Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Facebook making art of small talk with strangers disappear

The art of making small talk with strangers is fast disappearing as more and more people prefer to communicate through social networking site Facebook, reveals a new survey.

The survey carried out by organic tea brand Clipper revealed that two-thirds of Britons regularly talk to people on Facebook who they would never see in person.

A staggering 70 percent of the 1,000 people polled said they thought the art of conversation was dying because of texting, email and social media.

A third would strike up a conversation with a stranger only if they were lost and needed directions, and just over half said they see the same people every day on the way to work, at lunch or walking the dog.

But four out of 10 said it would be "weird" to say hello, while others said they were shy or "could not think of anything to say", so ignored them.

The problem is particularly bad among those aged under 30, with 58 percent saying they avoid talking to people they see often, but do not really know.

However, their parents' generation appeared friendlier with 63 percent of people aged between 45 and 59 happy to strike up a conversation with people they see regularly.

Pensioners were friendlier still with 74 percent happy to talk to people they see on a daily basis.

"There is a great nostalgia about manners and a sense there was some golden age, but what people really crave is that we all treat each other with respect," the Daily Express quoted etiquette expert and former 'That's Life!' presenter Simon Fanshawe as saying.
Source: ANI

Wear Helmet for your safety!! - Chennai Traffic Police - Helmet made compulsory for your safety not to make fine

Friday, May 27, 2011

How to use Facebook so it doesn't use you

Whether you call it a time-saver or a time-sap, Facebook is the second most popular site in the world, and in India - just after Google. It has surpassed the almighty Google as the most trafficked website in the US -- and the second most popular site in the world. Whatever you happen to think of it, if you haven't been living in a cave the last few years (and maybe even if you have), you're probably using it in some manner. Need someone's contact info? Check. Birthday minders? Ditto. Photos and videos to share? Done and done. Random thoughts to send into the ether? Well, you know the drill.

But as quickly as Facebook has become an integral part of the way we communicate with friends (and "friends"), it has also raised concerns. How much sharing is too much sharing? What do Facebook and its marketing partners really know about you? And what are they doing with all of that juicy data? Men's Life Today reached out to David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, for tips on getting the best out of Facebook while avoiding its potential dark side.

Don't Be Daft
For starters, says Kirkpatrick, if there's something with the potential to embarrass, don't post it. Despite how secure you believe your privacy settings to be, modern society is littered with Internet roadkill, like jobs lost and relationships shattered simply because a user didn't think twice before posting. "This is a shockingly common-sense rule that many people disregard", says Kirkpatrick. But don't go too far in the opposite direction, he advises. "If you never post anything of interest, you're less likely to have anything of interest come back to you".

Friendly Fire
If your standards for accepting friends have been, shall we say, less than discerning, Kirkpatrick suggests it could be time to do some pruning. "One of the classic errors is to accept every friend request you receive", he says. The problem with such loose standards? "You're empowering these individuals over your information".

It may also be time to shed people you do know, but who don't reflect your sensibility or values (see "jobs lost", above). "If you're beginning to question their judgment, hide them from your news feed or unfriend them entirely". If we were to discard all but those whom we consider true-blue buddies, says Kirkpatrick, many of us would wind up eliminating three-quarters of our so-called friends.

App Happy
Here's a little heads-up: Third-party apps gain access to your personal information when you install them. (And yes, "Mafia Wars" and "Farmville" fans, that includes you). So be picky. "Something that looks cool, but which I've never heard of and that only a couple of my friends are using? I'm not going to adopt it", Kirkpatrick says flatly. If you already have an app installed but haven't used it in a while, delete it. Why? Because even if you're not doing anything with it, chances are its developers are still doing something with your data.

Fortunately, right before you install any app, Facebook will remind you that you're about to hand over access to your info. The choice to "allow" is up to you. Pretty simple.

Privacy Protection
Although he concedes that navigating Facebook's privacy settings can be like trying to solve a Chinese puzzle, Kirkpatrick says an investment of 45 minutes should be enough to establish settings you're comfortable with. For advice on how to get started, he recommends the site AllFacebook.com.  (Search for "privacy settings").

