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  1. Note: The article neither supports and nor condemns the use of anabolic steroids. It's completely a personal choice. For a rather young sport, bodybuilding has gone through sea of extreme changes in physical appearances, training philosophies, nutrition and of course, drug abuse. Why I choose to call it abuse and not use, is something I don't feel the need to elaborate on. Look at the size of any professional bodybuilder from the past 20 years and you'll figure it out. Of course, whey and protein didn't make them 150 kilos and dry as a desert. It's the supra-physiological dosages of anabolic hormones, over years on end. Before you roll your eyes and start a rant in the comments sections, I am not running down steroid use here. I am just trying to bust the bubble of the guys who SAY anabolic steroids are JUST add-ons and real deal is the hard work'. Well, not only is that extremely stupid but also, from a scientific standpoint, very unreasonable. How? I'll break it down for you. First Things First, Steroids Make Muscles Grow- Training Or Not. © Pixabay Shocked and ready to start a rant? Hold up, read this piece of research (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199607043350101.) Here's a brief from the research: 1) A 100 week study was conducted on 43 men, between the ages of 19-40. All were trained to some or the other degree. 2) They were then split up into 4 groups- Group 1 – NO exercise. NO steroids. Group 2- NO exercise. Weekly injections of 600 mg Test E. Group 3- DID exercise. All natural. No Steroids. Group 4- DID exercise. Administered 600 mg of testosterone enanthate. 3) Their nutrition was adjusted accordingly and revised throughout the duration of the research. The workout groups (3rd and 4th) did the same workouts. 4) Results- Group 1- No changes. As expected Group 2- Gained 7 pounds (3.17 kilos) of muscle tissue. (SHOCKING?) Group 3- Gained about 4 pounds of muscle Group 4- Gained 13 pounds of muscle Got the drift? The group of guys who didn't exercise at all and took steroids made the gains. YES, even in the absence of weight training, these guys made significant muscular gains. In fact, they did better than the group of natural guys who trained without drug use. Of Course, It Still Takes Hard Work But Steroid Usage Changes Things At Almost Every Level © Pixabay Now, don't give me that 'we still need to move weights' lullaby. Of course you do. The thing is that the body reacts very differently to training while on gear and training naturally. Assisted guys recover better, lift heavier and can eat more, all because they have an abundance of the primary anabolic hormone testosterone in their body. Assisted guys can get away with almost twice as better results by training only half as much as the natural guys because of their elevated Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). They also get away with poor nutrition which natural lifters definitely can't get away with. Higher training volumes, loads and frequencies could also crush a natural lifter, while pinned guys can do more and more volume with heavier loads without having to worry about recovering. So there are a host of things that play into the equation. Motivation The biggest factor of being consistent at moving weights comes from progress. If you aren't making any progress, things tend to get de-motivating. This is especially true for natural lifters. Natural lifting requires years of dedication with training and nutrition and a small window for error. Natural bodybuilders can get fat while bulking and are at always a risk of losing muscle while cutting. Both of these things can be avoided by assisted guys since anabolic steroids do their job very well. Assisted guys, if they are training right and eating right, literally make progress on daily basis, which is highly unlikely in the case of natural lifters. The more you see yourself growing and shedding fat, the more you will be driven to work harder. So, in a way, even motivation comes easy for assisted guys. So please, if you are on gear, we aren't judging you. But please don't go around telling natural lifters that hard work is all that we do and steroids don't do much.
  2. A hostess shows up Samsung's new S9 (R) and S9 Plus devices after a presentation ceremony at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25, 2018 - Reuters BARCELONA: Samsung unveiled its new flagship smartphone on Sunday with a focus on augmented reality features as it seeks to keep its title as the world's biggest smartphone maker. The South Korean firm showcased the Galaxy S9 on the eve of the official start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which comes after a year of flat smartphone sales. With no other major handset maker using the annual event, the world's largest phone show, to launch a new flagship device this year, Samsung had the opportunity to grab the spotlight. The S9 features essentially the same design as last year's previous flagship, with the full screen and curved glass edge of the S8, which was followed by Apple's iPhone X and others. But it includes louder sound, a faster processor and software that turns selfies into animated emojis, which will appeal to consumers who are increasingly preferring to use their phones to send text messages rather than talking. Samsung also included a dual-lens camera on the Galaxy S line for the first time, which will improve low-light capture and enhance slow motion video, which is popular on social media. Samsung's new S9 and S9 Plus devices are displayed after a presentation ceremony at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25, 2018 - Reuters A service powered by artificial intelligence (AI) allows users to point its camera to instantly translate a sign in a foreign language. It is also one of the few flagship phones left that still comes with a standard headphone jack. "Despite these incremental innovations, Samsung will have to smartly leverage its brand and marketing machine to correctly position the new smartphones to a target audience," said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson. Global smartphone sales fell by 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter due to slower than expected Christmas sales, according to research firm IDC. Overall global smartphone sales for 2017 were virtually flat -- down 0.1 percent at 1.47 billion units -- as phone makers struggled to come up with innovations that encourage customers to upgrade their devices. Cost concerns Samsung suffered a humiliating recall of its Galaxy Note 7 device in 2016 after several devices exploded, but its Galaxy 8 smartphone was a consumer and critical success. While it kept its lead over Apple as the world´s biggest seller of smartphones in 2017 with a 21.6 percent market share, up from 21.1 percent in the previous year, Samsung faces stiffer competition from Chinese rivals like Huawei and Xiaomi that offer cheaper handsets with many high-end features. The S9 will sell for 859 euros ($1,055), a price which analysts warned could turn off many consumers. While the S9's camera is "markedly different" in quality from older smartphones that people already own "consumers may delay purchase because of rising flagship prices," IHS Markit said in a research note. "Samsung must work hard to market the benefits of these designs to counter negative pricing perception." Huawei unveiled a new laptop and tablet in Barcelona earlier on Sunday but will present its new flagship smartphone -- the P20 -- on March 27 in Paris. Thomas said this will allow it to "fine tune its marketing message based on how the new Samsung S9 devices are perceived by consumers". Earlier on Sunday South Korea´s LG unveiled the V30S -- an updated version of its flagship V30 smartphone launched six months ago -- which features higher memory and artificial intelligence-based technologies that focus on photos and voice recognition. More than 100,000 people are expected to descend on Barcelona for the annual show, which features driverless carmakers, social media giants and chip companies in addition to handset makers.
  3. Users can view the film by downloading a free app onto their smartphone, which they then insert into an inexpensive virtual reality headset-Reuters HINDHEAD, ENGLAND: For 93-year-old Daphne Padfield, a dementia sufferer in an English care home, the arrival of a virtual reality (VR) headset offered a window back to the day in 1953 when Britain crowned its new queen. ?Those things don?t happen too often, so we were very privileged that day,? said Padfield, casting her mind back to the coronation. The VR film she watched is the work of a project called The Wayback, designed to trigger memories and emotions in people with dementia and help them re-engage with relatives and carers. The first film in a planned series saw filmmakers and a 170-strong volunteer cast recreate a street party held to celebrate Queen Elizabeth?s coronation on June 2, 1953. Users can view the film by downloading a free app onto their smartphone, which they then insert into an inexpensive virtual reality headset. ?It was born of frustration, really. I wished there?d been something around at that time that would have helped me and my family through a difficult period,? said co-creator Andy Garnett, who lost a family member who suffered from dementia. ?Using VR just seemed like a really interesting way to perhaps create a memory ...and spark a bigger conversation.? Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by strokes or diseases such as Alzheimer?s. People with dementia can suffer from memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. There are over 850,000 people living with some form of dementia in Britain, with that number estimated to rise to one million by 2025, according to the Alzheimer?s Society, a charity. At Langham Court Dementia Home in Surrey, The Wayback has been introduced for relatives and carers to use with some residents. Sarah Chapman, a director at the home, told Reuters that the film evoked detailed recollections in those who viewed it. ?It was just amazing to see them so happy,? she said. A senior researcher at a British dementia charity welcomed VR technology as a means of helping suffers, but cautioned the technology needed to be used with care. ?For instance, some people with dementia experience what are called misperceptions,? Dr Karen Harrison-Dening, head of research and publications at Dementia UK, told Reuters via email. ?...This can lead to confusion over which images are ?real? or not, and may prove unsettling for the person.? The filmmakers are planning their next work around England?s 1966 soccer World Cup victory celebrations, and also hope to expand the project to other countries.
