser is in their language, some don't understand how to get involved in it. They don't realize that they can blog. This is the situation in Africa too. So this is a complicated question, it is relevant for India to find out what the answer is.

And about the needs of the community... The Web Foundation is involved in exploring the prospects of Web in coming days. We should work on one thing, which can accelerate the Web access amongst people. That is a critical question; even Web Foundation is working on that.

Source : ©CyberMedia News

Live: India versus Pakistan in Mohali - Complete Analysis Report for who missed match

Read from bottom of article - start of match

Pakistan innings: Overs 41-50:

Zaheer Khan set things up with a tight 41st over that produced just four despite all the huffing and puffing; Harbhajan nailed it in the next, when he tossed up a ball way too much; it ended up as a full toss and Afridi, overdosing on adrenalin, heaved where he could have guided, put it up in the air, and down the throat of Sehwag at cover. The ask had topped ten, and the tail had been exposed at one end -- and that put India firmly in the box seat.

From then on, it was almost mathematical: shut them down and take them out. Nehra -- and while on that, it will be a long time before anyone, present company included, questions any decision no matter how bizarre that Dhoni makes -- produced an inswinging yorker onto Umar Gul's front pad to nail him in front of the stump.

Misbah, who had spent much of his innings in an Abou-ben-Adhem like deep dream of peace, woke up when it was way too late, hitting some crisp shots down the line -- but an asking rate of 3+ per ball was too much for one man to attempt while simultaneously protecting the tail. India is good in such situations -- they absorb the odd fours with equanimity, and just look to bowl enough dot balls to shut the door. And in the experienced Zaheer, a Munaf Patel in form, and a Nehra bowling as if to prove his detractors wrong, they had the bowlers to do it.

Perhaps the seal was set on the game when Misbah, with 30 needed to win, heaved and heaved and failed to pierce the field, before finally heaving one high down the throat of long on to end the game and give India passage to the final by 29 runs.

India played the pressure moments better than Pakistan. There was the Sehwag blitz at the top. The dogged innings Sachin played despite being repeatedly beaten, given life after life. Raina's little gem at the end. And with the ball, the dogged discipline of Munaf and Nehra, the ability of Yuvraj to strike at opportune moments, Zaheer's steady head not merely with ball in hand, but in talking his seam bowling mates through their tasks... all cemented by Dhoni's preternatural calm.

Against that, Pakistan's best bowler lost the plot; with the bat, its two most experienced bats, Younis and Misbah, were becalmed just when they could least afford to be, and barring Umar Akmal in the middle and the openers at the top, there was no one to give the innings its backbone.

Pakistan innings: Overs 31-40:

Yuvraj's first four overs had produced one maiden, nine runs and two wickets. But in this phase. Umar Akmal set out to change all that, and his preferred ploy was to put the part timer off his length with a series of skips down the wicket and, when the bowler was forced to drop his length shorter, staying back to hit through the line and as straight as he possibly could. What the tactic did was to push Yuvraj out of his comfort zone and reducing him to bowl flatter and quicker -- which took the sting out of his bowling.

In the sort of move and counter move that characterizes this set-up phase of a chase, Dhoni went back to his seamers to enforce some discipline. Munaf Patel, bowling variants on the slow and slower theme, produced an excellent over in the 33rd, giving away just one run, and the cat and mouse game moved into high gear.

Harbhajan had never really looked like taking a wicket -- but off the first ball of his comeback over, he struck perhaps the most telling blow: going around the wicket, he speared one in flat and quick; Umar Akmal was taken by surprise by the pace on the arm ball, got himself hopelessly in a tangle as he first aimed to whip, then changed to a hasty defensive push, and was nailed bang in front just when the youngster, batting 29 off 24 at the time, seemed poised to play the game-breaking innings.

The ask rate had been nudged above 7, and Misbah-ul-Haq, like Younis before him, was going nowhere, fast. At the end of 35 overs, he had crawled to 10 off 30 balls faced (23 dot balls), and again as with Younis, he transferred pressure onto his partner.

