Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Sony announces 6.44 inch water-resistant Xperia Z Ultra for Q3

Summary: Samsung showed large display smartphones can be successful and now we see Sony reveal their entry into the phablet market with the Xperia Z Ultra.
Sony recently announced the Xperia Z for T-Mobile and today offers up a competitor in the large smartphone, aka phablet, market with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra (PDF press release).

CNET hands-on with the Xperia Z Ultra

I owned, and loved, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but went back down from that 5.5 inch display to the HTC One at 4.7 inches. As the market continues to offer larger display devices, I find myself moving to smaller displays on my phones with a tablet along for heavy surfing or work. While Samsung has shown success with its large Note line, I wonder if that is due to their marketing power or if people really are looking for smartphones that are no longer pocketable.
Larry posted an article discussing the minor differences in screen sizes in the small tablet space and I am left wondering how much tenths of inches means to smartphone buyers.
The new Xperia Z Ultra has a whopping 6.44 inch display, but comes in at just 6.5mm thick as Sony continues to focus on thin phones as a selling point. The Z Ultra has an 8 megapixel camera with the same water and dust resistance found in the Xperia Z.
One reason I liked the Note II was the S Pen functionality and it appears that is still something unique to Samsung's line. The Ultra Z does let you use a stylus, not included, pen, or pencil to write on the display, but it is not pressure sensitive so line weights are not supported.
One impressive specification is the use of a 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. It has all the typical wireless radios, 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage with microSD card slot, and 3,000 mAh battery.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is expected to launch in Q3 globally in three colors (black, white, and purple). It is an impressive looking large smartphone, but I personally am no longer that interested in phones that don't easily fit in my pocket.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Salman Khan: Bollywood's bad boy
A Mumbai court on Monday ruled that actor Salman Khan will be tried for the 2002 hit-and-run case. The sessions court rejected Khan's appeal that there wasn't evidence against him to merit a trial. The actor will be tried for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and has been

given a month's time to appear before the court.
The actor had rammed his car into bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four others who were sleeping on the pavement. READ MORE
With the Mumbai Court's ruling that Salman Khan will face a culpable homicide trial, we take you back to all the times the Dabangg star hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.
SalmanHit-and-Run Case: In 2002, Salman Khan was accused of allegedly running over five people, killing one and injuring others on a Mumbai pavement in September 2002. He spent 17 days in jail. He clarified later that he was not driving.

The latest is that the magistrate court has added the harsher legal section of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the actor. Under this section, if found guilty, the court can award can award Khan a maximum punishment of 10 years’ of imprisonment. READ MORE
Blackbuck Case: In February 2006, Salman Khan was convicted under the Wildlife Act for poaching a Chinkara in Jodhpur during the shooting of film Hum Saath Saath Hain in September 1998. He wasSalmansentenced to one-year imprisonment and was slapped a fine of Rs. 5,000. Actor Saif Ali Khan too, was accused of the hunting.

Salman Khan is supposed to have dated four actresses and has a unique controversy with each of them.
Salman-Sangeeta: Salman’s first lady love was model-turned-actor Sangeeta Bijlani. The two broke up after a couple of years. After their split, Sangeeta married former Indian Cricket team captain, Azharuddin.
Salman-Somy: In 1993, Somy Ali came to Mumbai from US. With Salman’s help, she made her debut in Anth (1993). The two came close but eventually broke up in 1998 due to Salman’s excessive drinking and abusive behaviour. There were even rumours of Salman smashing a Cola bottle on the former's head while they were dating in the 90s but Somy denied in a recent interview to HT.
Salman-Aishwarya: Till date, one of the actor's most-talked-about Salman-Ashcontroversies was his tumultous relationship with Aishwarya Rai. Salman and Aishwarya Rai (now Bachchan) began their romance in 1999 while they were shooting for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Their love life ended in 2002 on a turbulent note as Salman was accused of abusing her. Reports claimed that Salman, unable to accept the breakup, had started harassing and hounding and even threatening Aishwarya. He apparently even slapped a journalist once for asking him questions about Aishwarya.

Salman-Katrina: Katrina Kaif met Salman in 2003 when she was still a struggling model. The two came close when Salman mentored her and got her several plum film projects and were in a relationship for a long time. In 2011, Katrina told a magazine that Salman was her first serious relationship.