  4. We millennials definitely make more than generation x did, but we do lack in valuing that money. Most of us spend our money even before we have it and there are many other reasons that make us go almost broke by the end of the month. Then comes a time where we struggle making big decisions highly dependent on our finance, like pursuing our masters, getting married, purchasing a house. These are all the big questions which need planning way in advance. Here are some tips and tricks which can help you make your first million and save you from getting trapped in those uncomfortable situations. 1. Graduate Fast © Thinkstock/Getty Images It is not rocket science but simple arithmetic that the sooner you graduate, the sooner you will get a job and sooner you will be able to get rid of your student loans if any. Also graduating sooner gives you ample amount of time to plan for your masters without getting you worried about the age factors that come into play when you are planning to get married. 2. Live At Home & Avoid Rent © Thinkstock/Getty Images Rent can take the one-third of your income which obviously is a big amount. Until it is a great package, avoid being in such a situation until the time you think you can. If you can do so even until you are 25, then your nice income will look like an enormous income to you. 3. Become An Entrepreneur © Thinkstock/Getty Images If you know you are capable of growing faster than an organization can reward you with their yearly appraisal cycle, and have a passion or skill you can turn into money, then why hesitate or doubt yourself for even a single minute? Investors out there are looking for such people, product and companies to invest in and if they like your idea then there is no looking back and there is no better option of making big bucks than entrepreneurship. After all, you are your own boss, but this does not mean you don't work harder than you have ever before. 4. Save And Invest What You Earn © Thinkstock/Getty Images It has been often said that wise people first save and then pay their loans. If you are first spending your money and then planning to save, then let me assure you that you would have the least chances to succeed. As Charles A. Jaffe said, “It is not your salary that makes you rich, it's your spending habits.” From now on make it your habit that as soon as your salary gets credited, you will save or invest a certain amount in mutual fund first and then spend what is left. Make it a thumb rule if you want to become financially independent sooner. 5. Open A Brokerage Account © Thinkstock/Getty Images Nowadays it is not necessary for you to be an expert to invest your money in trading as there are these simple apps that do the work for you. For example, Fyers (https://fyers.in/) is a mobile trading app, or you can say an online stock broker which serves as a trading platform in India. With the help of Fyers you can save up to 95% brokerage costs which earlier used to get wasted on the middleman's commission. 6. Purchase Real Estate © Thinkstock/Getty Images Buying real estate never goes old. Recently there was a story about this young man who bought 12 properties when he is just 26 (https://www.mensxp.com/work-life/business-skills/42649-at-just-26-this-former-mcdonald-s-worker-owns-12-properties-what-have-you-done-lately.html). There is a lot that can be learned from his remarkable stories. Never forget property is an asset whose value increases with time and not a liability like buying a car or fancy clothes whose value depreciates with time.
  5. Everyone wants to be rich, successful, and have a perfect body too if they can help it, but how many of us actually achieve so? Maybe only one percent of us do and that too not because they are lucky or something, but they have a strong will, self-discipline, and an attitude to make a sacrifice to achieve something. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve an unwavering discipline in life. 1. Take A Head Start On A Fixed Date © Psephizo Studies have found that setting a date or event (for eg, Monday or 1st of a month) to mark the start of a new regimen can make it more likely for you to follow through on your goals. 2. Note Down Your Reason For Self-Discipline When you do so, you remind yourself the importance of goals and how you will be able to achieve them. When you write them down on paper, you strengthen your belief in yourself and also clear your mind from any doubt you might have. 3. Visualize The Benefits Of Your Efforts © Instagram/sherlock_holmes_official Visualizing yourself as your future-self is the perfect bait for you to keep going with the good work. When you visualize yourself reaping the benefits of your efforts, you are more likely to work harder towards your aim. 4. Plan An Alternative For When The Temptation Will Arrive. If you are habitual of killing time with smoking and are tempted to do so time and again, just remind yourself of taking a walk with your friend or maybe even alone. That way you will be able to better arrange your thoughts and have a chance to control your temptation of smoking a cigarette. 5. Replace Your Can't With Don't. Next time someone offers you something you know is bad for you, then don't say you can't, but replace it with that you don't. When you say you can't, you feel like a victim who has been devoid of a small privilege, but when you say you don't, you seem determined and firm with your decision. 6. Hide Your Temptation In A Place Hard For You To Find © Pexels If you don't want your phone to distract you when you are about to go to sleep, then why not put it somewhere way away from your reach? Simple isn't it? 7. Sleep For Straight 8 Hours. If you do not get enough sleep for the day then you might feel lethargic throughout the day, and that may hamper your effort of maintaining your discipline. 8. Ask Your Close Friend To Keep A Check On Your Bad Habits. When someone close to you reminds you to stay on track, you are more likely to listen to them. In that case, who is better than your roommate or a friend with whom you spend most of your time with. 9. Look At All The Options Available. If you can trick your mind with other options then you will have better chances of not falling into the trap of temptation, and won't make an impulsive decision. Start preparing your options of the list for something you want to resist. 10. Avoid Alcohol. © Thinkstock/Getty Images It is no rocket science and we all know how alcohol slows down our nervous system. When we consume alcohol we tend to take action first and think later. Clearly, that's not a good way to break your rhythm of staying true to your efforts. 11. Increase Your Glucose Level. Studies suggest that consuming glucose keeps your willpower strong. So the next time when you feel that you won't be able to keep your promise to yourself, try having a glass of hot water, lemon and a tablespoon of honey. 12. Keep Your Company With Self-Disciplined People. © AZ Quotes As Jim Rohn has said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” It simply implies the company you choose to spend your spend time with, plays a major role in deciding your good or bad habits.
  6. Single people have their Tinder and their Bumble, but finally, there is a relationship related app for all the committed people out there, and it's all thanks to Netflix. While we were all hoping for Netflix to release a Tinder-esque dating app that would match you with the person who also watched the same show for like 14 hours straight, it seems like we have to wait for that for a while. What we've got right now is also pretty cool, but not Netflix-Tinder cool. Based on the fan favourite 'Black Mirror' episode 'Hang The DJ', the dating app is kinda dark, but extremely fun at the same time. If you aren't familiar with the episode, let me give you a refresher. The episode basically revolves around characters using a device that helps them find romantic partners. This particular device dictates how long the partners can stay together, and it comes with an 'expiry date' of sorts. And, the app that has been released by Netflix now basically allows you to go to the website coach.dating, where you're provided with a link that you can send to your significant other and then both you have to simultaneously click on the button. Trust the system. Visit https://t.co/f3v1QPmbAx to find out if your partner is a perfect match. pic.twitter.com/XV0FXmtx5G — Black Mirror (@blackmirror) February 14, 2018 Then you get an expiry date for your relationship. Sounds cool, right? Imagine breaking up with someone using that, it would be hilarious. “Netflix said our time is up, so goodbye.” Well, obviously it's all in good fun and it's not accurate at all. I tried it with a co-worker and we got just got 22 minutes, and our 'relationship' was still as strong by the 23rd minute. It seems like this is the first step in 'Black Mirror' becoming reality, and I don't know how I feel about that. Until then, this is honestly a fun app that you should try with everyone right now.
  7. Bollywood has given people some really high expectations from relationships. Unfortunately, this is not how the real world works. Here is the difference between the two.