To be on the safe side, a good across-the-board option is "friends only". If you have a burning desire to make your life an open book for exes, frenemies and strangers, go ahead and use "everyone". If you're particularly guarded about your information, there's a custom setting called "only me" -- though if you choose this option, you might just want to delete your Facebook account altogether and go back to calling your friends on a landline. Tedious, yes, but no privacy worries!

Target: You
And what about those ads in the margin that seem to know a little too much about you? They don't concern Kirkpatrick terribly. If Facebook is doing its job and serving adverts that jibe with your interests, you might welcome seeing some of them. And if you don't, "they're easy to disregard", Kirkpatrick points out, explaining that one of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's core tenets is that advertising should not disrupt the user experience.

Despite articles like this one, Kirkpatrick knows that many of you will continue to throw caution to the wind. "Facebook is loosening inhibitions about self-display", he acknowledges, "and we're becoming a more transparent people". That's not necessarily a bad thing, he adds, but if you're going to share, just be sure you do it wisely -- or be ready for your mom, crazy ex, nosy co-worker and the rest of the world to know your business.
Source: Sify News

iPhone 4 launched in India - Starting price Rs.34,500

Eleven months after Apple''s next-generation smartphone hit stores worldwide, the iPhone 4 was launched Friday in India, the world''s second biggest market for mobile phones. Declaring the roll-out of one of the most expected smartphones in the world by Bharti airtel here and in 34 other cities in India, Airtel CEO (West Bengal and Orissa) P D Sharma told PTI the iPhone 4 will create a separate space from the clutter of smartphones in the market, many of them having copied Apple features.

"iPhone 4 will stand out for its original applications and cater to the middle segment as well, with attractive pricing which will not create a pinch both in the long and short term," Sharma said on the sidelines of the launch here.

Asked about the delay of almost one year in the product arriving in India after its June launch in the US, Sharma said, "With third generation (3g) mobile networks only coming of age in recent times in India, there was no other option but the iPhone 4 to wait." "The handset will be priced at Rs 34,500 with 16-GB capacity and Rs 40,900 with 32-GB capacity, which is attractive considering the long-term use. The set is powered by Apple''s A4 (operating system), boasts of a retina display, FaceTime for video chat, 5-MP rear facing camera with LED flash and HD video recording," he said.

The iPhone 4 boasts a higher-quality screen and longer battery life than the previous model, he said, adding that Bharti already sells earlier models of the iPhone in India.

"With the high number of mobile users, smartphone market will grow in the country," he said.

The iPhone 4 was launched way back in June in the US, followed by other countries.

To the question if the pricing would offset the buying of the model at inflated rates over and above the USD 1500 price tag from the grey market, Sharma said that stage seems to have been over.

The iPhone 4 was launched in the city by Tollywood actress Paoli Dam, who was among the 35 celebrities in different cities of the country gifted a handset on the occasion of the launch.

"I am happy to possess one iPhone 4 from Friday. I have also been given a favourite number by Airtel, which I can memorise very easily. I am sure this handset will become a part of my accessory," Dam told PTI.

About whether she had been using Apple products earlier, the actress said, "I had been using Apple Mac."
Source: PTI

Tamil Nadu(TN) SSLC / ANGLO / MATRICLUATION / OSLC Results - 2011 - Class X std results of Tamil Nadu 2011 - TN Results

Wishing you all the Best!!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee leaves wife, begins new relationship

London: It has emerged that the inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Timothy Berners-Lee has left his American wife and embarked on a new relationship with Rosemary Leith, with whom he has worked on Internet projects.
Sir Tim, 55, married Nancy Carlson, an American computer programmer and former figure skater, in Connecticut in 1990 and they have two children.
It was said that he used to avoid most requests for interviews so that he could devote as much time as possible to his family.
But now, it has been reported that Sir Tim's second marriage is over and Lady Berners-Lee has been replaced in his affections by the glamorous Leith.
"His relationship with Rosemary is going so well that he has taken her to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to meet the Queen and Prince Philip," the Telegraph quoted a friend of the computer scientist as saying.
Leith, who lived in Fulham, west London, with her husband, Mark Opzoomer, the former chief executive of an Internet firm, and their three children, is the director of the World Wide Web Foundation, a charity launched by Sir Tim in Uganda in 2009.
Source: ANI