With his tormentor in chief taken out of play, Yuvraj could return and settle back down into his run denying line. And at the other end, Munaf continued a dream spell that erased all memories of his previous outing; his USP was bowling shades of slow, but keeping the length just short of good, and the line tight around off with the best of the Indian fielders to back him on that side of the pitch. In the 37th, he produced a lovely leg cutter, slow as you like, that squared Razzaq up and seamed just enough to hit the top of off.

Pakistan's chase was being derailed on two fronts: wickets were falling too regularly, and the runs weren't coming quick enough. Enter Afridi, who had through his captaincy and his bowling gotten his side into a good position to win, and now found he had to do it all over with the bat.

At the 40 over mark, with Pakistan on 176/6, Afridi counter-attacking, Misbah unexpectedly signaling his intent with a reverse sweep off Yuvraj, and India taking a step back in reflexive defense, the game is perfectly poised with Pakistan needing one good over to break the game in its favor, and India needs one wicket, preferably that of the opposing captain, to seal the deal.

Pakistan innings: Overs 21-30:

This ten over phase swung the game in India's favor. In an earlier update, we had talked of how India's best chance was once the ball had become slower, forcing the batsmen to make the pace. And that phase arrived, with Yuvraj in particular present to exploit it -- and what resulted was a classic case of choking the chase down and letting pressure build till something cracked.

It was clever bowling and, from Raina and Kohli in front of the wicket on the off, committed fielding with just one intent -- keep Younis from playing his natural game of taking singles at will and rolling the strike over. With the senior Pakistan batsman becalmed, the pressure mounted on Asad Shafiq to do all the work -- and the youngster fell to a classic Yuvraj set up. The deliveries were outside off and turning away; the options for the batsmen were to cut, or let go. And once the batsman was primed, by the drying up of runs, to try and force the pace, Yuvraj slipped in the one that was quicker both in the air and off the deck, going through straight -- a delivery that he uses to get LBWs of batsmen playing for turn. This time, Shafiq stepped back to cut, playing for turn, and missed the line to be bowled.

At the other end, Younis Khan had been completely tied down (against 15 deliveries faced of Yuvraj, for instance, the senior batsman played out 10 dot balls). With Shafiq gone, the pressure redoubled, and in an attempt to somehow break out of jail, Younis threw his bat at one outside off that was going further away; the turn forced the miscue to cover, and two quick wickets pegged Pakistan back.

However, those wickets also brought the experienced Misbah and the exuberant Umar Akmal together -- and as this 10-over phase came to an end, Akmal was looking to reverse the tide, first dancing down to Yuvraj to power him over the off cordon for four, and when the bowler predictably dropped short, staying back and muscling it over the midwicket fence for a six.

At 130/4 after 30, Pakistan is now well behind the pace, needing 131 in 120. Not yet an impossible ask, but the rising run rate has given India the option of just shutting the game down, and forcing Pakistan to try and break free with risk-laden shots. Which way this game breaks will depend on two factors: Akmal's batting, and the effect of the ball change at the end of 34.

Pakistan innings: Overs 11-20:

"Nehra brings options to the table", Dhoni had said while announcing his team this afternoon -- but it has not been immediately apparent what they are. "Bajji is a big game player, and knows what to do in the big games," he said on an earlier occasion, and thus far on a track with turn to spare, it is not immediately apparent what that is either.

There is turn -- dramatic turn, when the bowler makes the effort -- on this wicket, as a succession of Pakistani bowlers showed in the first half of the game, tying up even batsmen of the calibre of Sachin Tendulkar. Harbhajan bowled his first over with all you want to look for -- slow through the air, plenty of flight, bite and turn. There were the usual oohs and aahs and a possible return catch he didn't manage to dive forward for, but from that point on, it was back to business as usual: quick through the air, flat, and straight.

What has kept India's plight from being dire, thus far, is two factors: the off side cordon of Yuvraj at point and Kohli and Raina at cover point and extra cover has been outstanding (and they clearly enjoy each other's fielding); and the propensity of Pakistan batsmen to gift wickets just when India looked unlikely to buy one for love or money.

Mohammed Hafeez, who had thus far looked untroubled by pace and spin alike, produced a shocker in the 16th over when he went on his knees to play, of all things, a paddle sweep off Munaf Patel. And he picked a full delivery outside off to do it, thus setting himself up for more than one form of dismissal. As it happened, it was the edge that did for him, going through to Dhoni and lifting India's spirits just when the fielding side was visibly wilting. That said, Munaf contributed to the wicket, bowling a maiden in the previous over and starting the 16th with two more dot balls, prompting the ill-judged attempt to break the shackles.