  8. With the introduction of ARKit, augmented reality has got a massive boost in iOS 11. Developers have taken the full advantage of it to make exciting AR powered apps and games. We have picked up some of the best AR games for iOS 11 to let you experience and interact with the real world in an all-new way! ARKit supports A9, A10, and A11 processors. Hence, you will be able to play these top AR games on devices like iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE, iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. 1. Zombie Gunship Revenant AR: © APP store Want to get into some lethal action to showcase your heroics? Zombie Gunship Revenant AR is the perfect game to try out some jaw-dropping action. In this augmented reality zombie shooter, you take full command of the heavily-armed helicopter gunship and eliminate a ton of zombies. Customize the gunship with supremely advanced guns, cannons, rockets, and missiles. If you ever want to take that extra step, you can also upgrade the app to unlock some exciting features like the bank vault, Fort Knox, etc. Cost: FREE Download it from the App Store 2. Stack AR: © Ketchapp Studios It's a basic game that allows you to stack blocks in the real world with well-timed taps of the display with the aim of creating the tallest tower possible. I've played the usual version of Stack earlier and enjoyed it. When I got to know that Stack is bringing an AR gaming mode as well, I got incredibly excited. The new AR mode of the game lets you play in Augmented Reality anywhere. Simply open the Stack AR mode, scan a plane surface and start building. It's one of my favourite AR apps for iOS 11. It is extremely addictive and the AR version looks very neat, and is an awesome way to show-off the capability of AR! Cost: FREE Download it from the App Store 3. Real Strike - AR FPS Gun: © App store It brings first-person shooting into reality with the camera. It mixes real-time computed 3D gun animation with the camera and turns any street or area into a military base. A pool has been polluted by nuclear waste, a group of pests are just around the corner, in the mission mode, it is your job to defeat the mutilated pests. It's one of the best FPS games with AR capability. Many tend to get tired of the game after a while though because the graphics often feel dated and the campaign is short. Cost: Rs. 80 Download from App Store 4. Zombies GO! : © The Inquisitr The Walking Dead is still a wildly popular TV show and graphic novel, and sometimes you may find yourself wondering how you would fare in the zombie apocalypse. Zombies GO doesn't give you specific answers for that particular thought, but it does let you fight zombies while walking around outside, waiting for the bus, or even while shopping for groceries. You may have noticed the “Zombies GO” name resembles that of Pokemon Go, and you wouldn't be completely wrong to expect some similarities — mostly, it's the concept of holding your phone up, seeing a creature, and choosing how to deal with it. Cost: FREE Download from App Store 5. The Machines: © App Store Want to indulge in more action-packed AR battlefield sims? The Machines could be a fantastic option to let you unleash your valour! Unite and lead your team of powerful Machines to destroy your opponents. Use great combat strategies and game-changing abilities to remain ahead of your opponents. This is a competitive multiplayer game played solely in augmented reality. Cost: Rs. 400 Download from App Store 6. Kings of Pool: © App Store Kings of Pool is a classic 8 ball pool game that has been given a touch of AR by its developers. Thanks to the latest iOS 11 update, now iPhone users can put the Augmented Reality Table on a flat surface and start playing pool. I tried the game myself and it turned out to be pretty fun. Highly recommended! Cost: FREE Download from App Store 7. AR Drone Commander Lite: © App Store What about turning your home into an exciting battleground? With AR Drone Commander, you can bring enemies into your home or any place and decimate them just the way you want! Just point your iPhone's camera towards a flat surface, and the game will map a military base on it. Then, get ready to encounter a massive attack. Cost: FREE Download from App Store
  9. After shattering records in 2017, there's little doubt that Virat Kohli has struggled to make an impact in the New Year. Amid failure of other Indian batsmen, Kohli's scores of 5 and 28 in the first Test paved way for India's 72-run loss against South Africa. The Indian captain did bounce back in the second Test with a brilliant 153 in the first innings, but couldn't save his team from a 2-0 Test series defeat. On the other hand, his dissent against one of the on-field umpires during the Centurion Test also earned him a 25 percent fine on his match fee. Then, there was his fiery post-match press conference where he was seen taking on a South African journalist in a war of words. But, there's nothing new there. Indian captain Virat Kohli is angry after defeat in Centurion..Fighting with South African Jouno says I am here to answer not to fight.#SAvIND #Centurion #Kohli #FreedomSeries #India #BBC #SouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/KzTdRa8MFf — Sultan Mehmood Khan (@smk_77) January 17, 2018 For his batting slump, we all know Kohli has struggled on outside-the-off-stump line - something he manages to negate some times, on other occasions, maybe not. On his aggressive approach on and off the field, whether you like it or not, Kohli is just like that. He is a fierce competitor who doesn't like to lose and that exuberance finds expression in his batting and leadership skills. And, there is nothing wrong with being aggressive, or solemnly focussing on winning at all times. For what's it worth, it's Kohli's passion for the game - fuelled with aggression - that has propelled the Indian batting sensation to the pinnacle of the sport. It has helped Kohli grow into one of the finest batsmen in modern-day cricket, making others look mediocre. But, while his aggressive approach has helped him scale new heights as a batsman, it has probably not aided him in his leadership skills, at least not as much as he would have liked. His philosophy of 'me against the world' suits him as a cricketer, but definitely not as a captain - something the former South African great Graeme Smith has rightly pointed out. © Reuters "When I look at Virat, I think he needs someone in the support staff who can constructively challenge him and help him grow. He has all the capabilities tactically, he knows his own game, he sets the standard in the field for everyone else," Smith said. "I think if he had a really constructive person in his environment, who could talk to him, make him think, maybe even challenge him with some different ideas, in a constructive way, not an angry or aggressive way, but make him think, open his eyes to other possibilities, that would make him a really good leader," he added. Smith's observation about a potential disconnect between Kohli and the rest of the Indian team also seems to make sense. "We all know he's an outstanding player, his intensity really benefits his own personal game, he loves that confrontation, that intensity brings the best out of him. Sometimes as a leader you've got to consider how you impact the others in the environment, that's an area of his leadership that he needs to grow," former South African captain said. © Reuters The Centurion Test was witness to Kohli's erratic reactions possibly seen as displeasure with his teammates. Every time India lost a wicket, with the skipper holding fort at the other end, Kohli was seen reacting in frustration - smashing the bat into his pad, looking the other way or generally not looking impressed. "Often his reaction to situations. I think that can sometimes impact on your team negatively. We all know how powerful Virat Kohli is in world cricket, in Indian cricket. For him, he's built this aura and for him maybe to find a level where he can connect with all his players, to get to a level where can get the Indian team to be as successful as he is, that's something that he, when I watch him, is grappling with. I don't know, when I look at him, if he is a long-term captaincy option for India," Smith said. "At the end of this year, he'd have been away from home for a while, the pressure he'll face, the scrutiny from the press - I know he only gets that in India - but if you're away from home and you're struggling for form as a team, I don't know if I'd want to burden Virat Kohli with that. Or if India have a better leader in that environment," Smith claimed. © Reuters In a team of eleven different individuals, everyone has some understanding of the game but it may not be the same. Some might thrive under pressure, while others are used to taking their own sweet time to get there. Kohli is undeniably at a much superior level as a cricketer, but as a captain, it's his responsibility to bring himself down to the level of his teammates to make them understand that this is not the level where they'll be doing well themselves, but rather where they're going to do well for the team to win. You might be the best player in the world and the fierce intent could surely help you break new barriers in the game, but if you don't know what your teammates are going through or whether they are on the same page or not, then despite an individual's heroics, the team will suffer collectively. Individual record will mean nothing, if you're team isn't capable of deriving favourable results. © Reuters Kohli needs to understand that he's not just a batsman, but also a leader now. And, in that capacity, he needs to understand the whole environment. He needs to talk to the players to get the best out of the environment they're exposed to. There is little doubt that Kohli might grow as a leader if he softens his stance on being aggressive all the time. After all, it's not about whether Kohli can deliver under pressure; rather, as a leader, he needs to make sure his team performs in tough situations. And, maybe then, India might have a chance to click as a unit and improve their record overseas.