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"No cell phones for Indian housewives" - Mobiles May Kill Marriages

Cell phones cause divorces so chuck your phones and stick to domestic work, says a state women's commission. We say ignore it!
Mobile phones can do more harm than just damage your brain with their radiation. If the Punjab State Commission for Women is to be believed, they can spell doom for marriages too. In a strange pamphlet it issued, women have been advised not to talk much on mobile phones as it can make husbands jealous. They should instead be good wives and concentrate on domestic chores. If that gives an idea of the way some commissions for women think, so much for women's lib!
Housewife's Guidebook?
Many decried the action as regressive and trivial, and ridiculed the PSCW head Gurdev Kaur Sangha's remarks that the move would help couples avoid suspicion. Sangha found that almost 40 per cent of women sought divorce on the grounds that their husbands and in- laws did not approve of them talking on their cell phones. But did we expect a state women's commission to come up with a good housewife's guidebook? For Sarah Ali, a creative director in an advertising agency, her cell phone is her goddess. She laughs it off when we tell her about the directive. "How can you expect working women like us to handle domestic chores without a cell phone?" she asks. Her cell phone is virtually her remote control for her children aged 13 and 10.
"That's how I give instructions to the maid and my children. And also keep an eye on my parents, who live alone. I do need the phone to talk to my friends about my grievances. I have been married for 15 years and have been using a cell phone for the past eight years... and till now, my husband has never been jealous of my cell phone," she says. Indeed, having problems with cell phone conversations would indicate a deep lack of trust.
This may come as a shocker to the Punjab State Women's Commission, but society has evolved from the 1930s. Be it a man or a woman, both are equally dependent on technology. Yasmeen Abrar, acting chairperson of the National Commission for Women finds the comments pretty regressive. "I do not agree. Such remarks should not be taken seriously," says Abrar. But do these remarks deliver the wrong message and in some parts of the country help push a woman's position lower?
Doctor's Prescription
Clinical psychologist Aruna Broota, who has counselled many a suspicious couple, agrees that the use of cell phones is often one of the grounds for divorce. "But this is not the solution to it," she admits. "In modern times a cell phone has become a very important tool for a woman to manage both work and home. Such irresponsible statements shouldn't be made without getting into the crux of the issue," says Broota.
In fact, the problem here is that the real issue is not being addressed here. Dr Bir Singh, who heads a pre- marriage orientation counselling course for couples in All India Institute of Medical Sciences, explains: "Just by instructing women not to use cell phones won't solve the problem. The real issue is the lack of trust between partners. If not cell phones, they will find some other excuse to get suspicious," says Dr Singh. In his pre- marital counselling cell, Dr Singh has handled several cases where couples have got suspicious of their partners because of long chats on cell phones. "Several women have come to me saying that their husbands might be having an affair because they are perpetually on the phone. So asking women to cut short their conversations would be wrong. Women too get equally suspicious, then why the bias?" he asks. It is just a way to grab eyeballs, adds Dr Broota. If it's just an attention- grabbing tactic, it's a rather irresponsible one that doesn't try to get to the root of the problem.
India and Its Women
A nation or a state is not judged by its prosperity but by the way it treats its women and you are absolutely right that as a nation we are seriously lagging behind," says Rajita Chaudhuri, dean Centre for Enterprise Management at the Indian Institute of Planning and Management. "We may aim to become the next superpower but if our women are not given equal education, safety and other opportunities that men receive, we as a nation will never be able to compete with the best. Countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc are rated as the best nations to live in and one of the criteria for judging that is ‘ how are the women treated'. We fail miserably in that aspect," she says. When a woman's body comes up with such instructions for women, it looks like we are headed nowhere. "It's a pity that as a nation we have not been able to take care of our women, give them the right education so that they feel a sense of worth and look at not just others but themselves too with a feeling of respect. The Hindu culture worships the female goddess and yet we fail to acknowledge her in our own homes as she selflessly goes about playing the various roles of a mother, sister, wife, and daughter," says Chaudhuri. And now if women's organisations start falling into the gender stereotyping trap, every empowering gadget will come under suspicion. And the future will be bleak.
 Courtesy: Mail Today