It is believed that Khan's over-possessive nature was the reason behind their break-up. They two supposedly split in 2008 but have continued to remain friends, appear at events and star in films together.


KhansClash of the Khans: In 2008, Salman and Shah Rukh Khan broke into a heated argument resulting in a physical fight at Salman’s then girlfriend and actor Katrina Kaif’s birthday party at a restaurant in Mumbai and things were never the same. Ever since, the two actors have constantly been taking digs at each other, adding more fuel to the fire.

But then just when everyone was certain that these two stalwart Khans could never make peace, there came reports of the two supposedly patching up at Yash Chopra's Jab Tak Hai Jaan premiere party where almost the entire film fraternity was present.

However, a few days later, SRK made clarifications denying the whole truce story. Although the two have not openly buried the hatchet yet, there was another recent incident of Salman Khan coming to SRK's defence on the last season of Bigg Boss. But none but them know the real story till date!

VivekVivek Saga: Actor Vivek Oberoi ruffled feathers in 2003 with his claim at a press conference that Salman had abused him and threatened to kill him as Vivek was close to Salman’s ex-girlfriend, Aishwarya Rai.
In 2010, Salman apologised for making a controversial remark about the 26/11 terror attack in an interview saying, “Everybody knew the (Pakistani) govt wasn’t behind it and it was a terrorist attack.”
Salman was also slapped with a fatwa by Muslim organisations not once, but twice. The actor got one for attending Ganesh Puja and the other for getting himself waxed at Madame Tussauds in London.
Having said that, of late, Salman Khan seems to have tried to stay out of controversies. And the box office reports, polls results and his massive following say the rest!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Making Money From Home  For many of our forebears, home wasn't just a place to live—it was a center of commerce. Whether by running a cottage industry or a family farm, our ancestors earned a living not far from where they ate and slept. Work began moving away from home during the industrial revolution. Now, in the information age, work-at-home jobs are gaining new ground. In this article, we examine several work-at-home options—and alert you to common work-at-home scams.
Every morning, I roll out of bed about 6:30, take a shower, eat breakfast, read from the Word, and head to work. In my case, work is about five steps from the kitchen. I am among the estimated 20-30 million of Americans who work from home.
Some of us work at home full-time. Others do it part-time to supplement the family income. Some work for specific employers. Others work as freelancers. Still others operate their own home-based business.
Working from home isn't new, of course. Family farms have been around as long as the human race has existed. More recently, European merchants of the Middle Ages often had their shops on the first floor of their houses, and their living quarters upstairs. In the 18th and 19th centuries, women often were engaged in cottage industries involving sewing and spinning.
But most of us grew up in situations in which "work" was some place other than at home. Work was at the office across town or at the factory several miles away.
Even so, work-at-home businesses have never gone away completely, and with the advent of inexpensive computers and high-speed Internet connections, many tasks that used to be done in "traditional office" space can now be done in "virtual" space. The Web also has simplified the product-ordering process for people involved in home-based direct sales, and has lowered the "cost of entry" for budding entrepreneurs who can now create businesses with a worldwide reach on a shoestring budget.
While working from home is enjoying a new heyday, don't get the idea that home-based work is for everybody. Frankly, some people simply aren't cut out for it. Working from home, especially on a full-time basis, demands that one be an organized, self-starting, goal-oriented perfectionist with limited need for social contact! Knowing your way around a computer helps too.
But the big catch is the job itself. What can you do from home and earn a living? "Aye, there's the rub," as writer Will Shakespeare once penned. In this article, we'll offer an overview of some popular work-at-home opportunities, as well as a few you would be wise to stay away from.
Work a little, earn a lot?
A Google search on "work at home" yields about 1.8 million results, some touting intriguing pitch lines such as "Earn $500-$1000 per day" and "Mom Makes $5K/Month at Home." Guess what? Most such ads are simply scams dressed up in work-at-home clothing. Christine Durst, cofounder of Staffcentrix, a virtual-careers training company, estimates that more than 98 percent of advertised work-at-home ideas are either "outright scams or downright suspicious." (Durst's company screens online job offers and rates them Another site that investigates work-at-home ideas —their slogan: "We lose money so you don't have to.")
As the old saying goes, "Forewarned is forearmed," so here is a rundown of just a few of the work-at-home scams you're likely to run across if you're searching for a way to make money from home:
Rebate processing. This one seems plausible (scams often do). After all, someone has to process all those UPC codes and other paperwork that people send in to get rebates.
But this is often a bait-and-switch scam. After you send in your $200 to get started in the rebate-processing business, you'll probably find out that what you've actually done is sign up to be an "affiliate marketer" for whatever product the company wants you to sell. If you sell something, then you get to process the rebate forms that your buyers send back in. So, yes, you will be processing rebates, but not quite in the way you envisioned. (By the way, the rebate money will come out of what you earned on your sales, so every time you process a rebate, you lose part of your earnings. Ouch.)