  10. Whether you like it or not, you have to agree with the fact that Black Mirror's portrayal of our unhealthy obsession with technology is absolutely true. And the fact that we are probably heading to a doomed society where technology would entirely take over isn't exactly the best thing. However, some of us are living in a hypothetical world where all these 'Black Mirror'-influenced developments are going to take place in a far-fetched world. We might not even live when they'd occur, right? WRONG. We hate to break it to you guys, but some of the show's predictions are already in motion as you read this article. And if they aren't 100% ready yet, they are in the works and will become a reality very soon. Warning: Spoilers ahead. 1. Season 1, Episode 3: The Entire History Of You This episode is set in a world where people can record every aspect of their lives and can choose to play it back whenever they want. It isn't exactly a reality yet but a few firms might soon make it one. Contact lenses that can record and play back the events we witness are in the works. We can play back the events we've lived and also zoom if we wish. Sony, Google and Samsung are all working on projects along these lines. 2. Season 1, Episode 2: 15 Million Merits It talks about a world where people spend their lives riding bikes to generate energy and in turn, gain credits in order to lead a better life. This is already happening in Brazil. In prisons, to be precise. Inmates in Brazil's Santa Rita do Sapucai prison can shorten their time behind bars by riding stationary bikes that helps in generating energy. Prisoners can knock a day off their sentences for every 16 hours they pedal. The energy they produce by riding the bikes charges batteries that are later taken to the city center in southern Minas, where they are used to power light bulbs. Although this is nowhere close to the consequences we witnessed in the episode, it is wildly similar to the concept but in a good way. 3. Season 2, Episode 1: Be Right Back 'Be Right Back' sees a woman replacing her late boyfriend with a synthetic substitute, using his online history, photos and videos. In 2010, Hanson Robotics created a social robot BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture 48). The robot was modeled after Bina Aspen, the wife of Dr. Martine Rothblatt, the transgender futurist CEO of United Therapeutics and used Bina's memories and feelings. 4. Season 3, Episode 1: Nosedive This one is probably one of the most interesting 'Black Mirror' episodes so far. It showcases a world where people are ranked on the basis of their personality and behaviour. And that rating determines everything that you can or cannot do in your life. From buying homes to getting flight tickets, everything is based on your rating. The Chinese government has already started working on this. They are compiling digital records of their citizens and use all that information to assign them their ratings. You can read more about this here. 5. Season 3, Episode 3: Shut Up And Dance You probably SHOULD know this already. But in case you have been living in a bubble where you think all your online activity is safe, we have bad news guys. This episode has a fairly simple but intense storyline. A young boy is caught masturbating by hackers who got access to his laptop's webcam through a random software. They blackmail him using the same and it obviously turns REALLY ugly in the end. Here is a fan made video of the same: Getting access to someone's laptop and recording everything using their laptop or computer's webcam has become extremely easy now. Even your mobile isn't safe anymore. Time and again, leading authorities including the FBI director and Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg have warned people to cover their webcams while they use their systems. 6. Season 3, Episode 6: Hated In The Nation If you ever thought bees cannot be scary, think again. The gist of this episode is that mechanical bee prototypes are developed to combat the effects of bees dying. (They are in reality dying because of climatic changes). The government tells the citizens that these bees are mainly developed to pollinate flowers, but that isn't true. They are also used for mass public surveillance and become the reason behind a number of mysterious deaths. We won't give away all the details. But guess what? These bees are now a reality. Well, sort of. Japan has invented bee-like drones which can pollinate the flowers, thereby ensuring that a drop in the bee population does not affect the eco system. Hmmm, we wonder what further use it can have. 7. Season 4, Episode 3: Crocodile An investigator uses a device called a 'Recaller', which allows the viewer to see memories of a person and is extremely helpful to investigate accidents. Now the 'recaller' might not become a reality anytime soon but another major aspect of this episode is already in the works. A self-driving pizza delivery truck is what causes an accident in this episode. In reality, Pizza Hut and Toyota are collaborating on a self-driving pizza delivery truck. In fact, Toyota would also collaborate with other firms for these cars or trucks that might also function as a mobile store. Introducing the first Pizza Hut fully autonomous delivery concept vehicle. Excited for our future with @Toyota #CES2018 pic.twitter.com/YGNQUgijha — Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) January 8, 2018 All of this just proves that 'Black Mirror' isn't that fictititious after all. We are now scared. Very, very scared.
  11. “Be it caste or communal violence, they stall the growth of the nation. Let us affirm that we will be free from these tensions.” This is a test. It's a great quote, actually. Threatening violence just because of caste or communal differences does take us backwards as a society. We are better than this, right? I like to think we are. Now, just take a moment here and guess whose quote it is. Difficult? Okay, let me make it easier. The quote is by a seasoned politician, with a bright future. Try and guess again and keep it to yourself. It's a test, remember. Read on. The controversy around 'Padmavati' has well and truly erupted in the past couple of days. It's been so crazy that I've personally not managed to keep account of all the bounties on the heads of Ranveer, Deepika and Bhansali himself. Is it Rs. 5 crores for deepika's hands or 10 crores for Ranveer's head? And who are these incredibly rich people who are outbidding and sponsoring murders direct on national television? © BCCL What we're witnessing in 'Padmavati' protests is the silent extreme majority, that's not silent anymore. And this is not just a one-off. There have been warning signs we've ignored for a few years now. It's a continuation of the dilution of the Indian culture to suit the extremist views of the right wing. We've seen it in other forms earlier - you eat meat, you die; you speak out against the establishment, you're anti-national; you marry outside your religion, it's love jihad. For a country that prides itself for being incredibly tolerant, the evidence points otherwise. While artists, journalists and anyone with liberal set of values are labelled inconsequential in regards to this new idea of India, the likes of Hindu Mahasabha and Karni Sena are allowed to run amok. Recently, in one of the most bashful displays of power, the Hindu Mahasabha established a 32-inch tall bust of Nathuram Godse, the assassinator of Mahatma Gandhi at its office in Daulatganj, Gwalior City. For them, Godse was a nationalist and the 'temple' at their office is a matter of pride. "Nobody should have any objection to this as we have set up the temple in our own space. It is Mahasabha's own property," said Mahasabha's Vice-president Jaiveer Bharadwaj, justifying his organisation's actions. To understand the current political environment of the country, it's important to know what feeds this kind of hate and activism. India is going through an economic downturn. After a massive blow to the Indian economy because of outlandish and brutal policies that were executed badly, the government lead by Narendra Modi is facing unprecedented backlash from its core group of supporters. Be it jobs or the promise of bringing structural reforms to labour laws, the gulf of difference between what was promised and what's been delivered is slowly changing the mood at the ground level. It's not scary enough for an upset in the upcoming state elections but it will definitely be an issue if the tide doesn't turn soon. © BCCL Therefore, the current wave of nationalism and cultural protectionism is a quick-fix way to divert attention from issues that truly matter. It's a master-stroke by the government in power but there's a thin line between insanity and genius. Historically, whenever the government of the day muddles in issues that flame communal hatred or pit particular communities against each other, it doesn't end well. Be it Indira Gandhi in Kashmir in 1983 or the Sangh Parivar's agenda of Hindutva now, political parties looking to further their vision of a 'new-age' India with societal controls often blows up with horrendous circumstances. In contrast then, the hullabaloo surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum-opus 'Padmavati' is intriguing to say the least. The Rajput community contests that some scenes in the movie depict Rani Padmini as the love interest of Khalji, the bashful Muslim ruler who is supposed to have courted Rani Padmini during his conquests in north India. But according to Bhansali himself, that's not the case because the controversial 'dream sequence' was never filmed. This statement from Bhansali must have cleared all such doubts but somehow it snowballed into a bigger controversy thereafter. “This movie embroiled into so many controversies because of some rumour. Rumour is this, in the movie a dream scene has been filmed between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji. I have already rejected this claim and also given a written proof of this. Today again, I am reiterating through