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Contactless mobile wallet service launched in UK

Mobile wallet service that allows users to pay their purchases via their mobile phone has been launched in the UK.
Near Field Communication (NFC), the short-range wireless technology that underpins many wireless payment systems has made the service possible.
Among shops signed up to the system are McDonalds, EAT, Pret-a-Manger and some Boots stores.
Users wishing to use the system - dubbed 'Quick Tap' - will need Orange and Barclaycard accounts as well as a handset set up for contactless payments.
'Quick Tap' is a collaboration between Orange and Barclaycard. It will require a NFC-enabled Samsung Tocco Lite handset, which also went on sale on Friday.
Only purchases up to a value of 15pounds can be made using the service but users can preload their mobile with up to 100 pounds.
"Having a wallet on my phone has made it much more convenient to make purchases on the move and I like that it allows me to keep track of what I'm spending as I go," the BBC quoted David Chan, chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer, as saying.
Vice president of Orange Pippa Dunn added, "It is going to start a revolution in the way we pay for things on the high street."

Source: ANI

Japan Tsunami Exclusive Photos: Rare Unseen Images of Japan Tsunami 2011 Hitting Fukushima Plant

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to improve car Milage? Improve your car's Fuel Efficiency

It’s really exasperating to see fuel prices skyrocketing, right? We can only feel helpless in the face of recurring and economy-driven price fluctuations.  Seeking measures to improve fuel economy is the only way to combat rising fuel prices. Do not disregard these simple guidelines; each little step can really start adding up to significant savings to your budget.
Check Tyre Pressure

Keeping the tyres well inflated is one of the simplest things you can do to help improve your car’s fuel efficiency. You can improve the mileage by about 3.3 percent if you keep your tyres inflated properly, according to the DOE.
Lighten Your Load
Empty out your boot of unnecessary items. For every extra 45 kg you carry, your fuel efficiency can drop by 1-2% in a typical vehicle.
The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. Driving within the speed limit recommended by the manufacturer helps save fuel. Driving just 5mph over the speed limit can affect fuel economy by up to 23%. Likewise, quick acceleration consumes too much fuel; accelerate slowly and gradually.

Do Fuel Quality/Types/Additives Help Mileage?
Petrol pump attendants often try to convince you to go for ‘Speed petrol’ or ‘X-tra Mile diesel’. But this need not necessarily help improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Always use the grade recommended for the vehicle by the manufacturer. Higher octane fuel may not only be a waste of money but may harm the vehicle, as well. However sticking to one brand of fuel is always good for the engine. Know more about Octane Ratings
Tune Your Engine
A well-tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to 4%. So change your oil and follow your car manufacturer’s recommendation on servicing.
Clean the Air Filters Regularly
Air filters keep impurities from damaging your engine. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by as much as 10%.
Keep the Windows Closed
Driving with your windows open considerably reduces mileage, far more than keeping the AC on while driving along highways. So preferably keep the windows closed and the AC on if you want to keep cool. Of course the air-conditioning decreases fuel efficiency considerably, so use it judiciously. Windows down or A/C on — which is more fuel-efficient?
Clean Spark Plugs
Ensure your spark plugs are in good condition. Renew the plugs and wires at intervals specified by the manufacturer. This will keep all cylinders firing properly resulting in higher efficiency.
Don’t Be a Clutch-Driver
Never keep your foot on the clutch while driving. When you do this, pressure is being placed on your clutch, and it not only reduces mileage, but also wears out the clutch plate, replacing which is not cheap.
Keep the Car in Showroom Condition
It’s always prudent to keep the car in the showroom condition. Remember that any modification to the car, such as broad tyres, diffusers etc., will adversely affect the mileage.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5 things you should never share on Facebook

Almost every user likes to share everything on their Facebook page but certain updates can lead to criticism, embarrassment and even job termination.
So here's a shortlist of what you shouldn't share on the social networking site, reports CBS news.
1.That your job sucks.
If you say this, you could be fired.