With the openers back in the hut, Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan buckled down to the job of consolidation; the Indians responded with run-saving fields and lines, putting the whole game in a state of equipoise. Thus far, Dhoni had used only his four main bowlers; in the 20th, he brought on Yuvraj, with the older ball. The part time lspinner who, paradoxically, has outperformed the regular spinner did get turn in his first over, but is yet to settle into any kind of rhythm.

After 20, Pakistan are 89/2. And some of the advantage the chasing side enjoyed at the end of the first ten overs has been diluted -- partly because the second wicket has forced Pakistan to slow down, and as a result, the ask has begun to inch back upwards. Another good session by the Indian bowlers, and Pakistan would have totally lost its early advantage and India will be ahead.

Pakistan innings: Overs 1-10:

Against bowling that was adequate but not attacking, Pakistan moved smoothly out of the blocks on the chase. It was not that they did anything spectacular -- in fact, the reverse. Both Akmal and Hafeez batted with no sign of being pressurized by the total; against an Indian game-plan that depended on a packed off field, the openers waited for the Indian seamers to err in line, and cashed in each time they drifted onto the stumps. It was percentage batting, and it worked a treat till the 9th over, when Akmal threw it away in a characteristic rush of blood.

The ball from Zaheer was short, angling and going wider from the right hander; Akmal threw his bat at it and got the toe end of it; at point, Yuvraj went low to hold. Another wicket had fallen, when in the next over Munaf banged one in to Asad Shafiq, but Zaheer at midwicket was caught in two minds, ended up not going for the catch in preference to staying back and saving the four -- and missed both the catch, and the ball, giving away a needless four.

52/1 after 10 overs was, from a Pakistan point of view, good. More so, when taken in context of the fact that the three seamers India rotated through were defensive, without being threatening -- and wickets, not defense, holds the key to this chase.

India Innings: Overs 41-50:

Here's a scary thought -- what if all the catches India offered today had been taken?

Pakistan started this session dropping another one: Wahab Riaz angled one across and swung it away late; MS Dhoni -- who even by his lowered batting standards in recent times has been scratchy against both seam and spin here -- poked his bat out and edged; Kamran Akmal dived, got a glove to the ball, and spilt it. In the interests of fairness, this was the most difficult of the half dozen chances that went down, but games have been turned on such takes.

Riaz papered over his colleague's fault a ball later, this time increasing the length, hitting line of leg and straightening it on middle to nail Dhoni in front before the Indian captain could capitalize on the life. Allowing for Dhoni's indifferent batting, though, the wicket was crucial coming when it did -- it meant that India could no longer think of taking the power play and using the presence of two recognized batsmen to produce a spurt.

Afridi, whose captaincy has been the unnoticed, but impressive, facet of Pakistan's smooth progress into the semis, swung into flat out attack, with Ajmal being brought back on, and given a slip and gully against Harbhajan Singh, the herald of the Indian tail.

India opted for the batting power play in the 44th over -- not perhaps what the batting side had originally planned, but better taken with at least Raina, and the combative Harbhajan, at the crease. And it worked, initially, when Ajmal went for eight and Gul, slipping back into his waking nightmare, went for 14 in an over laden with full tosses.

Ajmal pulled it back for Pakistan in the 47th, beating Harbhajan's blind foray down the track to get him stumped. At the other end, Gul (and while on that, Razzaq not being used despite Gul's horror show was a bit surprising) gave away whatever Ajmal had pulled back, and then some -- if only 10 runs came in the 49th over, the credit went not to the bowler but to some stunning ground fielding, first by Wahab Riaz at short square and then by Younis Khan patrolling the long boundary.

The last over, by Riaz, was typical late over mindlessness -- Zaheer preferred to swipe rather than turn the strike over to Raina; Nehra got the idea right but at his ponderous pace, his attempt to sneak a bye to the keeper ended in a run out, and India in sum scrambled to 260/9 at the end of the allotted overs.