this video that in our movie there is no such scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji, which would hurt the sentiments of anyone,” Bhansali had said in his attempt to clear the rumours. That there's no dream sequence in the movie is abundantly clear from Bhansali's statement as well as the special screening that was held for a handful of media persons. But still, the release of the movie seems to have been deferred. What is it then that makes the story of 'Padmavati' controversial? © BCCL In order to understand the historical account of this story, it's important to note that Khilji defeated the Rana of Chittor in 1303 and subsequently died in 1316. The story of 'Padmavati' though first appears in 1540, in a book of poetry by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, a sufi poet. That there's no mention of Padmavati for 224 years when she's supposed to have committed jauhar to save her honour against a Muslim ruler shows that the Khilji-Padmavati romance theorists did actually got it wrong. Why haven't then the filmmakers made sure that the true story comes out? Were the protests being seen as a good marketing vehicle for a movie with considerable investment? In hindsight, 'Padmavati' the movie doesn't deserve to be released. In fact, it should be banned. The government, by default, should take steps to stop its screening, now or in future, just because we know how inept it was in stopping all the protests and madness around it. If you are not against it, then you are for it, surely. The makers of the movie have given in to threats and political statements that amount to extortion, even though they can objectively convey that there's not even a single frame with both the characters of Padmavati and Khilji onscreen. They have chosen to take a step back and allow a theatre of threats and lunacy to play and sort itself. It puts up a lot of question marks over their beliefs and priorities because if they can't even stand up for their own work, then why should the audience risk a viewing amidst a threatening and violent environment? And so, we come back to what it means for India. What it means for a country where installing a statue of a murderer is tolerable but releasing a movie with stories of characters that might actually be fictional, is a headache? Can we continue to call ourselves modern when every difference of opinion is labelled anti-national? It's all inconsequential. Why? Read that quote once again. “Be it caste or communal violence, they stall the growth of the nation. Let us affirm that we will be free from these tensions.” -Narendra Modi See the irony now? Modi is essentially a politician PM. And the problem with politicians is that they want us to affirm that we will be free from these tensions (communal, caste violence) but only when it suits their agenda. Other than that, be it Padmavati or Bajirao, Godse or Bhindrawale, they're going to leave you at the mercy of the mob because fear is the best form of social control and that is all they crave, especially when they are in power.
  12. With over billion fans across the globe, football is arguably one of the most popular sports on the planet. While football as a sport has been cherished by fans, the footballers, themselves, have enjoyed the status of demigods. There is no shortage of fame or money which in turns explains why some of the hottest women are smitten by footballers. The world of football has certainly seen a number of legendary 'Playboy' figures in the history of the game. Whether it was Manchester United legend George Best who loved women and alcohol as much as football or Italian great Antonio Cassano who once claimed he slept with 600-700 women during his playing career, football has seen it fair share of womanisers. But, when it comes to women, none of them even come close to the skills of Cristiano Ronaldo off the field. The Portuguese star is considered one of the greatest-ever players in the modern game. Barring the World Cup, the 32-year-old has probably won everything there is in football. On top of that, there is a continual influx of money coming through staggering wages and brand endorsements. And, considering that, there's no doubt Ronaldo continues to live his life king size. New animal in the building Bugatti Chiron ðððâï¸ðâï¸ A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Sep 28, 2017 at 10:32am PDT However, going by his past relationships, Ronaldo is not much of a winner when it comes to making it last with women. From hot models to prominent socialites, the Real Madrid talisman has been linked with them all. But, the recent revelation by an aspiring model and reality TV star has undoubtedly left the star striker red-faced. Natacha Rodrigues has sent shockwaves across the football fraternity with claims that the former Manchester United star cheated on his pregnant wife Georgina Rodriguez earlier this year. She further revealed that Ronaldo "used" her for ***. © Instagram/@natachasofs.oficial Speaking to British daily 'The Sun', the 21-year-old said: “I knew he had a girlfriend but we became friends, there was trust between us, a bond. He was a lovely person and after messaging for so long it was amazing to be with him. Our night together was special but afterwards I told him I was going on a Portuguese reality show and he told me not to do it. By the time I came out he'd blocked me. Now I think he just used me for ***. I don't have regrets because being with him was like a dream come true but I feel betrayed.” © Instagram/@cristiano Ronaldo and his current girlfriend Georgina, who gave birth to their first child on 13 November, have been together for 16 months. Earlier, the Real Madrid forward was in a relationship with supermodel Irina Shayk for five years before the pair separated. © Instagram/@irinashayk Even with Irina, Ronaldo was accused of cheating on her. In 2015, Chilean Playboy bunny Daniella Chavez had also claimed that she got together with Ronaldo for the special night while he was still dating Irina. © Instagram/@daniellachavezofficial In an interview with Mexican newspaper Reforma, Daniella claimed: "Cristiano was very shy at first, but when he built up his confidence was quite a man, though still a bit fearful. He loved me, but the idea was not to show it. I just wanted to fulfil a dream and have *** with him. I love his body. (Cristiano liked) my face, my breasts and the fact that he had never slept with a Playmate". Though it's hard to ascertain whether the recent claims of Natacha are true, but going by Ronaldo's history with women, we won't be surprised if more women come forward with similar allegations in near future.
  13. Defending champions and back-to-back Champions League winners, Real Madrid have fallen eight points off the top with arch-rivals Barcelona leading the La Liga table after 11 matches. For the first time since 1995, Los Blancos failed to win any of their opening three home games. Their loss at Girona was their first defeat to a top-tier debutant since 1990. And, they've lost two of their last three games in all competitions so far. Among many reasons behind their noticeable slump, the harrowing form of their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo in the league is probably the biggest. The 32-year-old was recently crowned the Best FIFA Men's Player for 2017, but his on-field exploits so far in the league have been far from that. His own struggles in front of goal reflect Real's across the pitch this season. However, if there's anything the Portuguese footballer is cherished for, it's probably his hunger to be the best in business on the back of sheer dedication and hard-work. That's exactly why he was seen sweating it out in training, while his Real teammates were away on international duty. © Reuters After being excused from international duty with Portugal by Coach Fernando Santos, Ronaldo decided to make full use of the extra space at the club's training ground where he showed the old flash of brilliance we're all accustomed to seeing with a sublime goal. While standing on his own in the penalty area, Ronaldo met a cross with his shoulder and threw the weight of his muscular torso at the ball to send it flying towards the goal. His unbelievable shouldered effort didn't just found the back of the net, but it did so by absolutely bamboozling the goalkeeper who was just left to watch the ball sail over his head and into the far corner. ððð¥ #RMCity Bravo, @Cristiano! A post shared by Real Madrid C.F. ð (@realmadrid) on Nov 10, 2017 at 1:39am PST It was arguably the perfect goal to score in front of his son Cristiano Ronaldo Jnr who was invited by his father at Real Madrid's training ground. And, fortunately for his fans, a camera was recording at the time of the incident and the resulting video was shared on Instagram. © Instagram/@cristiano Continuing to amaze even at the age of 32, Ronaldo showed he can still find the back of the net - using his shoulder - as he did here in this outrageous lob during training. Surely, there was no pressure on, and crucially, no defenders in his face to distract. But, it still takes an incredible level of skill to pull off such a feat which almost made us believe that we were watching a FIFA 18 video. In his seven La Liga appearances so far, Ronaldo has scored just one goal - his worst start to a league season at the Bernabeu. On the other hand, his rival Lionel Messi has found the back of the net on 12 occasions in 11 games. Of his 48 shots in the Spanish league this campaign, Ronaldo has a strike rate of just 2.08 per cent. He is currently 710th in the strike-rate ranking across the top five leagues in Europe. © Reuters But, despite his poor La Liga form, the Real Madrid forward has scored eight goals across all competitions, with six of those strikes coming in the UEFA Champions League. And, going by his recent exploits in the obsessive training sessions, it won't be long before we see Ronaldo hit the ground running, especially after he made a bet with his Real mates that he'll bag the Pichichi award at the end of the campaign.