2.That you hate your ex. 
In the event that you and your boyfriend get back together, or you and that friend you had a falling out with start talking again, you'll look like a total sucker. It's okay to let your emotions govern your thoughts but keep your feelings off your Facebook until you've started to think clearly about said ex.
The important thing to remember about social networks is that although you have the option to delete your comments, sometimes it can be too late. It's immediate and someone might've laid eyes on it before your retraction.

3.That you're going on vacation and then give the dates you're away.
You could be robbed. A recent study found that thieves scan social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for folks in targeted neighbourhoods before they strike.

4.That you love yourself.
In fact, don't give any indication that you're your biggest fan. Your followers will only think the opposite. It's the biggest barometer of insecurity. Researchers at the University at Buffalo also found that women who base their self-worth on appearance and what people think of them tend to upload pictures very frequently.

5.That you're mean.
Saying mean things about people can only make you undesirable-for potential employers, dates, friends and strangers.
Source: ANI

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NASA's Endeavour carries tiny, space-traveling satellites

As NASA's space shuttle Endeavor works its way toward the International Space Station today, it's carrying prototypes of fingernail-size satellites that are expected to someday travel to Saturn.

The shuttle lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on Monday and is expected to rendezvous with the space station on Wednesday. Endeavour's 16-day mission includes delivering robotic parts and an S-band communications antenna, as well as three small satellites.

The satellites, which look like thin, 1-in. square computer chips, have been in development for three years at Cornell University. Once the shuttle delivers them, which have been named Sprite, the prototypes will be attached to the outside of the space station where they are expected to collect information on solar winds.

The prototypes are expected to work outside the station for "a few years" and then will be returned to Earth and examined to see how they stood up to the harsh conditions of space, according to Cornell.

Within the next decade, researchers are hoping to launch an army of the postage-stamp-size satellites and let them travel without any power except the force of natural solar winds.

Cornell scientists are planning to have the satellites travel to Saturn. They are designed to collect data about chemistry, radiation and particle impacts as they work their way through the planet's atmosphere, they .

Each satellite prototype is identical expect for a unique transmission signature so scientists can distinguish which chip satellite is communicating with them.

"Their small size allows them to travel like space dust," said Mason Peck, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell. "Blown by solar winds, they can sail to distant locations without fuel.... We're actually trying to create a new capability and build it from the ground up. We want to learn what's the bare minimum we can design for communication from space."

Source: Computer World

New app to help confused wine drinkers

TORONTO - A new mobile application allows less-savvy wine consumers to scan bottle bar codes to get instant tasting notes, scores and food pairings.

The free app, called Natalie MacLean Wine Picks & Pairings, works by snapping a picture of any bottle label's bar code to access a database of 150,000 wines at liquor stores across the United States and Canada.

"I know I would have a tough time choosing wines if I weren't tasting them all the time," award-winning Canadian wine writer Natalie MacLean, who launched the app, told Reuters from her home in Ottawa.

"The choice is overwhelming, the confusion is great and intimidation factor is huge, so that's the consumer problem I'm trying to solve with this app."

The app is the first of its kind that actually scans bar codes to search wines, instead of having to type in various descriptors, said MacLean.

A certified sommelier and author of "Red, White and Drunk All Over," she also has one of the largest wine sites: nataliemaclean.com.

The new scanning capability of the wine app is currently only available on iPhones but MacLean expects that BlackBerry users will be able to upgrade to the new version within a couple weeks.

Older versions of the app -- which also feature a virtual cellar, journal, and Facebook and Twitter integration -- have been out for more than a year.

The app's popularity has surged since it launched. Currently there are over 100,000 users, a number MacLean anticipates will rise.

"Since Apple approved it ... the downloads have just skyrocketed," she said.


Indian web rules risk curbing info flow - Google

BANGALORE  - Holding internet platforms liable for third-party content would lead to self-censorship and reduce the free flow of information, Google Inc said on Wednesday in reaction to India's new rules.

"We believe that a free and open Internet is essential for the growth of (the) digital economy and safeguarding freedom of expression," Google said in a statement on Wednesday.

"If internet platforms are held liable for third-party content, it would lead to self-censorship and reduce the free flow of information. The regulatory framework should ideally help protect internet platforms and people's abilities to access information."