For Pakistan, it is hard to think beyond Wahab Riaz, whose spell of 5/46 in his ten made all the difference, and ensured that his side wouldn't have to pay too dearly for shockingly profligate catching. Backing him was Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi while, on the other end of the performance scale, Umar Gul had a shocker and Abdur Razzaq was a passenger.

The target is tantalizing -- on the face of it, not enough on this track, with the bowling attack India has. What is unquantifiable is the impact of nerves as Pakistan comes out to chase. On balance, at the halfway mark, Pakistan has a fractional edge -- it is now down to Munaf and Ashish Nehra to justify their inclusion, and back Zaheer.

India Innings: Overs 31-40:

Okay let's get the hard part over with first: off the last ball of the 35th over, Sachin Tendulkar was dropped. Again. This time, off Hafeez who the batsman tried to half-whip, half-pull off a ball shortish around off. The hit went straight to Umar Akmal who, with Younis Khan, is one of the better fielders in the side. Umar palmed the ball up at midwicket, and tipped it back over his head goal-keeper style. A wit on Twitter said Tendulkar was now batting on 84/6 at the time.

Disproving the 'nine lives' myth, though, Sachin's incredible spree ended at 6. In the 37th over, the batsman aimed another hit at Ajmal and, as so often in the innings, wasn't quite in control. The ball went off the toe of the bat, low and hard, to cover -- and Afridi, who had seen Sachin dropped thrice off his bowling, went low and held a sharp chance to finally end arguably the most bizarre innings the master batsman has played, in any form, in his 22+ years at the top.

This was a period of Pakistan ascendancy, of the bowling side getting a stranglehold on the innings. Here's the story: The 31st over, by Hafeez, produced two; the 32nd, by Gul, produced just one run, and underlined the point we were making in the previous update about how Riaz had rehabilitated the lead seamer; the 33rd by Hafeez was worth two; the 34th by Gul went for 4; the 35th by Hafeez produced 5 runs; the 36th by Afridi was worth 3; the 37th by Ajmal produced two runs and the end of Tendulkar; the 38th by Afridi was worth two; the 39th by Ajmal produced six; and the 40th by Afridi produced 5.

MS Dhoni, Sachin and after him, Raina, were shackled as Pakistan slipped into a style of play the team is familiar with -- rotating rapidly through overs, hustling the batsmen with the speed with which the bowlers wheeled through their gigs, tightening the field with more men in the ring and buzzing around, making a lot of noise...

All of that said, a score of 200/5 at the end of 40 is not exactly something to sneeze at. It would in fact have been a winner if India had batting left in the hut; absent that, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina need to bat through most, if not all, of the final ten overs, leaving the acceleration to as late as possible, and revising their original plans downwards, looking for a minimum of 60 in this final phase.

India Innings: Overs 21-30:

If the first ten overs was about India rocketing off the blocks, this phase was about Pakistan catching up around the bend, and possibly pulling ahead -- and the weapon of choice was swing, conventional and reverse, in the hands of Wahab Riaz.

Unnoticed in all the excitement is Afridi's captaincy. He was bowling in tandem with Hafeez, but switched Riaz on in his own slot, and the left arm seamer cranked it up. He began getting swing in his first over, but it was only in his second of the spell, and 26th of the Indian innings, that he got all his bowling ducks in a row.

What followed was magic (or carnage, depends where you stand). Virat Kohli got one that slanted across him and landed on length on off; the batsman jabbed at it and seemed taken aback by late away movement -- in the event, he got the edge and for once, the catch was taken (Umar Akmal, at point).

In walked Yuvraj Singh, India's man for all seasons this tournament -- and out he walked, bowled first ball by one of the most scorching yorkers we've seen in a long time. Riaz bowled it fast, got dramatic movement through the air, beat Yuvraj through the air and jumped in delight as the ball crashed into the base of middle stump. Two wickets in two nearly was three in three, with MS Dhoni walking blindly out at the next delivery, his bat held uncertainly in front of him -- the Indian captain was lucky the ball veered marginally past the edge.