  14. When it comes to flying cars, the concept has always been a fantasy ever since the automobile was first invented. However, it may not be a fantasy anymore as Uber and NASA are partnering up to develop a flying taxi that might just be ready to take over the skies by 2020. © Uber The taxi-hailing company signed a deal with NASA yesterday to develop an air traffic management system so that Uber can fly their taxis safely. The partnership was announced by Jeff Holden, Uber head of product on Wednesday. The agreement was signed as a part of NASA's Space Act Agreement where it allows a collective of industry leaders and other companies to work towards safer and efficient flying taxis and unmanned aerial systems. The flying taxis will be flown at low altitudes so that it does not interfere with the traditional air traffic of jets and other aircrafts. Uber detailed how the concept will actually work and their long-term vision for the flying taxi service in a marketing video. Check it out: The flying taxi service will be able to pick up and drop off up to four passengers at selected locations. Uber has not discussed the pricing model for the service, although Uber expects the ride to cost as much as an UberX trip. That's actually really cheap! © Uber Uber has already been investing in self-driving cars and also announced plans for flying taxis in cities like Dallas and Dubai by 2020. However, Uber has now added Los Angeles to the list of cities that will host trials for the service. Uber may just be pushing the envelope, however, there is no way to ascertain whether this service will be expanded to other countries. A self-driven taxi may never be seen in India due to the country's driving habits and lack of basic driving etiquette. We sure as hell are not expecting a flying taxi service to enter India, especially with all this smog around us! © Uber However, the flying taxi service may also be the saving grace for traffic problems in a city like New Delhi. Uber predicts that a trip of 15 kilometres will take about 30 minutes as compared to 1 hour 20 minutes in a car.
  15. KARACHI: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal remarked that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor became a reality due to the efforts of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. While addressing the Pakistan International Trade Fair 2017 on Friday, the interior minister shared that projects worth Rs27 billion have been completed under CPEC. Iqbal also claimed that China invested $35 billion in Pakistan at a time when no other country was interested. China is truly Pakistan?s ?friend in need, a friend indeed?, he remarked. The investors in Pakistan were scared to invest in the country due to its conditions but China helped us through this time, he added. CPEC helped diversify energy generation projects, he remarked, adding that now Pakistan will not be dependent on other countries for resources such as oil and liquefied natural gas. Three hundred and sixty LNG projects are being worked on under CPEC, he added. Seventy years ago, no one would have imagined capitalising on the coal available in Tharparkar, he remarked, adding that the resource is now being tapped courtesy of CPEC. Pakistan International Trade Fair has been organised by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with Badar Expo. The expo, which was inaugurated by President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday, seeks to provide a platform to entrepreneurs to showcase their products to buyers from more than 20 countries.
  16. What happens when an NRI comes home for Diwali? They expect quite a few things. This is what they end up getting.
  17. What happens when an NRI comes home for Diwali? They expect quite a few things. This is what they end up getting.
  18. Virtual Reality will change the face of cinema in the next decade -- but only if content keeps up with the advances in technology, industry experts at the Busan International Film Festival predict - AFP BUSAN, South Korea: Virtual Reality will change the face of cinema in the next decade -- but only if content keeps up with the advances in technology, industry experts at the Busan International Film Festival predict. VR is already being heavily promoted by the tech giants, with Facebook and Microsoft launching new headsets they hope will ensure the format goes mainstream. Studios and film-makers are also poised to capitalise, as cinema industry reports estimate VR could generate as much as US$75 billion a year in revenues by 2021. Earlier this year, the IMAX chain opened its first VR cinema in Los Angeles, while the leading film festivals -- including Cannes, Venice, and Tribeca -- now have sections dedicated to recognising ground-breaking work in the medium. "Facebook and Apple are pouring billions of dollars into this industry and these hardware developments are key but it will all come down to content and we are excited by the way that is developing," explained Korean-American filmmaker Eugene Chung, whose production "Arden's Wake" won the Best Virtual Reality award at Venice in September. Chung insisted the format is going to shift public perception and expectations of cinema. "We?re really building the future," he said. But revolutions in cinema do not always play out; despite their early hype, 3D movies have struggled to rival traditional film consumption. IMAX has scaled back its 3D screenings, while box office figures in the US show declining audience interest, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. But proponents of VR insist this time, it is different, and the format is likely to succeed because it fully immerses viewers in the imaginary environment. BIFF programmer Park Jin, who organised the event's VR section, which comprises more than 30 features, documentaries and animations, described VR as the "future of cinema". 'A strange game' In Busan there has been a huge buzz around the VR programme, with constant queues to experience what is on offer -- both individual booths and a cinema are showcasing films. "It feels a bit strange at first, a bit like a game, but once I got used to the equipment it was quite exciting,? said 60-year-old Kim Young-min, who had come to BIFF to take in a retrospective of legendary Korean actor Shin Seong-il but had been lured over to the VR show by her daughter. Experts say therein lies the catch -- the "computer game" feel to some shows can be a little off-putting. "We need to find some emotion and how to engage the viewer in that," said filmmaker Che Min-Hyuk, a producer at the VR Lab run by Korean media industry giants CJ. "As filmmakers with VR we still don't really know how far it will take us and the audience." Chung conceded the industry needs to tread carefully -- going to the movies will not be the same social experience if everyone is in their own world wearing headsets. "We think the impact of this medium is going to be incredibly powerful," he said, admitting that it would be a voyage into the unknown in terms of social impact. "There's a first spaceship factor. When video games came out I think we as a society underestimated their impact so there are definitely things we need to look out for in VR in the coming years." But film giants are embracing the challenge. At the Cannes festival this year Oscar-winner Alejandro G. Inarritu showcased his VR production "Meat and Sand", while Warner Bros created a trailer in the format to promote Stephen King adaptation 'It'. Dreamscape Immersion, whose investors include Steven Spielberg, 21st Century Fox, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, last month signed a deal with AMC Entertainment, the world's largest theatre chain, to rollout "Virtual Reality Multiplexes" where members explore storylines in virtual worlds and interact with other people's avatars. Director Jerome Blanquet, whose film "Alteration" won an award at the Tribeca Film Festival, said: "VR is like a dream. You can walk, you can fly, you can do anything."
  19. YouTube virtual reality video series ?The Confessional? debuted on Tuesday, featuring comedians Trevor Noah, Judd Apatow and Howie Mandel, as parent company Google races Facebook to attract viewers to the new medium. Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc , has boosted funding for virtual reality video producers since it unveiled in October the $79 Daydream View headset, which straps a smartphone display close to a user?s eyes for stereoscopic video. About 500,000 immersive videos are available on YouTube, and the streaming service plans to increase the titles and genres. ?Nearly half the time in VR headsets is spent in video,? Julia Hamilton Trost, partner development manager at Google VR, said in an interview. ?We need to give creators tools to make VR content more easily, then also partner with people to push content to the platform as well.? An undisclosed Google grant to production company Felix & Paul Studios in Montreal funded the creation of ?The Confessional.? In seven, minutes-long episodes over the next few weeks, comedians and YouTube stars including Lilly Singh and Grace Helbig will confess about embarrassing and awkward moments in their lives such as first dates gone wrong. Felix & Paul Studios proposed the idea to Google a few months ago and filmed at Montreal?s Just for Laughs comedy festival in July. Underscoring the infancy of the medium, Felix & Paul co-founder Paul Raphael said ?The Confessional? marked the first time in four years that the studio felt comfortable cutting between shots in a video without disturbing the immersive experience. Jumps can be jarring to viewers, especially when wearing a virtual reality headset, he said. Felix & Paul benefits from government tax credits and venture capital, but most of its work is funded by Facebook or Google. Facebook announced in May plans to spend $50 million on virtual reality content, excluding video games, over an undisclosed period. Google has not specified overall spending for virtual reality. This year, YouTube launched a training program for videomakers with at least 10,000 followers that comes with a project grant of about $30,000. The streaming service also introduced a new video format for semi-immersive videos, which cost less to create. Other Google VR partners have included fashion magazine Vogue and the National Football League. As with other YouTube uploads, virtual reality clips are supported by ads, with revenue split between the company and the uploader.