Mystery shopping. Not all mystery shopping jobs are scams. There are companies (particularly those with franchise operations) that pay people to shop at specific stores or eat at particular restaurants and then report back about their experience. This gives the companies helpful feedback about quality control.
But the mystery-shopping scam is a bit different. In the scam version, the unsuspecting shopper is told to provide feedback on a Western Union or MoneyGram outlet. The scammer sends the newly hired mystery shopper a check, along with instructions to deposit it in the shopper's personal bank account. Then the shopper is instructed to go to a Western Union or MoneyGram outlet and wire a portion of that money (drawn from the shopper's bank account) to a particular location.
The scam: The initial check turns out to be fraudulent, so the shopper has just wired his or her own money to the scammer (who is never heard from again).
Google cash. This one, promoted on hundreds of web sites, goes by many names: Google Money Tree, Google Profits, Google Money System, Fast Cash with Google, Google Home Business Kit—you get the idea. It’s not Google itself trying to scam users—it’s companies that use tools provided by the search engine to try and sell kits and services that teach you how to make money on it.
The pitch varies from site to site, but is often something like this: "Hi! My name is Cindy Ward, and I'm a stay-at-home Christian mom in Greenville, South Carolina. I've discovered how to make a great part-time income using my computer from home! I work about 15 hours a week and bring in an extra $1,300/week on average. I can stay home with my three wonderful kids and still make money, and anybody can do it!" (One site with the "I'm-a-stay-at-home-Christian-mom" pitch advertises heavily on conservative blogs, targeting conservative Christians who are ripe for taking the bait.)
Other "Google cash"-type sites target workers who've been laid off: "A few months back, I lost my job as a boring account rep for a manufacturing company. But now I make $5,000+ a month on Google. You can do the same."
Still others target people who've been burned by scams: "I got so frustrated with all the work-at-home scams that I was ready to throw in the towel. Then I discovered how to make money with my own Google business." Scam sites routinely acknowledge that scams are rampant. It's one way they try to gain your confidence ("I got scammed four times before I finally found a legitimate way to make money online.")
These "Google Cash" sites often seem disarming, with family photos and chatty copy. Usually there are comments posted from folks (smiling photos attached) who signed-up and now have found out "just how easy it is to make money online." One site notes that "BusinessWeek recently published a story about all the people making money with Google" (while failing to note it was about people earning big returns on Google stock).
Somehow it all seems too good to be true. And it is. Poke around a bit and you're likely to find the fine print. This is from an actual site promoting a make-money-on-Google scam: "All persons mentioned on this blog are fictional examples … for demonstration purposes only." What? Cindy, the stay-at-home Christian mom with three wonderful kids, isn't real? "The statements contained herein come from many different people and are not necessarily being made about the specific products discussed." All those endorsements from folks thanking Cindy aren't really about Cindy and her money-making program?
Well, at least the fine print is honest. Unfortunately, many people don't read the fine print. They take the bait and sign up. After all, Cindy seems so nice and the sign-up fee is cheap—only about $3—so what do I have to lose?
The "honest" fine print addresses that, too. "After 14 days, you will be charged a monthly fee of $47.50 for … membership. After the 30-day trial [you] will be charged $99 for the program … You may stop payment on any pre-authorized charge by notifying [us] at least three business days prior to the scheduled charge date." Unfortunately, there is no clear contact information listed on the site, so finding a person to contact about stopping your monthly payment of $47.50 (and your $99 fee) may be a bit difficult.
By the way, a lack of contact information on a "make-money-from-home" site is a red flag. When there's no clear way to contact whomever is running the site, that is usually a pretty good indicator you're dealing with a scammer. Even if there is contact info, don't assume everything is okay. Check it out. If an address is listed, look it up on Mapquest or Google Maps. See if it really exists. If there's a phone number, call and find out who answers.
More scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, other common work-at-home scams are related to medical billing ("There's a severe shortage of people processing medical claims!"), envelope stuffing ("For a small fee, we'll tell you how you can earn money stuffing envelopes at home!"), and assembly and craft work ("You can assemble products at home in your spare time!"). In each case, the only one making any money on these deals is likely to be the scammer, who happily accepts your sign-up fee and the money you send in for a "start-up kit"—and then disappears.
What’s legit?
So much for scams. Are there any legitimate home-based work opportunities out there? Yes.