If Virender Sehwag's opening blast set the game up for his mates, Riaz's spell with the old ball has done the reverse. Not only did it peg India back and get rid of two big wickets, thus putting a crimp in the ability of the batting side to preserve wickets for a late assault, he has rehabilitated the likes of Umar Gul, who has been away from the attack ever since 41 runs were lashed off his first four overs. With India now forced onto the defensive, the likes of Gul can return with less pressure, knowing India now cannot afford to attack too hard even if he were to bowl long hops. And as we head into the business end of the innings, a mentally rehabilitated Gul with his ability to bowl fast and full at the death could well make the difference.

PostScript: Just to prove nothing much has changed, Sachin got an edge. Again. And Akmal spilt one -- admittedly tough, but catchable. Again. And Afridi suffered. Again. And Sachin, again, mixed up a shocker with an absolutely stunning on the up cover drive for four, just to rub it in to the bowler. At the end of that over, the 30th, India was 169/4, having managed 50 runs for 2 wickets in this period.

India Innings: Overs 11-20:

Despite the pounding, Afridi opted to get the bowling power play over and done with, and teamed himself up with Saeed Ajmal. The 11th over of the Indian innings packed more thrills than Kingda Ka -- and threw up a few moments of potentially game-changing impact. Saeed Ajmal came on to bowl and immediately got sharp turn and some bounce -- which in and of itself raised some questions about India's 3-seam plan.

The second ball of the over landed off and seemed to be straightening on middle and leg; the appeal was ferocious, the umpire was quick to say yes and Sachin Tendulkar -- whose opposition has been the biggest stumbling block to India accepting the DRS -- called for a review after consulting with his batting partner. On replay, the decision looked good -- but HawkEye's predictive path showed the ball slipping past leg stump with an inch to spare.

The next ball was even better -- same line, but going through straight. Sachin played for turn, was beaten, and Kamran Akmal took the bails off in a flash. This time, it was the umpires who wanted a review by the man in the box -- and in a photo finish, it was ruled that it was too close to tell if the toe had been grounded before the bails came off.

Two close shaves in two deliveries can play on even nerves hardened by two decades at the top of world cricket. In the 14th over, Tendulkar pulled the first ball hard to midwicket, and the bowler Afridi clutched his head in despair as Misbah ul Haq fluffed the chance. It was deja vu all over again -- on a famous occasion in a previous World Cup, then skipper Wasim Akram was moved to ask 'Do you know whose catch you've dropped?'. Another World Cup, another catch dropped off Sachin, and Afridi asked the question -- with one eloquent look. When Tendulkar edged the last ball of the 15th over, this time from Ajmal, to the third man boundary just past Kamran Akmal's glove, Pakistan could well have begun to believe in omens -- none of them particularly favorable to the bowling side.

The pace of run-scoring appeared to fall off during this period of uncertain play -- but the perception is relative. 26 runs came in the bowling power play at a tick over 5 rpo -- not electric, but given the start, it didn't have to be.

Both Gambhir and Tendulkar seemed, for a space, to visibly throttle back and try to come to grips with the turn the bowlers were getting. Pakistan meanwhile gave Ajmal -- who by then must have been imagining himself Fortune's favorite fool -- a rest and brought Hafeez back; Gambhir played a cut exquisitely late and, at the other end, Sachin began consciously watching the ball onto the middle of the bat, not bothering too much with offense.

For the second time, a wicket fell just when it seemed unlikely. Gambhir appeared to have sussed out the turn and was playing the double spin attack well, but in the 19th over, he made a mess of something he is otherwise so good at: the down the track shimmy to spin. Mohammad Hafeez beat him in flight, and a panicky Gambhir tried to jab the ball out of the way but failed. Akmal, for the second time, carried out an efficient stumping -- and this time, there was no need for a review, with Gambhir well short of his ground.

It appeared during this session that no one was prepared for this degree of turn -- not the bowlers, who did a surprised double take and took to tweaking it more; not the batsmen, who suddenly found more than the normal number of edges on their bats as the ball spun sharply off length. That left the fielders -- and judging by Pakistan's performance in the field, they are yet to get over the early pummeling and get their minds back on the job.

Illustrative of that last: In the 20th over, Sachin cracked Afridi hard off the front foot, the ball went flat and hard to extra cover and Younis Khan, a safe fielder and, you would think, impervious to pressure, juggled and dropped.