  20. Anil Kapoor never has, and never will be, dressing for his goddamn age. "As you grow older, you gotta dress simpler" is something he shoved deep in the ground, long, long ago. True, he's always lived life this way, but well, he's never looked back either. What we mean: he's only gotten better with time. Take for instance, his recent terminal #OOTD. There's a checked shirt, classic jeans (if not very slim-fitted), his often-repeated kicks, round sunnies and well...the smartest take on summer layering we've seen in a while. Even today, the man's clearly outsmarting his younger contemporaries (no surprises there). © Viral Bhayani Here's the thing: a 'shacket' exists, you see. It's a menswear staple (it's just not used very often). Or in layman terms, your #1 piece for legit summer layering is the shirt + jacket. Imagine a hybrid that looks like a shirt and jacket, but without any fusing. Which makes it more effortless, easy and makes for a brilliant lightweight jacket for sudden chills. Besides, its presence on a dressing legend like Mr. Kapoor almost seems like a perfect fit. Not saying that the 'shacket' is having its biggest moment right now, but it's definitely a try-piece at some point in your life. © Viral Bhayani Naturally, it also took the actor no efforts to prove his mettle while sporting it. There's nothing extraordinary about how he's styled it, really. Proving, that you don't need celebrity stylists or a million-dollar closet to do complete justice to a rare piece of fashion. So, basically, if you haven't yet, invest in at least a pair today. Pro Tip: Pick darker hues as base.
  21. Facebook Inc plans to release a new virtual reality headset that does not require a separate computer to operate, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday. Photo: AFP file SAN JOSE: Facebook Inc plans to release a new virtual reality headset that does not require a separate computer to operate, allowing for more mobile uses than the company?s existing Oculus Rift product, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday. Zuckerberg, speaking at a conference for virtual reality developers, said the ?Oculus Go? device would cost $199 and ship early next year. Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality hardware, expecting that the technology could one day move from a niche interest to a widely used platform for gaming, communication and business applications. In 2014, Facebook paid $3 billion to acquire Oculus and retain its employees. The new standalone headset will be more accessible because it will not be tethered to a computer, Zuckerberg said, differentiating the product from the Oculus Rift system and the rival Vive system made by HTC Corp. It will also be different from the Google Daydream headset, made by Alphabet Inc, because it will not require a smartphone to operate. Facebook will permanently cut the price of the Oculus Rift system to $399 from $499, the company said.
  22. The Hindu Mahasabha has come out all guns blazing and targeted the BJP and RSS for destroying Nathuram Godse's legacy. Yes, you read that right. We now live in a country where an organisation is aggrieved for taking away its bragging rights for assassinating someone of the stature of Mahatma Gandhi. Just two days ago the SC appointed amicus curiae Amarendra Sharan, to look into recent documents of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, which show that Gandhi was killed by a fourth bullet by an unknown person and that this information never came to light. © hinduexistence Pankaj Phadnis, a researcher and trustee of Abhinav Bharat, filed the petition. Abhinav Bharat is inspired by Vinayak Savarkar, an accused in the assassination of Gandhi who was later acquitted. Hindu Mahasabha national VP Ashok Sharma said, "Both BJP and RSS owe their existence to the ideology conceived by Hindu Mahasabha and they know that it is only this outfit which can expose the mask these two organisations wear today. Besides, since Mahasabha's identity is inseparable from Nathuram Godse's, they are trying to create some doubt over his role in the assassination to deny him the credit. They know that Mahasabha will be marginalised without Godse." These statements show a lack of respect for the father of the nation and how some fringe groups are disillusioned with the history of modern India. While these groups have always been a part of the Indian political landscape, reining them in is necessary because such statements have the potential to snowball into communal violence.
  23. The Google logo is seen on a smartphone in front of a displayed HTC logo in this illustration taken September 21, 2017. REUTERS TAIPEI/SINGAPORE: When HTC Corp brought back founder Cher Wang two years ago to turn around the struggling Taiwanese mobile phone maker, investors hoped she could stem a sharp loss in market share to Apple and Samsung Electronics. But the gamble to rebuild the early smartphone pioneer?s reputation failed, as its market share has continued to dwindle - to below 1 percent from closer to 10 percent in 2011. On Thursday, Wang announced HTC was shifting around 2,000 staff, mainly handset engineers, to Alphabet?s Google in a $1.1 billion deal that casts doubts over the company?s longer-term future. ?Our main consideration is that our brand will continue,? Chialin Chang, who heads HTC?s mobile business, told reporters. ?So our major releases will be as usual. In future, HTC will concentrate not on our portfolio size, but what?s in the portfolio.? Wang, a pioneer in Taiwan?s male-dominated technology industry, founded HTC 20 years ago as a contract manufacturer and established it as a leader, designing and making Microsoft-powered smartphones. It later turned out its own branded phones, but often struggled to translate positive early reviews into strong sales, despite spending heavily on marketing, including a collaboration with ?Iron Man? star Robert Downey Jr for its flagship HTC One phone. It also struggled to carve out a strong consumer brand in a market where Apple and Samsung grew quickly and have since been joined by Chinese rivals such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. HTC shares have slumped around 90 percent since the company?s 2011 peak. This week?s deal marks a retreat from HTC?s smartphone legacy. ?It may take a hard look at its smartphone business ... and think it?s probably better to wind it down as soon as possible rather than for it to drain more cash,? said David Dai, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. ?If it focuses on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), there?s a much more concrete chance the company turns things around.? That prospect pushed up HTC shares by their daily maximum of 10 percent on Friday, valuing the company at around $1.7 billion, as some investors hope the Google cash helps HTC focus on its Vive VR headsets and reduce its development costs. HTC Chief Financial Officer Peter Shen said the deal will cut operating costs by 30-40 percent. Glimmer of hope While the Google cash throws HTC a lifeline for now, it may find it hard to retain staff, analysts said. Google has cherry-picked the best people, said a former HTC executive who has spoken to current employees, adding: ?It?s hard to see how anyone remaining would be enthusiastic.? ?Google?s investment will probably slow, but not stop, HTC?s decline,? said Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics. Even Vive faces tough competition against the likes of Samsung and Sony Corp, which control half the $2 billion global AR and VR headset market. HTC saw flat second-quarter growth, and had 4.4 percent market share after a price reduction. ?Vive remains in the red; free cash flow is negative; book value is eroding; and sales growth is decelerating,? JP Morgan analyst Narci Chang said in a note following the Google deal. ?Nevertheless... we think HTC might narrow the loss considerably... enough to keep the business afloat and beat the (market) consensus for the next few quarters.? For now, no major VR overhaul has trickled down to staff. ?It (Google?s investment) could be (a good thing), but it?s business as usual,? one Vive employee told Reuters.