For example, home-based call-center agents now account for nearly one-fourth of all call center agents in the U.S. and Canada. According to the 2009 book Undress for Success(playing off the idea that you can work from home in your PJs), "all of the more than 200 people who answer the phones for JetBlue Airlines work from home in locations all over the country … [And] LiveOps's 16,000 call center agents field everything from restaurant takeout orders to insurance questions, all from the comfort of their homes."
Call-center jobs typically involve order taking, ticketing, general customer service for banks and insurance companies, and even tech support. Some companies also are using work-at-home agents to support customers via e-mail and live chat.
But getting a call-center job isn't easy. "[T]he number of job applicants for home-based positions far exceeds the number of jobs available," note authors Kate Lister and Tom Harnish in Undress for Success. LiveOps, for example, receives more than 150,000 job applications a year. From that number, only about 4,500 people are hired. To make the grade you must be computer savvy, demonstrate a professional-sounding telephone manner, and have a quiet workspace (no barking dogs or noisy children). And, of course, you need your own computer, a high-speed connection, and perhaps a dedicated phone line. (For call center job leads, check out and
Another legitimate work-at-home job is the "virtual assistant" (VA)—the telecommuting version of a secretary or administrative assistant. The job of a virtual assistant, like that of the VA's office-based counterpart, is "making the boss look good" by taking care of details. On any given day, a virtual assistant's duties might include proofreading, data entry, building a PowerPoint presentation, scheduling appointments, and sending out thank-you notes.
According to Undress for Success, many VAs work for real estate agents, doing tasks such as preparing listings, arranging inspections, maintaining a web site, and even helping agents build a presence on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Some VAs work for multiple clients. As you might imagine, this can create quite a time-management issue, so VAs must be excellent organizers. (To learn about becoming a Virtual Assistant, and
Another home-based field that is growing is the "personal concierge" business. This type of enterprise focuses on taking care of tasks and errands people don't want to do (or don't have time to do) for themselves. These range from gift buying (either online or in person) to event planning. If you're organized and resourceful—and can land some well-moneyed clients—this kind of work can be quite lucrative.
Are you academically inclined? You might consider becoming a virtual teacher or tutor. This is a rapidly expanding field, as schools (even at the elementary, middle, and high school level) increase the number of online classes being offered.
Of course, a big roadblock to getting a job as an online K-12 teacher is state certification. Almost all states require their virtual teachers to have the same teaching certifications as traditional in-class instructors. At the college level, online instructors typically are required to have a graduate degree and prior experience in teaching.
So if you think you'd make a good teacher but don't have the prerequisites (or even if you do), you may want to look into online tutoring, providing one-on-one help to students struggling with specific subject areas. (For online tutoring jobs, check,, and — under "education.")
Direct Sales
Even before the Web revolution expanded work-at-home opportunities, millions of people were earning money from home-based businesses affiliated with direct-sales giants such as Avon, Mary Kay, and Amway (the Amway brand returned to the scene a year ago after being rebranded as "Quixtar" for several years).
According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), such businesses are as popular as ever. In 2007, the DSA estimated that about 15 million Americans were working in direct sales, almost 90 percent of them women. (Worldwide, the sales force tops 60 million people, working as representatives of more than 200 direct-sales companies.)
In addition to the companies mentioned above, other firms that partner with home-based entrepreneurs (this is only a small sampling) include The Pampered Chef (cookware/kitchenware), Usborne (books), Tupperware (food containers), The Longaberger Company (baskets/kitchenware), Melaleuca (nutritional products), and Shure Pets (pet care products).
Many direct sales businesses are built on a model known as multi-level (sometimes called "network" or "matrix") marketing. The business owner (i.e. the home-based businessperson) earns money from direct sales to customers, as well as claiming a percentage of the revenue earned by "downline" sellers that the owner has recruited to become part of the company's sales force. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this model, there are a couple of common pitfalls with these types of businesses. Consider the following two examples.
Andy Willoughby's 3-Step Plan recruits its sales force by advertising heavily on Christian and conservative-talk radio (Willoughby's folksy ads always include the line, "How in the world are you anyway?"). Although the 3-Step Plan does market a product (Xango juice), the product is clearly secondary to the idea of "owning a business" and "earning additional income." In fact, Willoughby's radio ads don't even mention the product.
The purpose of the radio ads is to generate a steady stream of "prospects" that can be turned over to existing distributors for telephone follow-up, thus helping distributors grow their "downline" organizations ("Hi, Fred! I'm calling because you responded to one of Andy Willoughby's ads on the radio. That was you, right? Terrific! So you're looking for a way to make money from home?"…)