After 20, India has moved to 119/2, with 46 runs coming during this phase for the loss of Gambhir (and of at least four of Sachin's nine lives). Both teams are clearly feeling the pressure of the occasion -- and not for the first time in an India-Pak game, it is increasingly boiling down to which set of players has the stronger mind.

India Innings: Overs 1-10:

In games where the nerve is almost as important as the skill sets, landing the first punch is vital -- and against Pakistan, Virender Sehwag came out with knuckle-dusters. There was a heart-stopping play and miss off the first ball of Umar Gul's opening over and a couple of less risky skirmishes in the subsequent deliveries -- but then he unfurled one of those arrogant on the up drives through covers, and from that point on, Pakistan was about as helpless as a punching bag, and as battered.

Pakistan's ploy was to pack the off side: two slips, plus four more in the cordon on the off to choke Sehwag down and get him making a mistake. Umar Gul was perhaps the best to make that trick work, since accuracy has been a key weapon for him thus far. What followed was a demonstration of just how big a part nerve plays in a game of this kind. Despite the field, Viru blasted a drive, that was just stopped at extra cover. Gul looked to adjust, bringing the line closer to middle -- and in the course of one frenetic over, Sehwag whipped the bowler for three fours through the arc between square leg and midwicket; waited for the bowler to change his line, jumped on the predictable one outside off and blasted it through point -- long story short, five fours streamed off the bat in the 3rd over of the innings.

With the adrenalin flowing freely, Sehwag then went after Razzaq with a flat forehand thump back over the bowler's head, to underline the point that at his pace, with the harder ball, Pakistan's second seamer would be met with contempt. Sachin Tendulkar, watching the fireworks from the best seat in the house, bookended that shot with a flowing square drive for three at the start of that over, and the creamiest of on the up cover drives at the end of the over; India raced to 36 at the end of four and 47 after 5 overs (Umar Gul, who prior to the game had talked of how much he loved the prospect of bowling to Sachin and Sehwag, conceded 33 of those runs in three overs, thanks to 8 fours from Sehwag).

Afridi removed Razzaq from the attack and brought on Wahab Riaz -- and the move worked, with the left arm seamer first banging one down to push Sehwag back, then bowling the fuller length on leg, straightening on leg and middle, to nail Sehwag in front (38 off 25 balls). Sachin, then batting on 8 off 11, promptly took over, replacing Sehwag's bludgeon with his own silken rapier, driving with fluency and grace and whipping off his pads when the bowlers tried to adjust.

After 10, India had moved to 73/1. The real value of that frenetic period powered by Sehwag lies in the amount of pressure he has lifted off his mates -- with this kind of explosive start, the rest can now play pragmatic cricket and still maintain a very healthy rate.


Like we said in a previous post, it's just a game -- but hey, what a game it is. Two teams balanced so evenly, the strengths of the one are the frailties of the other -- and they match up in a cauldron of excitement with a place in the final of cricket's quadrennial showpiece at stake.

We'll be bringing you updates on the progress of the game, every 10 overs, once play begins -- and we will pack each update with information, analysis, the works. (Our live scoreboard, complete with Live Chat, is here. Oh, and I'll be jabbering away on Twitter; my colleagues are updating the Yahoo Facebook page with all sorts of good stuff).

While you wait, some links:

Aakash Chopa on how India versus Pak is a battle of minds

Bikash Singh on two teams that have one thing in common -- they had to topple the reigning champions to get to this point

Video: Zaheer Khan on what an India-Pak contest is all about

Video: Shahid Afridi on what's at stake in an India-Pak match-up

Video: MS Dhoni on the big game, his own form, and other issues

Video: Umar Gul on the thrills of playing India, and bowling to its top ranked batsmen

Video: Mohammad Hafeez on how Afridi has brought this team together

Video: Misbah-ul-Haq on how Pakistan is peaking at the right moment

Slide show: A look back at key clashes between the two teams on cricket's grandest stage, and some related images

Update: India wins the toss and will bat first. India also makes one surprising change -- Ravichandran Ashwin, who can bowl tight and field well, has been put back on the bench in favor of Ashish Nehra, who hasn't played enough to be in match form, and is among the worst fielders in the squad.

