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08. May 2008

China opens the world’s longest cross-sea bridge


Kicking off May with a bang, China will open the world’

s longest cross-sea bridge today linking Shanghai with the industrial city of Ningbo. The $1.7 billion bridge opened up to traffic on a trial basis at midnight and will be fully open to public following an inauguration ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Cutting the distance from Shanghai to Ningbo from 250 miles to just 50 miles, the 22-mile bridge is now the world’

s longest sea-crossing structure.

Completion of the bridge took just 5-years.



03. April 2008

Tibet Protest from different perspective.

25. January 2008

Nepal scripts the best child welfare story

This was printed on the India’s Number One English Daily . Feels Good .

Despite a devastating 10-year civil war, Nepal has scripted the best child welfare story in the world, slashing child mortality by over 65% and magically improving child healthcare.
“Nepal is one of the seven countries in the world that has been successful in cutting child mortality by two-thirds,” said Gillian Mellsop, Unicef’s Nepal representative, releasing the report ‘State of the world’s children’ in Kathmandu Thursday. “What is commendable for Nepal is that we were able to make this progress despite the conflict the country has experienced in the last decade.”

In 2001 in Nepal – one of the world’s poorest countries where remote villages lack healthcare, safe drinking water, electricity and sanitation – 91 children under the age of five died in every 1,000 children, according to the health ministry. Last year, the number was slashed to 61 per thousand, making Nepal one of the four top success stories in the world, the other three being Indonesia, Egypt and south Asian neighbour Bangladesh.
Worldwide, more than 27,000 children under five die every day, most of them from preventable causes.
Last year, more than 80 percent of the deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.
The reduction in the child mortality percentage in Nepal was better than in its bigger neighbours China and India. China reported a 47 percent decline in its child mortality rate and India reported 34 percent.
“We are world leaders in this area,” said Yasho Vardhan Pradhan, director of child health division at the health ministry.“In Nepal, 5,000 children used to die of measles every year. But after our anti-measles campaign, there are only sporadic cases. Even in 2004-05, when there were shutdowns and devastation every day, we continued with our campaign, injecting 9.5 million children.”
Nepal’s other magic successes are axing iron deficiency by 77% and bringing 83% of Nepal’s 4.5 million under-five population under immunisation programmes. Pradhan attributes the success to the state’s willingness to embrace innovation and its faith in the communities that participate vigorously in childcare programmes. IANS

22. January 2008

Onscreen kiss is OK in Nepal

This was a news in a popular Indian channel news site .Excerpts Here. Found interesting enough to share

Traditional Nepal received its first onscreen kiss serenely, providing quite a contrast to southern neighbour India where kisses – on screen and off it – have ignited public frenzy and lawsuits.

Kagbeni, a Nepali adaptation of WW Jacob’s 20th century supernatural classic The Monkey’s Paw, that released in Kathmandu, Biratnagar and Pokhara city this month, has been receiving rave reviews with foreigners and the Nepali elite flocking to theatres.

Shot in Kagbeni village in mountainous Mustang district in north Nepal, the story revolves around a young apple cider maker and his wife who ask for gifts of an ancient monkey’s paw with dark powers and get a travesty of what they had desired.

Theatre actor Saugat Malla and Kathak dancer Deeya Maskey play the couple Ramesh and Tara who celebrate the arrival of a machine from the city that would boost their business by making love.

There is a brief but passionate scene where the two debutant actors lock lips and the kiss is used for the film’s promos as well.

Bhushan Dahal, CEO of Nepal’s biggest private TV station Kantipur, who also makes his directorial debut with Kagbeni, says he was surprised by the public reaction to the kiss and love-making.

“A lot of people talked about it when the promos were shown,” the 42-year-old told IANS. “But after the film was released, people hardly mentioned it.”

Dahal, who also hosts a chat show and is being courted as a celebrity model, feels the kiss was accepted because there was nothing “illegal” about it.

“Nepal is conservative but not to the extent of going to court,” he said.