A second business opportunity advertised heavily on radio — this one by self-proclaimed "beach bum" Ty Coughlin — is something called The Inner Circle. There are variations operated by other people, but all are based on a marketing approach known as the Reverse Funnel System. The "system" requires potential recruits to pay $50 just to get information about what the business does, thereby winnowing out all but the most interested people right from the start. (A funnel turned upside down — with the small hole at the top—would limit what could pass through. That's what Coughlin's system does; thus the name, reversefunnel.)
Prospects willing to pay the $50 upfront free are then given a hard sell about how they can generate a $1,000 commission on each product sale, not only on sales made directly but also on sales made by each person in one's "downline." (In this case, the product being sold is a time-share-like resort-vacation package.) But, of course, you can't start earning those $1,000 commissions unless you sign up—which costs about $3,000.
While you have to be careful when evaluating direct-selling business opportunities, that's not to say there aren't good ones out there. Just keep in mind that whether it's cosmetics, containers, or some other product, the operative word in any direct sales business is "sales." For such a business to be successful, products must be sold. (Indeed, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the sale of actual products is a key aspect that distinguishes multi-level marketing from illegal pyramid schemes.)
Success in direct sales, therefore, requires sales talent, product-line knowledge, and the ability to keep track of the administrative side of the selling process. Those most apt to do well are detailed-oriented people with outgoing personalities. Further, in a multi-level business, becoming highly successful requires knowing how to recruit, mentor, and motivate other salespeople.
Of course, many people who enter direct-sales businesses aren't really looking to earn a full-time living. They simply want to generate a certain level of supplemental income. If that's your goal, and you're able to build up a small but loyal clientele, a direct-sales business could be just the thing to add several hundred dollars to your income every year (and allow you to get personal discounts on products to boot).
Keep in mind, however, that there is a "cost of doing business." In direct sales, that cost is likely to include the purchase of kits, catalogs, and product samples. You might even be required to maintain an inventory of products. So be sure you understand the cost commitment, not just the profit potential, before you sign on the dotted line. (Also realize that you assume some legal liability in becoming a product distributor, as explained in thisConsumer Alert from the Federal Trade Commission.)
The write stuff
"Few occupations are better suited to working anywhere than writing," write the authors ofUndress for Success (who, as you might guess, wrote their book from home). "Even before the advent of the Internet, a writer equipped with a typewriter and a mailbox or a courier service could click out a living from home."
Perhaps the best arrangement for a work-at-home writer is to be employed full-time by a specific publication, such as a magazine, newsletter, or website. But that kind of arrangement is likely to come about only if you have a previous connection with the employer.
Another option for a home-based writer is to work as a freelancer. "The problem with freelance writing for a living—and, for that matter, any freelance income—is that as soon as you finish a project, you're unemployed again," note Kate Lister and Tom Harnish inUndress for Success. "Good writers will spend at least as much time chasing work as they do words." So if you're going to be a freelancer, you'll need to be a good self-promoter as well. (Sites that connect freelance writers with clients include,
Another niche for home-based writers is launching a blog (short for "weblog"). The best bloggers have a deep knowledge base about a niche topic and can develop an audience of readers who visit their blog regularly. While anyone can start a blog, only about 2 percent of bloggers actually earn a living by blogging. It's tough work (1) becoming an expert in an area that (2) people want to read about regularly and (3) writing about it well enough that they come back often, but it can be done (learn more here).
Finding word-at-homes jobs
In addition to checking the websites previously mentioned, here are a few more sites that may help as you search for a work-at-home job: aggregates job listings from newspaper classifieds and other sources; features jobs posted directly by employers; focuses on jobs that offer flexible working conditions; lists telecommuting jobs (the site charges a one-time $15 to gain access to complete listings).
Working from home has its share of rewards—many of them nonfinancial. For example, a five-second commute is great. But get rid of the mistaken idea that money will roll in while you're relaxing in your easy chair, eating popcorn and watching reruns. A work-at-home job requires real ... work! You're simply not likely to earn $1,300 a week while working just 15 hours. And for most people, a work-at-home job is going to involve some type of selling. So if you decide to pursue a work-at-home job, be realistic about the effort required, as well as the costs that will be incurred and the potential profit that can be made.
The good news is that it is possible to make money from home if you have the right set of skills and are willing to make a genuine effort. You might not get rich, but you may be able to earn a decent living or supplement your other income.
And perhaps you will better be able to appreciate the lifestyle of those far-away forebears whose workplace and homeplace were the same place.