Regulations introduced last month require search engines and websites to get rid of objectionable content including information that is "grossly harmful, harassing ... defamatory ... hateful ... and disparaging."

The rules also state the websites will not "knowingly host or publish" objectionable matter and should remove such material within 36 hours of becoming aware that it existed.

Seeking to allay concerns the new rules enabled the Indian government to regulate content in a highly subjective manner, India's Department of Information Technology, in a separate statement, said the government had no intention of acquiring regulatory jurisdiction over content under these rules.

Referring to concerns the wording used in rules for objectionable content were broad and could be interpreted subjectively, the Department said the terms were in accordance with those used by most internet platforms as part of their existing policies.


Facebook admits hiring firm to aim at Google

NEW YORK - Facebook admitted on Thursday it had hired a public relations firm to highlight supposed flaws in Google Inc's privacy practices but denied it had intended a smear campaign against the search giant.

Facebook, which has taken privacy missteps of its own with users in the past, hired WPP owned PR firm Burson-Marstellar to focus attention on the use of consumers' personal information on Google Social Circles, one of Google's less known social networking features.

The revelation highlights the growing rivalry between Google, the world's leading Web search business, and Facebook, the largest social networking site with over a half a billion users globally.

Facebook and Google's skirmish shows how consumer privacy, particularly around sensitive data, could be a ticking time bomb for modern Internet companies who manage an increasing amount of information about their users such as credit card and social security numbers.

Burson-Marstellar contacted several journalists and privacy experts without revealing the identity of its client. Facebook said it should have presented the issues in a "serious and transparent" way.

"We wanted third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook and other services for inclusion in Google Social Circles," the company said in a statement. "Facebook did not approve of use or collection for this purpose."

Google was not immediately available for comment.

Privacy and security analyst Christopher Soghoian was contacted on May 3 by Burson-Marstellar asking if he was interested in writing an opinion column on privacy issues related to Google Social Circles.

"What struck me as odd was that this email wasn't pitching for a company but against it," said Soghoian. "They said if I don't have time they can write the column for me and get it into places like Huffington Post and The Hill."

Soghoian, who has advocated against both Google and Facebook for lax privacy practices posted the Burson-Marstellar email on his blog on May 3, but it was not until after USA Today published similar emails some days later that details of the mystery client were eventually confirmed to be Facebook.

Both Google and Facebook offer free access services for the most part which rely on their users' trust. That trust has helped Google build a business with a market value of $172 billion, while Facebook has been valued at more than $70 billion by private investors in recent weeks.

Sony Corp has spent several weeks dealing with a major privacy problem after its online system was hacked compromising the personal data of more than 100 million online video game users.


Solar plane makes maiden international flight

BRUSSELS  - A solar energy plane made the world's first international flight powered by the sun on Friday to show the potential for pollution-free air travel.

The Solar Impulse took off from an airfield at Payerne in western Switzerland on Friday morning and landed at Brussels airport after a 13-hour flight.

"The objective is to demonstrate what we can do with existing technology in terms of renewable energy and energy savings," project co-founder and pilot Andre Borschberg told Reuters by telephone during the flight. 

Borschberg believes such solar-harnessing technology can be used to power cars and homes. "It is symbolic to be able to go from one place to another using solar energy," he said.

The Solar Impulse project began in 2003 with a 10-year budget of 90 million euros ($128 million) and has involved engineers from Swiss lift maker Schindler and research aid from Belgian chemicals group Solvay.

The plane, which requires 12,000 solar cells, embarked on its first flight in April 2010 and completed a 26-hour flight, a record flying time for a solar powered aircraft, three months later.

With an average flying speed of 70 km/h (44 mph), Solar Impulse is not an immediate threat to commercial jets, which can easily cruise at more than 10 times the speed. A flight from Geneva from Brussels can take little more than an hour.

Project leaders acknowledged it had been a major challenge to fit a slow-flying plane into the commercial air traffic system.

Friday's flight was Solar Impulse's fifth. Previous flights did not leave Switzerland. A larger prototype is scheduled to fly around the world in 2013.