“In the cities, people watch a lot of Hindi and English films. In the villages, a lot of Nepalis go abroad for work. They are all aware of that particular intimate moment and know it happens between a man and his wife,” Dahal said.

Maskey, who comes from a very conservative family, said she hadn’t known she would have to actually kiss someone when she auditioned for her role.

“The director convinced us about the scene,” she said. “It’s also a matter of trust, the credibility of the banner you are working under.”

When Malla kissed her, she said she retained her sense that it was simply acting, like her other gestures.

“I was a little nervous,” she said. “But there were people in front of us, behind us. That helped.”

The 26-year-old, who faced a lot of opposition from her family when she decided to dance in music videos, had kept her fingers crossed about their reaction.

“I was tense when the promos were aired,” she said. “But when the film was released, the scene merged with the plot and there was nothing over the top about it.

“My elder brother was the first to congratulate me. Thanks to ‘Kagbeni’, my family has now accepted my new career,” Maskey said.

In India, actress Shilpa Shetty was taken to court just because she was kissed by Hollywood star Richard Gere at a public programme to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Perhaps it speaks volumes of Nepal’s serenity that after the hullabaloo, Gere chose to slip into Nepal for some peace and no one raised an eyebrow.

21. January 2008

China’s Internet population looks on track to surpass that of the US

This year, China’s Internet population looks on track to surpass that of the US, making it the world’s largest online community.

The Chinese government announced that the country’s Internet population has risen to nearly 210 million people. China’s online population grew 53 percent from the 137 million that was reported around the same time last year.
However, China needn’t rest on its laurels as it lags behind the US in some respects.

For instance, China’s penetration rate is 16 percent according to the official agency Xinhua. The US was at this point back in the mid 1990s. Currently, 75 percent of American adults are found to be online, as per the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Also, the term ‘Internet penetration’ means different things to the two countries.

In China, a majority of the people who can’t afford a computer at home have access to Internet mainly through cyber cafes. One third of Chinese online users surf through cybercafes, Xinhua found. While 93 percent American online users have access to Internet from home, according to the Pew Project.

China promotes Internet use only for peaceful, business, and education purposes, blocking the public from viewing material deemed as pornographic or critical of the communist regime. Not so America which is a democracy in every sense of the term.

Commenting on the differences between the two countries, John Horrigan, director of Pew said the US and China are two countries at very different points along the Internet adoption curve. China is approximately 15 years behind, he said.

This is not to undermine China’s online growth. Horrigan said that as more and more users go online in China, there’s increasing demand for Internet content in Mandarin and other Chinese languages. Besides, it’s learnt that the Chinese are accessing the Internet through mobile devices, offering China a distinct opportunity to shape the Internet through usage everywhere.



28. December 2007

10 Worst Tech Products of 2007

These are the 10 worst Tech Products according to Yahoo.

Would you be surprised to learn that a certain Windows upgrade made the list? Behold the worst tech of the year, including a pair of $7,250 speaker cables, ad-riddled video downloads that expire after a week, a much-hyped TV set-top box that’s dying on the vine, and more.So here we go…in alphabetical order:

Apple TV: Apple’s foray into the living room seemed like a no-brainer, and this HDMI-packing, Wi-Fi- and Ethernet-enabled set-top box looked like a sure-fire success. From the beginning, however, Apple TV was hamstrung by the meager movie selection (and now dwindling selection of TV shows) on iTunes, plus the fact that you can’t browse or buy videos directly over the box. Even worse, Apple seems to have lost interest in its home theater “hobby,” with a full six months passing since the last Apple TV software update. Short of a sudden infusion of new features, look for this once-promising box to go the way of iPod Hi-Fi.

iPod Battery Replacement Kit: One of the chief complaints I hear about the iPod (and the iPhone, for that matter) is that the battery is sealed in the casing, with Apple adding insult to injury by charging $60 to replace out-of-warranty iPod batteries (or $86 for the iPhone). So here’s Blue Raven’s $30 iPod battery replacement kit, which consists of a new battery, a tiny screwdriver, and a plastic thingy that looks like a mini crowbar (similar kits are available for the iPhone). I tried it with my old iPod, and I replaced the battery all right, but I also managed wreck the crummy plastic tool and scratch the heck out of my once-shiny iPod in the process. Next time I want to scratch up my gadgets, I’ll save $30 and use my own little screwdriver, thanks very much.

Microsoft Surface: Unveiled in May with great fanfare, Microsoft’s jaw-dropping Surface computer—a touch-sensitive tabletop PC that immediately invited comparisons to Tom Cruise’s mid-air dragging-and-dropping in “Minority Report”—whipped the tech press into a frenzy of excitement. But scratch Surface and you’ll something a little shy of elegant, including a full-on Vista PC and five (count ’em, five) motion-detecting cameras mounted beneath the 30-inch touch-sensitive sheet. Oh, and then there’s the $5,000-to-$10,000 price tag. And of course, in true Microsoft fashion, the first Surface systems (intended primarily as kiosks in retail and hospitality venues) have reportedly been delayed until spring. Something tells me it’ll be a long, long time before we see these babies in our living rooms.

NBC Direct: Give NBC credit for trying a little of everything when it comes to online video, but here’s a service that’s got a few too many restrictions for comfort. Yes, you can download full, free episodes of shows like “Heroes” and “The Office,” but you have to sit through commercials, and you can’t transfer shows to a portable player or another PC, and the videos won’t work on a Mac…and the shows expire in a week, rendering the files unwatchable. Great.

Palm Foleo: It was a two-pound sub-notebook—sorry, smartphone companion—that was supposed to connect to your phone via Bluetooth and let you type emails, surf the Web, and edit documents with a full-size keyboard and screen. As I’ve written before, the Foleo might be a good idea in a decade or so, when our supercharged smartphones become our primary computing devices. But when it was announced in June, reviewers dog-piled on the Foleo, complaining that the $500 gadget would be just another device we’d have to lug around. Smelling a flop, Palm benched the Foleo before it ever saw the inside of a store.

Pear Audio “Anjou” speaker cable: I’m sure this pair of 12-foot speaker cables sounds just fine—but the $7,250 price tag puts it in contention for tech rip-off of the year.

Ringles: The big music labels still think the CD can be saved, and the “ringle”—a a $5.98-to-$6.98 bundle of three songs, plus a ringtone, all in an eye-catching slip cover—was the latest in a line of painfully sad attempts to lure us back into brick-and-mortar music stores. Last time I checked, however, CD sales were still tanking.

SunRocket VoIP: More of a service than a gadget, mind you, but still one of the biggest tech debacles of the year (and one, as many readers pointed out, that I should have mentioned in my recent “10 Tech Train Wrecks” post). SunRocket was, in fact, a perfectly fine VoIP service—that is, until July 16, 2007, when the financially strapped company abruptly closed its doors and disconnected tens of thousands of customers without warning. Well, that’s one way of handling customer service.

Windows Vista: Where to begin? Vista arrived in stores months late, forced untold thousands of users to upgrade their hardware, made mincemeat of software and drivers that worked perfectly well in XP, ended up lacking many of the bold-faced features we’d been promised, and came saddled with new and annoying set of video DRM schemes. At least Vista now boasts an option for downgrading back to XP. (Now, before you Mac fanboys out there begin gloating, let me remind you that Leopard shipped a full six months late, and that many users are still suffering from sluggish, buggy systems after upgrading.)

Wireless USB: Just imagine it—the convenience of USB, without all the wires. Sounds awesome! Too bad the first examples of Wireless USB technology have fallen flat. Case in point: the IoGear Wireless USB Hub & Adapter, a device that’s supposed to deliver speedy wireless connectivity within a range of about 30 feet. Reviewers took a crack at the $200 IoGear hub (including our own Chris Null) suffered slow and spotty connections from only a few feet away, and promptly went back to their old, but reliable, USB cables. Wireless USB may well be the wave of the future, but “future” is the key word.


And here are the best 10


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