India beat England to clinch ICC Champions Trophy
BIRMINGHAM: It came down to the proverbial wire, but in the end all of England's melancholic weather and the T20-like drama could not deny India its share of joy in gloomy Birmingham on Sunday. From the start of the Champions Trophy early this month, they had been the team to beat here. In the end, they remained unbeaten.

Scorecard Match in Pics
India beat England to clinch ICC Champions TrophyIndia's players celebrate winning the ICC Champions Trophy final match against England at Edgbaston cricket ground, Birmingham on June 23, 2013. (AP Photo)

The only coveted trophy missing from India's cupboard - MS Dhoni's too - was finally won in dominating style as they signed off from the United Kingdom on the note that they had signed in. The men in blue had once shared this trophy with Sri Lanka in 2002 after being declared joint-winners because of a final marred by rain, but the  result wasn't quite appetite whetting.

The win over England by five runs, in a rain-shortened encounter that was unfair to India considering the three breaks in their innings and the sun was out when the hosts batted, once again affirmed their position as World Champions in the 50-over format. If this was indeed the last edition of the Champions Trophy, it will have to be an ode to a team that arrived here in the aftermath of extremely disturbing developments back home, enjoyed unparalleled fan-following here, looked the most dangerous side from Day One and won a final in which the odds were completely against them.

England will be in mourning. They came close to a win in the weather that best suited them only to be defeated for the fifth time in the final of a major ICC tournament.

Sunday's final was a farcical one indeed and nothing can be taken away from the organisers of the event - the ICC - in the manner in which they messed up with the schedule of the tournament. Since 2004, the Champions Trophy has been void of reserve days for the final and not even the preposterous English weather could help convince them otherwise.

It was a match that looked like it was played simply to get a result and compensate the sponsors and advertisers who may have paid handsomely for the tournament. The ICC technical committee in fact went ahead and extended the deadline to finish the game by three hours, instead of having a reserve day in place.

Chasing 129 for victory in 20 overs - reduced from 50 because of constant showers - England started on a shaky note, losing captain Alastair Cook to Umesh Yadav at the start of the innings. However, middle-order batsmen Eoin Morgan and Ian Bell resurrected the innings, bringing their side almost to the brink of a win. But once they left, the remaining batsmen caved in.

It was Dhoni's admirable captaincy - the way he rotated his bowlers, spread the field and kept the faith - that did the opponents in. R Ashwin's spell put England under severe pressure while Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma kept plucking wickets.