  24. The last two days have been nothing less than nightmarish for every Mumbaikar. The city woke up and never slept peacefully for the next 48 hours, at least. The reason being? The floods that have been more of a hindrance than anything else. What every other city-dweller sees is a city that gets a ton of rain in the monsoons that makes everything seem prettier. That's not entirely true and is rarely ever the case for a city that is overcrowded and overtly polluted. Add to that, a lack of space on roads and mediocre infrastructure and you have recipe for disaster when the monsoon sets in. (c) Reuters To put it simply, Mumbaikars live in fear of a repeat telecast—or in this case, weathercast—of August 29th 2017, when the entire city came to a halt; courtesy: the rains. I, personally, am yet to get over the worst memory I've had this season—that of my father falling in one of the potholes; rather manholes on 29th August but still made it back home. The doctor, however, never made it back when faced with a similar incident. (c) Reuters Yes, that's the reality of the Mumbai Monsoon that is often glorified and glossed over in Bollywood flicks. I dare filmmakers to portray the scene more realistically. Rumor mills It all began on 19th September, when heavy rainfall didn't stop; family and friends came out to support each other, call and make sure everyone was safely back home. Early evening on Tuesday, rumours surrounding a cyclone hitting the city started circulating on Whatsapp. However, it was quickly dispelled by the BMC; thank God for that! There were also messages about how the Bandra Worli Sea Link, SV Road and various other routes had been shut due to waterlogging. Mumbai is engulfed in panic and pandemonium during the rains. (c) Reuters ‘'I was trying to find a cab back home, there was none. No Uber No Ola. Rickshaws wouldn't help either. But it was 6 pm and I had nowhere to be, so I decided to stay in one of the hotels, first their café and then their lobby,'' says one Mumbaikar who requested to remain anonymous. Travel Woes At the airport, the main runway was shut, following the skidding of a Spicejet aircraft. Flight operations were badly hit and 108 flights were cancelled, while 51 were diverted to different airports. (c) Reuters This didn't just happen on the 19th; but, also continued till 20th late evening. “I was just hoping my flight would take off. It was supposed to take off at 4:30 pm but it didn't until 9:30 pm. There were massive amounts of crowds at the security and boarding gates. The lounge wasn't empty either, but I managed to sit” says traveller Meghna Petkar. Not just the airports, but even public commuters suffered. A video went viral over the internet when an inter-state train passed by Nalasopara station and splashed water all over the platform. And due to the excessive amount of waterlogging, all trains were delayed, or not working. (c) Reuters The roads were another story altogether, with subways flooded, roads shut, waterlogged, all worked overtime to heighten the panic as Mumbaikars scrambled to get back home. The Spirit of Mumbai – or not? Due to the rains, various Mumbai university students who have been already facing months of delay in results also had to undergo their own dilemmas; which also makes you wonder what kind of a system is our government running, anyway. I mean you lack basic infrastructural elements and to add to that, you're not even well-equipped in the education or medical sections. (c) Reuters One such student, Disha Bhatt, talked to us about her dilemma. “I'm totally troubled by the rains because I had to go to the Mumbai University. Thanks to their faulty system and horrible management, I was given zero in a paper and almost 30% fewer marks in a paper. I couldn't go to the university because of the rains and they refuse to extend the dates. And since they will be shut for 2 days due to rains. Our results of evaluation will get pushed to even further dates. Delaying the whole admission process into the second year of MA,” she told us. (c) Reuters It doesn't stop there. Wait till you read this next bit! “I sense that men just don't see situations. They don't understand the plight of how it's so difficult to manage in a crowded place for women. All you see is, they're pouncing on you like animals,” says Kamakshi Sharma, who was stuck at the Andheri Station, waiting for her father to help get her back home safely. She soon realized that all lecherous men at the station were ogling at her. “While you walk, while you are on a call, while you wait for someone. It irritated me until I reached home,” she complains. “It wasn't a rape case. It was no molestation. But, it doesn't take away from the fact that it was a disgusted feeling, seeing men trying to come to touch you without your knowledge. When you are busy doing your work, they very well know to do their job. Sick.” She managed to reach home safely within an hour. But, let's at least try to imagine how many such Kamakshi's would be out and about facing and overcoming this discomfort. (c) Reuters Yet, there are others who manage to see the brighter side to every situation. One such person is Myron Braganza. “Humanity rekindles again. Animals are struggling for help. But, some men use it as an advantage to harass, grope or molest women. People are on the streets cleaning up the water rather than waiting for BMC. Mumbai is united.” I guess every cloud has a silver lining. And that's probably the irony of a city like Mumbai. Some come out to help; others would pay to just stand on the dry sidelines that are above the water levels, and watch. (c) Reuters The point to remember during the Mumbai floods is that it's best to just stay indoors as much as possible. Order some delicious food, cook or binge watch your favourite show or movie! Thank God for the Swiggys and the Freshmenus of the digital world and of course, Netflix really solves the chill problem. And while you're being grateful, try to help those who have none. (c) Reuters You can follow official social media handles and see through the baseless rumours or panic. You can even use helplines issued by the officials. Avoid areas that are known to be water-logged and flooding and try to spread awareness as much as you can to people around you. Make sure you keep all devices charged, in case of long power cuts that could leave you stranded. Don't go out and play some football and act cool just because they did so in DDLJ, or they do so in the football leagues. Keep your wits about you. Instead, you could go out and help those who are in trouble. That's a much better way of being cool.
  25. The book opens with a scene from a typical Monday morning in an Indian corporate environment. The protagonist is trying to get on with life on a Monday morning, as is every Indian middle-aged guy. The protagonist has a great job—good money, professional success and people who appreciate his work. But, it's not enough. The problem? A mid-life crisis. Sounds familiar? That's because it is. © Pexels Mukund and Chaddha, the two key characters of the book are all Indian males—they're got secure jobs that pay the bills and more; but, they don't do what they love. And they go on this way till it comes to hit them out of nowhere. One resigns to find his ‘calling'; while the other is fired. The narrative is like listening to your typical guy friend talk about his daily life; it's non-pretentious, casual and rustic. It does get monotonous at certain points when the author somehow fails to intrigue the readers in the finer details of the plotlines. However, once you've delved deep enough into the book, you find yourself strangely invested in the lives of Mukund and Chaddha and the courses each one's own life takes. © Bloomsbury India Blowfish is majorly about life and everything that comes along with it. The book is the literal representation of the saying that starts, like, ‘When life gives you melons…' However, what you do with the melons is each one's own decision and that's what Tripathi writes about in Blowfish. Why You Should Read Blowfish? Because the book is about every one of us who is struggling—to make ends meet, to find meaning in what we do, to meet targets and to make the most of life, without screwing up. It's about finding satisfaction in life. It's about work, love, friendships, relationships, the Indian corporate environment and the mentality of Indian professionals. © Pexels It's easy to relate to the protagonists; for the simple reason that the protagonists are a reflection of the reader. Through most of the scenarios that the author takes you through in Blowfish, you'll be able to find some incredibly relatable instance of your own life glaring back at you. And that's why you should read Blowfish, Because nothing will relate and connect with you better; not even the next guy who's probably going through something similar. © Siddharth Tripathi via Facebook And aside from the slightly long drawn details that you'll occasionally find yourself wanting to skip, you'll find that Tripathi has a particular brand of wit that is fast, funny and hard-hitting. Tripathi paints a realistic picture of everyday scenarios and manages to craft a story that is one of every Indian guy. He isn't a Chetan Bhagat, or a Durjoy Dutta. He doesn't paint it any colour that it isn't meant to be. So, if you're looking for storylines that border on a Bollywood script, you might not find it in Blowfish. What you will find is an absence of flashy cars, posh bungalows and melodrama that is overhyped at the very least. You will find WagonRs, typical Gurgaon traffic jams and moments of happiness and joy in the little, more real instances that happen—both, in the book and in real life. Read Blowfish if you really want to connect with reality, with a few laughs and a pinch of salt.