Source: Yahoo Cricket

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cricket world cup 2011 - Live Streaming - Live Scores - Final Match - India Vs Srilanka Match Live

World Cup 2011 - Live Streaming - Live Scores - India Vs Srilanka - Final Match Live

Live Streaming links:

Live Scores:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Facebook 'can put vulnerable kids at depression risk'

An influential group of doctors has warned that teenagers can suffer from "Facebook depression" after becoming obsessed with the social networking website.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, being shunned on a social networking website can be more harmful than if a child is ignored by their friends in real-life.

The group, which has published its first set of social media guidelines, explains that online harassment "can cause profound psycho-social outcomes", including suicide.

AAP lead researcher Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-based paediatrician, said that social media had the power to "interfere with homework, sleep and physical activity" among the young.

"Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children's online world - and comfortably parent in that world," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

O'Keeffe added that the site provides a skewed view because its users cannot see body language or facial expressions which provide context for messages posted on the site.

Megan Moreno, a University of Wisconsin adolescent medicine specialist who has studied online social networking among college students, said using Facebook can enhance social connections among some youngsters, while having the opposite effect on those prone to depression.
Source: ANI via Yahoo News

Japan considers caps on power usage during peak hours

The Japanese government may put a cap on industrial users' power consumption during peak hours this summer to avoid massive blackouts in Tokyo Electric Power's service areas, a trade ministry official said on Tuesday.

A magnitude 9.0 quake on March 11 took out 14,903 megawatts of Tokyo Electric's nuclear and thermal generating capacity, or 23 percent of the total including hydro plants, and it has imposed rolling power blackouts to most areas it covers for the first time in its 60-year history.

Tokyo Electric on Friday said it expected its power supply capacity for the summer to reach 46,500 MW, excluding hydro power using pumped water, or nearly 10,000 MW short of projected peak demand even taking into account users' efforts to conserve power.

Some industry groups have floated the idea of limiting overall power usage during specified periods in return for assurances of continuous power supplies, but the trade ministry official said such a plan would not work if it resulted in concentrated power consumption during peak hours of the day.

Power usage typically peaks between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. during the summer. A regulation limiting overall usage during the peak hours would be an option but could simply end up shifting the peak period, for example, to 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"What we need to do is clear: shift peak usage and limit overall power consumption," he said. "That would help level out consumption during the day. Our goal is a combination of these strategies that will help to avoid rolling blackouts in the summer, which we will keep in reserve as a safety net."

Source: Reuters

Cell phone panic button app sends emergency alerts

In a bid to help pro-democracy campaigners, the US government is developing a cell phone with a 'panic button' app that can wipe out its address book and send emergency alerts. The new technology includes a special application that can be activated if the smart phone is confiscated by security authorities.
The US wants to equip the activists with the new tools to fight back the repressive governments and is targeting countries ranging from the Middle East to China, the Daily Mail reported.

"We've been trying to keep below the radar on this, because a lot of the people we are working with are operating in very sensitive environments," Michael Posner, assistant US secretary of state for human rights and labour, was quoted as saying.

According to the report, the initiative is part of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's push to expand Internet freedoms following the pro-democracy movements in Iran, Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have played a key role in fuelling all those revolutions. The protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square underscored how important cellphones were to modern grassroots political movements, said Posner.

America has budgeted some $50 million since 2008 helping social activists work around government-imposed firewalls and on new strategies to protect their own communications and data from government intrusion.
"We're operating like venture capitalists, giving small grants. We are looking for the most innovative people who are going to tailor their technology and their expertise to the particular community of people we're trying to protect," said Posner.

The US first began to publicly acknowledge Internet technologies in 2009, when it asked Twitter to delay a planned upgrade that would have cut service to Iranians organising mass protests over disputed elections.
Since then it has viewed new media technologies as a key part of its global strategy, facing off with China over censorship of Google results and launching its own Twitter feeds in Arabic, Farsi and Hindi. Some US lawmakers have criticised the department for not doing enough to promote the new technology, but Posner said it was building momentum.

"We're now going full speed ahead to get the money out the door," he said.

The US has also funded the training for some 5,000 activists around the world on the new technologies, the report added.
Source: PTI via NDTV Gadgets

Lenovo launches Apple iPad rival LePad

Chinese computer-maker Lenovo Group, the fourth largest vendor of computers worldwide, has launched its new tablet computer LePad to take on Apple''s iPad and plans to launch two or three more new tablet computers later this year.

LePad, which is based on the Android 2.2 operating system, was launched in Shanghai with a starting price of 3,499 yuan (USD 533) against the iPad''s USD 800 price tag.

LePad comes in two versions that support Wifi and 3G services.

For the time being, Lenovo said LePad will be sold only in China, but it will be marketed internationally from June.

Chen Xudong, the vice-president of the company, refused to provide sales forecasts for the LePad, but said the company plans to capture than 30 per cent of China''s tablet computer market during the next two to three years.

He also said that Lenovo''s tablet computers will run between 5,000 and 8,000 applications by the end of the year.

Since its debut in April last year, iPad sales have reached 15 million.

On March 2, Apple launched the iPad 2, which includes a major hardware upgrade and cut the price of the iPad 1.

Chen said that Apple's price-cutting strategy would put some pressure on companies such as Lenovo, but emphasised that Apple''s strategy has also hurt many of its sales partners in China, where the coverage of the Apple stores is still limited.

The recent earthquake in Japan has disrupted the supply chain for many technology companies and that may delay the Chinese debut of the iPad 2, he told the China Daily.

According to market intelligence provider IDC, Chinese consumers had purchased at least 800,000 iPads by the end of 2010.

The research firm estimated that about 2.5 million tablet PCs will be sold through official channels in China this year, more than doubling the number in 2010.

Chen, said that Lenovo plans to launch a new tablet computer for corporate users over the next two quarters.

It will also launch the second version of its tablet computer, LePad, in the fourth quarter of this year.

"Like personal computers, different users will have different demands for tablet computers," he said. Chen said compared with traditional desktops and all-in-one computers, notebooks and netbooks will be most affected by the popularity of tablet computers.

He noted that in future, notebooks may have to install a mobile operating system that is more responsive to consumers'' needs.

Source: Yahoo Finance!

Monday, March 28, 2011

France fines Google in Street View data case

France's data protection regulator has fined Google 100,000 euros for collecting private data from wireless networks when its camera-equipped cars gathered footage for its on-line map service Street View.

The Commission nationale de l'information et des libertes (CNIL) told Google in May 2010 to stop the practice and asked it to turn over a copy of the information it had collected.

That led to the fine being imposed on Monday.

Google's problems with data collection within Street View, which lets users click on maps to see photographs of actual roads and their environs, started last year. At that time, Google disclosed that its Street View cars around the world had collected private data, such as emails and Internet surfing records, from unsecured wireless networks.

That led to the regulatory authorities in a number of countries, including France, the United States, Switzerland, the UK and Singapore to look into Street View.

"We are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted WiFi networks," said Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel, in an emailed statement.

"As soon as we realized what had happened we stopped collecting all WiFi data from our Street View cars and immediately informed the authorities."


Audi R8 Spyder launched in India Prices Rs.1.47Crores

Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India and Gul Panag with the Audi R8 Spyder at the Taj Mahal Palace on march 25, 2011
It is raining luxury cars in India and now German premium carmaker and Volkswagen Group company, Audi has launched the open-top version of its sportscar Audi R8.

The reports have stated that the car is priced at Rs 1.47 crore (ex-showroom, Maharashtra). It was also reported that the Audi R8 Spyder is powered by a 525 HP 5.2 litre V10 petrol engine. The R8 features the company's proprietary space frame technology, permanent all-wheel drive, LED headlights and can touch 100 kmph from standstill in 4.1 seconds. The sportscar, which can touch a maximum speed of 313 kmph, will be available at Audi dealerships from April this year.

The reports have quoted Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India as saying "We believe that the Audi R8 Spyder will add to the spurring demand for excellence in auto performance. With this addition to the R8 family, after the launch of the R8 V10 in January, Audi now offers the whole range of R8 options in India.''

It was also reported that the R8 Spyder offers a sequential six-speed transmission, which can be used in both automatic and manual mode. It also features Launch Control, besides a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, heated seats and pigmented leather seat covers to reduce heating from the sun's rays.