Earlier, India lost the toss and were put in to bat first. After losing an early wicket in opener Rohit Sharma, the team rode on Virat Kohli's 33-ball 43 and Jadeja's 21-ball 23 to post 129-7 in 20 overs. It was a mockery of the game as players walked in and out of the dressing rooms whenever the drizzle halted play.

Rain thrice stopped play but considering that it was a truncated game, the target set by India wasn't revised because the stipulated number of overs was possible. It was clearly unfair on Dhoni's team to bat in conditions that weren't just terrible but marred by continuous interruptions.

In the end, the deserving team won and firecrackers finally lifted the spirits at Edgbaston.

Batting on a pitch

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World War Z: Brad Pitt brings zombie film back to lifeShare on print

  • Image Credit: AP
  • World War Z was shot on a budget of $190 million, expensive for a horror flick.
LOS ANGELES - Brad Pitt’s zombie apocalypse movie “World War Z” is coming back to life.
After soaring costs and script challenges threatened to doom the film, Paramount Pictures re-shot the finale and headed into the opening weekend bolstered by positive reviews. The studio also embarked on a marketing blitz that included personal appearances by Pitt to hype the film’s fast-moving zombie hordes that scale walls and invade an airplane in flight.
The reversal could turn “World War Z” into a profitable film and stave off a loss for Viacom Inc.’s film unit. The movie, which cost about $190 million (Dh697.8 million) to make, is forecast to open with $45 million in the United States this weekend and collect $105 million in total in the US, said. Given Pitt’s global popularity, foreign sales could more than double the U.S. take. Studios generally split the revenue with cinemas.
“After the first pass at the movie we found the final 20 minutes were not consistent with the rest,” said Rob Moore, Los Angeles-based Paramount’s vice chairman. “And by putting together a great group of people, they were able to craft something that lived up to the rest of the movie.”
“World War Z” has a 70 per cent “fresh” rating on, a website that aggregates reviews. Of more than 1,000 ticket buyers surveyed by, 87 per cent said they weren’t influenced by stories about cost overruns, the online ticket seller said in an e-mailed statement.
“It probably won’t be one of the top 10 films of the summer, but it also won’t be ‘John Carter,’ said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations Co., referring to the 2012 Walt Disney Co. flop that lost $200 million. “They spent more than they should have on a horror film, but if it does well worldwide, they could recoup that.”
Based on the previous Pitt action film “Inglourious Basterds” and zombie movies including “I Am Legend,” “World War Z” probably will make a profit, according to SNL Kagan. “Brad Pitt is a very bankable international star,” Wade Holden, a Kagan analyst, said in an interview. “On average, his films gross more internationally than they do domestically, and with the budget for this film it’s definitely going to have to do well.”
News articles began appearing last year that the production, adapted from Max Brooks’s book, was a plague of its own. Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper last month put the budget at $400 million, saying the film could become “the most expensive disaster of all time.”
Paramount originally set the production budget at $150 million and ended up at $190 million, a sum that includes state subsidies defraying some costs, according to people familiar with the project. The figure doesn’t include marketing outlays, which can add 50 percent or more to the total expense.
Moore acknowledged in an interview that costs rose as the studio and Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment company struggled with the story. In the book, Pitt’s character is an interviewer who travels the world collecting the oral histories of people who survived a pandemic triggered by a zombie virus.
Each chapter is a different story, told in the voice of the survivor. Pitt and director Marc Forster turned the character into a researcher called on to save humanity by discovering how the zombie virus can be stopped.
After viewing the original version of the film, Pitt and Paramount executives threw out the ending, a massive battle scene set in Russia, and called in a new writer to reshape the movie. They shot 20 minutes of new footage.
Pitt’s action-adventure “Troy,” released in 2004, opened with weekend sales of $46.9 million in the U.S. and took in $133.4 million in its domestic theatrical run, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie, made for $175 million, collected $364 million in ticket sales outside the U.S. and Canada.
The $70 million action film “Inglourious Basterds” generated a $38.1 million weekend opening and took in $120.5 million in the U.S. The movie, directed by Quentin Tarantino, had total global ticket sales of $321.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
The opening weekend gross of “World War Z” will be less important than consumer word-of-mouth, said Bill Mechanic, chief executive officer of Pandemonium Films.
As chairman of Twentieth Century Fox in the late 1990s, Mechanic faced similar press about budget overruns and set problems in the making of James Cameron’s “Titanic.” The film, which cost $200 million, collected a modest $28.6 million in its opening weekend, good enough for first place.
“Titanic” went on to become the top-grossing film in history, with $2.19 billion in sales worldwide, and held that distinction until Cameron broke his own record with the 2009 release “Avatar,” according to Box Office Mojo.
“If ‘Titanic’ proved anything in terms of publicity, it was that if you have the goods, then it is true that there is no such thing as bad publicity,” Mechanic said in an interview. “All Paramount has to do is get it in front of people, because only the press cares about costs.”
Brighter 'Supermoon' lights up night sky
New Delhi: A 'super moon' greeted sky aficionados today as it appeared biggest and brightest for the year. 

"The full moon today was around 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter as compared to other full moons during the year," Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) Director C B Devgun said. 

The full moon was at its best at around 16:41 IST, he said. 

Super Moon is a situation when the moon is slightly closer to Earth in its orbit than on average, and this effect is most noticeable when it occurs at the same time as a full moon. 

"So, the moon may seem bigger although the difference in its distance from Earth is only a few percent at such times" Dr Jim Garvin, chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said. 

The phenomenon occurs as the Moon's orbit is elliptical with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. 

At closest, our natural satellite lies roughly 3,56,630 kms from Earth compared to the its average distance of 3,84,800 km from Earth. 

The moon reached what is known as its 'perigee', the closest approach to earth in its orbit, at 3,56,989 kms exactly, N Sri Raghunandan Kumar of Planetary Society of India said. 
Leaked images of iPhone 5S, Galaxy Note III

Leaked images of iPhone 5S, Galaxy Note III
Apple iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy Note III have once again emerged in leaked pictures before their official launch.

NEW DELHI: As the second half of the year approaches, the technology industry is abuzz with rumours of the two hottest upcoming smartphones - Apple iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy Note III. The Cupertino-based tech giant is widely expected to launch its next flagship smartphonet in the third quarter, while its fierce South Korean rival will launch the top-end phablet in August. However, both the devices have once again emerged in leaked pictures before their official launch.

Also read: Leaked images of 10 upcoming smartphones
The leaked image of the upcoming Apple iPhone 5S shows a bigger battery and redesigned LED flash. The thing to note here is that the housing encases dual LED flash, giving credibility to rumours of more powerful flash in the upcoming iPhone upgrade. The battery of the phone in the leaked image has also been improved, with rating of 5.92Whr as compared to 5.45Whr of the iPhone 5

Rumours about iPhone 5S say that it will be thinner than its predecessor and feature a 13MP camera on the back as well as a fingerprint sensor. Speculations also point towards a snappier processor, 2MP front unit and multiple colour options.

Galaxy Note III's latest leaked image comes from Chinese microblogging site Weibo and shows the device encased in a cover and chrome stripe along the sides. This photo is consistent with the other previously leaked photo of the phone, with a bigger screen and the standard three-key layout of Android operating system.

The previous leak had said that the display accounts for 84% of the front's footprint, meaning very thin bezels on all sides of the screen. It is rumoured that this phone will have a 5.99-inchSuperAMOLED screen with 1920x1080p resolution, 13MP camera with optical image stabilization and support S Pen stylus. Antutu benchmark records show the score of a Galaxy Note III with 1.6GHz quad-core processor and running on the unannounced Android 4.3 mobile operating system.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Priyanka Chopra's new song Exotic with Pitbull leaked and unveiled

Priyanka Chopra's second song Exotic is out. She tweeted:
Here it is... officially...Exotic..Miss World & Mr. Worldwide..U already know this things on fire!! @priyankachopra

However the song was leaked a day before its release and Priyanka was upset about it but took it sportingly and tweeted:
Ok... so... my new single 'Exotic' has been leaked! I should be angry but I'm actually quite relieved & (cont)

The song is a peppy party number with American rapper Pitbull. It has a mix of Hindi and English lyrics.
Her first song In My City in collaboration with Will.I.Am was a huge hit.
Here is the new song. Take a look: