Facebook 'Timeline' an incredible peek back

Sep 25, 2011

facebook timeline


Facebook on Thursday opened up its platform to a whole new category of applications. These apps will allow Facebook users to enter almost everything they do into the social network — what they cooked for dinner, what book they're reading and what page they're on or what bike trail they just biked.
Facebook has long served as a sort of recommendation engine. We could see which restaurants our friends were at or where they vacationed through their photos.
The new Facebook will work to make this process even more obvious.
Through streaming music services like Spotify, Facebook users can update their friends with each song being sent through their earphones. This kind of lesser, perishable update will quickly pass through the new Ticker on Facebook, a realtime stream of updates from our friends.
Friends can click the update to listen along. And if Facebook notices a pattern, such as three friends listening to the same album, it will create a news feed item telling users just that.
That's a powerful proposition.
Six friends downloading the same app, four friends checking out the same new restaurant, two close friends watching the same show on Hulu. One can imagine how helpful this information could become.
That's where Facebook holds its power — the connections we've all made there. No other online platform can boast such a rich set of data about our personal relationships.
Timeline a powerful look back
The centerpiece of the new Facebook is the redesigned profile, which Facebook calls Timeline.
Facebook has long known a lot about us. Each status update we enter, each friend we connect with, each place we check in to helps Facebook learn more about us.
Facebook has now taken all that data (you didn't think it would forget all that, did you?) and presented it in Timeline, which allows users to scroll back through time.
Users can see what their status updates were, dating back to the day they joined the social network.
As users scroll down the page and back in time, Facebook tries to surface only the updates that will still be relevant years later. Using clues like keywords (big job news) or the number of likes or comments a post received, Facebook can attempt to know which updates will still mean something to us years later.
I've enabled the Timeline view on my profile and it's an incredible peek back in time.
It can be a bit unnerving (I said what?), but also very sentimental. I can quickly see when I first met friends with whom I'm now very close.
I can see wall posts from friends after nights out in college and posts I made earlier in my career about the stories I was writing or who I had met that day.
This is where Facebook starts to scare people.
It's important to know here that Facebook isn't showing our friends any information that they couldn't have already seen by scrolling back in our current profile view. A friend who isn't allowed to see your photos or wall posts now won't be able to see them in your forthcoming Timeline.
But something that Facebook still seems to struggle to understand is that when all those tidbits of information are grouped together over the years, it can paint a clearer picture for our friends than we originally intended.
It's hard to blame Facebook here, though: This is all information we willingly entered into the social network.
And Facebook has decided for us that the powerful experience we can receive when all this information is grouped together is more advantageous than closing ourselves off to it.
The good news here is that Facebook does allow users to control what is displayed on the Timeline. As users scroll back, posts can be zapped from the Timeline (or deleted from Facebook altogether). Stories can also be promoted to appear larger.
Doing this allows users to curate the posts what will undoubtedly color people's views of us going forward.
With Timeline, Facebook is only furthering its grip on our online lives. A platform that knows this much about its users will continue to be an incredibly powerful force in their digital lives.
But with each Facebook change comes the predictable uprising over privacy concerns. Facebook is becoming Big Brother, they say.
True: Facebook knows a lot about us. But with the new Facebook, we'll see what a powerful and exciting proposition that is.

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Facebook's New Timeline Will Tell Who Has Defriended You?

facebook new timeline
There comes a point in every Facebooker's life when they have to comb through their feed and unfriend the guy they met that one time on Spring Break or that girl they think they might have gone to high school with. But the ones doing the defriending aren't exactly sending out a press release to announce who didn't make the cut.

But now it's pretty simple to figure it out. BuzzFeed found that a quirk in Facebook's new timeline shows who has removed you from their friends list. Here's how you can see who has cut you: Enable the new timeline and select a year. Then go to the Friends box. From there, click on "made x new friends." When you scroll through the list, if you see an "add friend" box next to a person's name, you'll know that you're no longer friends with that person.

If you weren't the one doing the unfriending, there's only one conclusion: that person nfriended you. The awkward moment where you consider whether or not to pull a refriend will ikely follow.

Facebook held its f8 developers conference on Thursday where it unveiled the new Timeline layout for user pages.

The new Timelines replace the familiar concept of Wall and Profile; Facebook won't use those terms going forward. You can opt out of the new layout for now, but Facebook will eventually force you to switch to the new version simply because it will be unable to manage both. Facebook said on Thursday that the rollout of timelines will be very gradual.
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Moview Review: The only thing epic about Mausam is its length

Sep 24, 2011

Mausam poster

Film: Mausam

Director: Pankaj Kapur

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor,
Supriya Pathak

Rating: **

There's a stillness about Mausam that is rare in today's fast-paced two-hours-and-you-are-out kind of films. It may be Pankaj Kapur's first feature as director, but the veteran actor is no stranger to storytelling,
having directed plays and some impressive television shows in the past. In Mausam, he displays a distinct, unhurried style, allowing the story to take its course, and letting it develop over a period of time.

The intention was to make a no- holds-barred romance, clearly, and Kapur does just that, unabashed in
his approach (the PR machinery would like you to believe it's 'epic', but that's just pushing it). Kapur makes certain scenes sparkle with an understated, sensitive approach. But Mausam, beautiful as it is in parts, just doesn't work in totality.

The story is stretched beyond belief-- not to mention it's hard to digest after a point -- and unnecessary scenes only add to the misery. It's nothing that couldn’t be fixed at the editing table (Sreekar Prasad), but Mausam's follies lie in Kapur's script itself. Two lovers separated by circumstances repeatedly would be acceptable if the situations were at least believable. But the story demands you to suspend belief repeatedly, and gets convoluted beyond repair eventually.

The first hour of Mausam, though, is a breeze. Set in a village in Punjab, this is where Harry and Aayat meet. Harry aka Harinder Singh is the village bum, naughty but likeable. Aayat's a Kashmiri Muslim, who had to flee because her father was close to Pandits in the valley. This is familiar terrain, yet there's something refreshing about it. Scenes laden with humour (the village sarpanch is a riot) come thick and fast, many of them adding in no way to the story but creating a likeable atmosphere you want to settle in. About 40 minutes down, you are slightly bothered that the plot hasn't progressed much, but you expect good things to happen. Except, they don't.

Mausam becomes a task to sit through when the 'story' begins to unfold. The romance between the boy and girl has been established (including a marvellous sequence where they pass notes to each other as Harry's sister sleeps in the same room). Now, the conflict sets in: the girl leaves unannounced; the boy has to get on with his life. Time elapses. Till they meet again. And the cycle is repeated. Again. And again.

The film’s set in the '90s, so the difficulty to keep in touch might seem valid, but the lovers don’t learn from their mistakes. If I was separated from the love of my life for seven long years, the one thing I’ll do is make sure all means of communication remain open. Also, how difficult can it be to track down an Indian Air Force pilot? Who’s operating from a base, mind you.

What makes Mausam really excruciating is the forced juxtaposition of real events as a backdrop. The Babri masjid demolition, Bombay blasts, Kargil war, 9/11, Godhra. It's like ticking off a check list, without it really helping the narrative in anyway.

'Oh, she's in America, 9/11 to come.' 'She’s in Ahmedabad now, Godhra will follow.' Besides, Kapur doesn't really attempt to delve deeper. If the idea was to merely provide a backdrop, the references could have been subtler. Here, everything is in- your-face. And it all leads to a climax which is inane, to put it mildly. Among the film’s redeeming factors are Binod Pradhan's fabulous cinematography and a lilting score
by Pritam. Shahid Kapoor exudes charm and confidence.

As the young Harry, Shahid excels, while he tends
to faulter as the older, more mature air force pilot. But Shahid's surely come of age with Mausam, and delivers his most accomplished performance yet. Sonam has little to do, or say, and that's not such a bad thing. You don't care much about Aayat, despite her innocence, because Sonam brings nothing to the character. Supriya Pathak and other character actors (Manoj Pahwa, Aditi Sharma, Anupam Kher) do well.

The old-world charm of Mausam is likeable, but doesn't salvage it. In the end, the only thing epic about the
film is its unwarranted length.
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India loses its favourite Tiger, Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi

Sep 23, 2011

nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, fondly known as Tiger, one of India's greatest cricket captains, passed away at Sir Ganga Ram hospital on Thursday. He died due to respiratory failure leading to cardiac arrest. He was 70.

In an international career spanning 15 years, Pataudi played 46 Tests, scoring 2,793 runs with six Test  centuries at an average of 34.91 - all while playing with one good eye. A car accident in July 1961, six  months before his Test debut, left the "dazzling" young talent (as cricket magazine Wisden described him) with a severely impaired right eye. No one would ever know what he could have attained with full vision.
But the Nawab of Pataudi still had the eye of the tiger. In his prime, he was a regal middle-order batsman
who relished scoring at a brisk pace and hooking the fastest of bowlers.

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi with sharmila tagoreHe was also unafraid to step out and play lofted shots against spinners. Pataudi exuded style off the pitch too: his romance and subsequent marriage to Hindi film heroine Sharmila Tagore remains the biggest union of glamour and sports in modern India. They were India's premier Page 3 couple much before Page 3 happened. But above all, he was an astute leader of men. Pataudi was thrust into captaincy mid-series against West Indies in 1962 when only five Tests old and 21 years of age after then-skipper Nari Contractor was struck in his head by a Charlie Griffith delivery that nearly killed him. Pataudi captained India for the next eight years.
 Under him, India won its first Test series abroad, a 3-1 against New Zealand in 1967-68. Equally importantly, under his tutelage, the famous Indian spin quartet earned their spurs and honed their craft, although the larger rewards came to his successor Ajit Wadekar. "He was a bowler's captain. And he was always cool under pressure," recalls fellow Test cricketer Abbas Ali Baig. It was at Pataudi's insistence that the gifted Gundappa Vishwanath got an early break in Tests. A terrific fielder in the outfield, he was one of the first skippers who emphasized the importance of fielding and worked on improving it. Under him, Indian cricket took its first steps towards the modern age. 

The Nawab, whose father too played Test cricket, albeit for England, led India to nine victories in 40 Tests. In today's context, such an achievement might appear modest. But as Mihir Bose writes in 'A History of Indian Cricket', "To a nation that for 20 years regarded a draw as a victory, and whose cricket had a certain predictability, he brought the prospect of victory, often unexpected victories, and his captaincy had an element of daring, at times maddeningly unpredictable, so that even when India failed the impression was of having attempted the impossible." Pataudi also dabbled in politics, though not successfully.

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi with familyAfter being replaced as India's cricket captain by Ajit Wadekar in 1971, he contested the Lok Sabha polls from Gurgaon. His party was VHP - Vishal Haryana Party. He lost heavily. Even his second innings as a politician - he contested under a Congress  ticket for Bhopal Lok Sabha seat in 1991 - was a failure. His mother belonged to the Bhopal royal family.

His association with journalism was more fruitful. For years, he edited the magazine Sportsworld. He also penned his autobiography, 'Tiger's Tale'. Much like his cricket, it was frank and forthright and laced with anecdotes.

Years after retirement, Pataudi retained the aura of a star; his enduring charisma earned him modelling assignments, sometimes with his son, actor Saif Ali Khan. In the photographs, there was no denying he was the bigger and the better-looking star. The Tiger was always burning bright.
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Unborn Baby's Letter to His Mother - Stop Abortion

Sep 22, 2011

unborn baby - stop abortion
Hi, Mommy.

...I'm your baby. You don't know me yet, I'm only a few weeks old. You're going to find out about me soon, though, I promise.

Let me tell you some things about me. My name is John, and I've got beautiful brown eyes and black hair. Well, I don't have it yet, but I will when I'm born. I'm going to be your only child, and you'll call me your one and only. I'm going to grow up without a daddy mostly, but we have each other. We'll help each other, and love each other. I want to be a doctor when I grow up.

You found out about me today, Mommy! You were so excited, you couldn't wait to tell everyone. All you could do all day was smile, and life was perfect. You have a beautiful smile, Mommy. It will be the first face I will see in my life, and it will be the best thing I see in my life. I know it already.

Today was the day you told Daddy. You were so excited to tell him about me! ...He wasn't happy, Mommy. He kind of got angry. I don't think that you noticed, but he did. He started to talk about something called wedlock, and money, and bills, and stuff I don't think I understand yet. You were still happy, though, so it was okay. Then he did something scary, Mommy. He hit you. I could feel you fall backward, and your hands flying up to protect me.

I was okay... but I was very sad for you. You were crying then, Mommy. That's a sound I don't like. It doesn't make me feel good. It made me cry, too. He said sorry after, and he hugged you again. You forgave him, Mommy, but I'm not sure if I do. It wasn't right. You say he loves you... why would he hurt you? I don't like it, Mommy.

Finally, you can see me! Your stomach is a little bit bigger, and you're so proud of me! You went out with your mommy to buy new clothes, and you were so so so happy. You sing to me, too. You have the most beautiful voice in the whole wide world. When you sing is when I'm happiest. And you talk to me, and I feel safe. So safe. You just wait and see, Mommy. When I am born I will be perfect just for you. I will make you proud, and I will love you with all of my heart.

I can move my hands and feet now, Mommy. I do it because you put your hands on your belly to feel me, and I giggle. You giggle, too. I love you, Mommy.

Daddy came to see you today, Mommy. I got really scared. He was acting funny and he wasn't talking right. He said he didn't want you. I don't know why, but that's what he said. And he hit you again. I got angry, Mommy. When I grow up I promise I won't let you get hurt! I promise to protect you. Daddy is bad. I don't care if you think that he is a good person, I think he's bad. But he hit you, and he said he didn't want us. He doesn't like me. Why doesn't he like me, Mommy?

You didn't talk to me tonight, Mommy. Is everything okay?

It's been three days since you saw Daddy. You haven't talked to me or touched me or anything since that. Don't you still love me, Mommy? I still love you. I think you feel sad. The only time I feel you is when you sleep. You sleep funny, kind of curled up on your side. And you hug me with your arms, and I feel safe and warm again. Why don't you do that when you're awake, any more?

I'm 21 weeks old today, Mommy. Aren't you proud of me? We're going somewhere today, and it's somewhere new. I'm excited. It looks like a hospital, too. I want to be a doctor when I grow up, Mommy. Did I tell you that? I hope you're as excited as I am. I can't wait.

...Mommy, I'm getting scared. Your heart is still beating, but I don't know what you are thinking. The doctor is talking to you. I think something's going to happen soon. I'm really, really, really scared, Mommy. Please tell me you love me. Then I will feel safe again. I love you!

Mommy, what are they doing to me!? It hurts! Please make them stop! It feels bad! Please, Mommy, please please help me! Make them stop!

Don't worry Mommy, I'm safe. I'm in heaven with the angels now. They told me what you did, and they said it's called an abortion.

Why, Mommy? Why did you do it? Don't you love me any more? Why did you get rid of me? I'm really, really, really sorry if I did something wrong, Mommy. I love you, Mommy! I love you with all of my heart. Why don't you love me? What did I do to deserve what they did to me? I want to live, Mommy! Please! It really, really hurts to see you not care about me, and not talk to me. Didn't I love you enough? Please say you'll keep me, Mommy! I want to live smile and watch the clouds and see your face and grow up and be a doctor. I don't want to be here, I want you to love me again! I'm really really really sorry if I did something wrong. I love you!

I love you, Mommy.

Every abortion is just…

One more heart that was stopped.

Two more eyes that will never see.

Two more hands that will never touch.

Two more legs that will never run.

One more mouth that will never speak.
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Azharuddin's son Ayazuddin loses battle for life, laid to rest

Sep 16, 2011

azharuddin at funeral

Former Indian cricket captain and Lok Sabha member Mohammed Azharuddin's son, Mohammed Ayazuddin, who was critically injured in a motorbike accident five days ago, passed away at a hospital
on Friday.

The 19-year-old was laid to rest on Friday evening at a graveyard in Santosh Nagar after 'Namaz-e- Janaza' at the historic Mecca Masjid in the old city. Hundreds of mourners -- including Azharuddin's relatives, friends and eminent personalities of the city -- joined the burial procession.

Ayazuddin died at 11.51 am due to hypoxic encephalopathy, said a statement from Apollo Hospital where the youngster battled for life since Sunday.

The budding cricketer was critically injured in a motorbike crash at Puppalaguda on Outer Ring Road of Hyderabad on September 11.

Ayazuddin's cousin, Ajmal-ur- Rahman (16), who was pillion riding with him, died a couple of hours after they were taken to hospital. The high-end sports bike skidded off the road when Ayazuddin was riding it at a high speed, according to police.

Ayazuddin's mother, Naureen Azharuddin, his second wife, Sangeeta Bijlani, and other close relatives were at the hospital when the end came.

Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy rushed to the hospital and consoled Azharuddin, who was seen fighting
back his tears. State ministers and members of Parliament, including Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, and leaders of ruling Congress party also condoled the former cricketer.

A pall of gloom descended on Azharuddin's house in Banjara Hills, where Ayazuddin's body was brought after autopsy.

Ayazuddin was the youngest of the two sons of Azharuddin from his first wife, Naureen, whom he divorced to
marry former actress Sangeeta Bijlani.

Doctors at Apollo Hospital said Ayazuddin was in critical condition and was put on a ventilator ever since he was shifted to hospital.
They said he was brought with cardiac arrest and had sustained injuries to his kidneys. The doctors later  removed one kidney to stop the bleeding.

According to a medical bulletin late on Thursday, tests conducted on him indicated brain dysfunction. Ayazuddin was a second-year B.Com student at St. Mary's College. He had a good record as a cricketer in

The Hyderabad Cricket Association also condoled the death of Ayazuddin. His friends were shocked over the death. 0Ayazuddin's coach, John Sanjay, said he could not believe that the upcoming cricketer was no  more. "We lost a very promising cricketer. 0He was very disciplined, a talented batsman and used to play like his father," he said.
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Neurological tests on Azhar's son Ayaz confirm brain dysfunction

ayazuddin with azharuddin
The worst fears of the family members of Mohammed Ayazuddin were confirmed on Thursday when the  neurological assessments performed on him showed that the bike accident on Sunday had severely damaged his brain.

Doctors treating Ayaz for the last five days had been worried about his neurological condition and
had even said that it was a matter of grave concern. On Thursday, hospital sources said that since Ayaz had
suffered a cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital, a major portion of his brain had become dysfunctional
with no blood supply from the heart for a prolonged period.

Ayazuddin's neurological assessments were being taken up for the last few days in between the other treatments and surgeries he was undergoing, but on Thursday doctors carried out full-fledged neurological tests to asses the extent of brain damage. "The assessments were going on but we couldn't take them up properly since it would have required stopping the medication which cannot be done," said a source.

Ever since Sunday morning when the accident occurred, sources said that the foremost challenge the doctors faced was to revive the two boys. While former ricketer Mohammed Azharuddin's 16-year- old nephew Ajmal-ur-Rehman succumbed, his younger son Ayaz could be revived.

Ayaz was brought to the hospital in a collapsed state. The other challenges that followed were to stop the profuse bleeding from his lung and kidney that was successfully done by performing two surgeries for which, the left kidney was removed.

A health bulletin issued by the hospital authorities on Thursday stated that brain function tests conducted on Ayazuddin indicated brain dysfunction. His status remains to be critical and he continues to be on ventilator support. Doctors said they were worried that even if Ayazuddin could come out of this serious condition, his brain dysfunction could be a major deterrent in him leading a normal life.
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India's most respected Day, Boarding and International Schools of 2011

Sep 15, 2011

EducationWorld in association with C fore conducted survey to rate India's most respected Day, Boarding and International Schools of 2011. The Shri Ram School, Delhi; Rishi Valley School, Chittoor and the Woodstock School, Mussoorie have been voted EducationWorld-C fore Schools
Survey 2011 .

The survey conducted by the Delhi-based opinion polling and market research agency C Fore (Centre for forecasting and research) polled a mix of 2,044 fees-paying parents, principals,  teachers and educationists in 16 cities across the country asking them to rate 404 of India's most well-known schools on 14 parameters including academic reputation, quality of co- curricular and sports education, infrastructure, leadership/
management, quality of alumni and faculty competence, disabled friendliness, teacher welfare and development among other attributes.

The perceptual scores awarded by sample respondents under each parameter were aggregated to arrive at a total score for 321 day schools, 50 legacy/traditional boarding schools and 33 new genre international schools. "This year's league tables of India's most respected day, boarding and international schools indicate a distinct shift in the mood of the informed public in favour of alternate-style education. All schools offering  broad-based education with special focus on environmental education and spiritual development have risen in public esteem. There's a message to all principals and educationists in this trend. The objective of publishing and  proclaiming the EW-C fore league tables annually is to encourage healthy competition and aspiration, so that India's most respected schools improve continuously and serve as benchmark institutions for 1.26 million schools countrywide not included in the survey, to strive for inclusion," says Dilip Thakore, Editor of EducationWorld .

Day Schools. The Shri Ram School, Delhi with an aggregate score of 1,293 (out of a maximum possible 1,500) has dislodged Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai to be ranked first in India and the north zone. It is followed by Cathedral & John Connon School (1,292) and Mallya Aditi International School, Bangalore (1,291) and Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School, Chennai jointly ranked third all-India and first in the south zone. Significantly there's a razor-thin margin of one point in the aggregate scores separating the three top- ranked schools.

Other schools included among the Top 10 day schools are Vasant Valley School, Delhi (No. 4); Springdales (Dhaula Kuan) Delhi (5); Sanskriti School, Delhi (6); DPS RK Puram, Delhi (6); The Mother's International School, Delhi (6); Vidya Niketan, Bangalore (7); Smt. Sulochana Devi Singhania School, Thane, Mumbai (8); Gitanjali School, Hyderabad (8); Campion School, Mumbai (9); Bombay Scottish (9) with Step by Step, Noida (10) and The Valley School, Bangalore, both ranked 10. The Shri Ram School was rated the best day school countrywide on the vital parameters of  ompetence of faculty; teacher welfare and development; individual attention to students and parental involvement.

As was the case last year, academics-focused day schools rated high on the parameter of academic reputation, didn't fare well in the overall league table rankings. For instance, Delhi Public School (RK Puram) Delhi, National Public School (Indiranagar) Bangalore, DAV Boys, Chennai, DPS, Bokaro and DPS, Bhilai - all ranked No.1 for academic reputation - are ranked further down in the national day schools league table.

Boarding Schools. Rishi Valley School, Chittoor has ended the four-year reign of the venerated The Doon School, Dehradun as India's most respected traditional/legacy boarding school with an aggregate score of 1,269. With a discernible shift within the SECA (socio economic category A) public in favour of new age education, RVS has been decisively ranked numero uno with The Doon School obliged to share second rank with the consistently ascending Mayo College Girls, Ajmer (No. 2).

The third slot is shared by Welham Girls, Dehradun and Bishop Cotton, Shimla while the Lawrence School, Sanawar has retained its No.4 rank.

Among other schools included in the list of Top 10 boarding schools: Daly College, Indore (5); Mayo College, Ajmer (6); Assam Valley School, Balipara (6); Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun (7); Sherwood College, Nainital (8); Orchid International School, Nashik (9); St. Paul's, Darjeeling and Lawrence School, Lovedale, both ranked 10.

International Schools. Thirty- three new genre international schools (defined as institutions offering the curriculums of offshore examination boards from primary/middle years onwards) of whom there was sufficient awareness within the respondents' base, were rated and ranked across 15 parameters of education provision. This year, the Woodstock School, Mussoorie has vaulted to the top slot in thiscategory, besting its former affiliate Kodaikanal International School (KIS) to be voted the most admired school in this category. But this year KIS has to share its second position with the new genre Indus International School, Bangalore which has seriously challenged the reign of these two vintage international schools.

Others included in the Top 10 are Mahindra United World College, Pune (3); Dhirubhai Ambani International, Mumbai (4); The International School, Bangalore (5); Good Shepherd International, Ooty (6); Ecole Mondiale, Mumbai (7); Pathways World School, Gurgaon (7); Mercedes Benz International, Pune (8); Hebron School, Ooty (9) and Indus International School, Hyderabad (10).

To felicitate India's top - Day, Boarding and International schools which have topped the EW-C fore Survey 2011, EducationWorld is hosting an  Awards Nite on September 17, 2011 at The Lalit, New Delhi.

About Education World

EducationWorld is India's - perhaps Asia's - sole education news and analysis magazine. Published monthly, its mission is to "build the pressure of public opinion to make education the No.1 item on the national agenda". Currently EducationWorld has 750,000 readers comprising teachers, parents and senior school and college students in 29 states around the country.
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Novak Djokovic beat defending champion Rafael Nadal to win the US Open

Sep 13, 2011

novak djokovic wins us open 
Novak Djokovic beat defending champion and Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1 to win the US Open men's final at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Djokovic outplayed Nadal to show why he really is the hottest player in the game right now. The world number one produced a masterful display of tactics and precision then regained his composure after failing to serve out the match in the third set to seal victory after four hours and 10 minutes.

Nadal, who was the undisputed king of tennis 12 months ago when he completed his collection of Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows, was again left searching for answers after a season inwhich he has lost six finals, including Wimbledon, and the number one ranking to Djokovic.

No matter how hard he tried, Nadal could not find a way to get on top of the Serbian, who played at an
extraordinary high-level despitewindy conditions at Arthur Ashe  Stadium. To his credit, Nadal fought back gamely to win the third set in atiebreaker after Djokovic came  within two points of wrapping up the championship on his own serve.

There were signs of concern for the  Serbian when he called for the trainer to treat his aching back at the start of the fourth set but he  recovered and broke Nadal's opening serve to regain control. After consolidating his lead by holding his next two service games, he broke Nadal's serve again, for the 11th time in the match, the served out victory, collapsing on the court in celebration after smashing a winner past his opponent.

Both players produced some incredible tennis, including some epic rallies that had the center court crowd roaring at the top of the lungs, but it was Djokovic who won all the key moments. This is Djokovic's first US Open title and the third Grand Slam title of the year after victories at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Djokovic produced a masterful display of tactics and precision in windy conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium to seal the victory after more than four hours against thesame man who beat him in last  year's final.

For Nadal, who lost his number one ranking to Djokovic when he was beaten in the Wimbledon final in July, it was his sixth loss to the Serbian this year, all in finals.

Djokovic is the sixth man in history to win three Grand Slam titles in a year after Rod Laver, Jimmy ConnorsMats Wilander, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

A see-sawing third set that lasted 84 minutes was eventually decided in a tiebreaker, which Nadal won 7-3.

Both players were broken three times in the set, which featured some extraordinary rallies that captivated the center court crowd.

Djokovic snatched the early break but could not hold his advantage then he served for the match in the
12th game after breaking Nadal to lead 6-5.  He got to within two points of the championship but Nadal broke him to force a tiebreaker. The Spaniard raced to a 5-1 lead. Djokovic pulled two back to give himself a chance but gifted it to Nadal with an error. The second set started like the first, with Nadal holding and then breaking Djokovic for a 2-0 lead as the world's top two players began engaging in longer, tension-packed rallies.

After a titanic, 17-minute game over eight deuces marked by brilliant shot-making from both players, Djokovic finally broke back by saving himself with a defensive lob that hit the baseline, leading to Nadal failing to resist the sixth break point when he slashed an overhead into the net.

Looking dispirited, Nadal continued to have trouble landing his first serve. Djokovic took advantage to reach double break point at 15-40, then took a 3-2 lead when the Spaniard double faulted. The Spaniard lifted himself back up, breaking Djokovic with a massive backhand passing shot up the line to draw level 4-4.

But for the third straight time in the match, Djokovic answered a service break with one of his own, this time taking advantage of a string of errors, with the game finishing on a mis-hit backhand by Nadal that allowed the Serb to serve out the second set. In the opening set, Djokovic overcame an early service break that
put him behind 2-0 to win 6-2.

Djokovic won the first set 6-2. Both players had difficulty holding serve, with Djokovic doing a better job in windy conditions that topped 15 miles per hour at Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning the last six games of the opening set after falling behind 2-0. Nadal took the early lead by breaking Djokovic in his first service game. The Spaniard scored on a sizzling run-around forehand winner that brushed the lines in the corner and got a 2-0 lead when the Serb made two straight backhand errors.

Second-seeded Nadal failed to consolidate his advantage when Djokovic broke right back in the next game. The Spaniard fell behind 0-4 and saved two break points before sending a forehand long to bring the set back on serve. Nadal kept the pressure on top- seeded Djokovic's serve again in the fourth game but the Serb fought off three break points to hold, then broke the Spaniard for a 3-2 lead by belting an inside-out forehand winner.

Djokovic ended deep-hitting rallies twice with drop-shot winners on his way to breaking Nadal for a third straight time for a 5-2 lead before holding at love in the next game to clinch the first set. 
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Samantha Stosur stunned three-time champion Serena Williams to win the US Open

samantha stosu wins us open 2011
Samantha Stosur stunned three-time champion Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3 to win the US Open on Sunday, claiming the first Grand Slam title of her career in a stormy final.

Stosur kept her composure as Williams erupted in anger at the chair umpire in the second set, dominating the 13-time Grand Slam champion who had reached the final without dropping a set.

She became the first Australian  woman to take the title in New York since Margaret Court in 1973, and the first to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong won Wimbledon in 1980.

"I had one of my best days and I'm very fortunate that I had it on this stage in New York," Stosur said.
"Ever since I started playing it was a dream of mine to be here one day." Williams arrived in the final after
dismantling world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals on Saturday night. But Stosur, playing her second career Grand Slam final after a runner-up finish in the French Open last year, quickly claimed the opening set, breaking Williams to lead 2-1 and winning the last 12 points of the set as Williams' frustration grew.

Williams, whose powerful serve is a cornerstone of her game, struggled to get her first serves in and Stosur
repeatedly made her pay. The Australian was still rolling in the opening game of the second frame, giving herself a double break point with a crushing return of serve. Williams saved one with an ace, and
appeared to save another for deuce.

But the American's shout of "c'mon" as soon as she unleashed her forehand came before Stosur reached the ball, and umpire Eva Asdaraki immediately penalised Williams for "intentional hindrance"and the point and the game went to  Stosur. "Aren't you the one who screwed me over last time?," Williams bellowed at Asdaraki. "That is totally not cool." The scene recalled Williams' similar meltdown in her 2009 semifinal defeat to Kim Clijsters. In that match, she unleashed a tirade of abuse at a lineswoman who called a foot-fault during the tense match  and a penalty point sealed her fate in a 6-4, 7-5 defeat.

This time an angry Williams -- backed by a suddenly energized crowd on the 22,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium -- immediately stepped up her game, breaking Stosur for 1-1 and holding to edge ahead 2-1.
Williams continued to berateAsdaraki on the changeover, but  Stosur stayed calm and saved two break points in the fourth game tolevel the set at 2-2.

Stosur said she didn't really know just what was happening between Williams and Asdaraki. "I was just kind of there," Stosur said. "I do know the rule, but it's not something I've ever had to deal with before." She gained the edge with a break for 4-3, and broke again to seal the match with yet another blistering return off a Williams second serve on her third match point.

"I don't really know what to say," said Stosur, whose rugged path to the final included a third-round victory over Nadia Petrova that lasted a US Open women's record three hours and 16 minutes and a marathon 17-15 tiebreak loss to Maria Kirilenko before she rallied to beat the Russian. "Serena, you are a fantastic player, great champion and have done wonders for our sport. Thanks to everyone back home for supporting me. All my friends, family and everyone else, thanks so much for supporting me. I look forward to coming back home," said Stosur.

When it was all over, Williams congratulated Stosur, and did her best gloss over her burst of temper."I was doing my best," she said. "I hit a winner but I guess it didn'tcount ... But it wouldn't have mattered anyway  because she played really well." 
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Pics: Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

US Open: Serena Williams beats Wozniacki to reach final

serena williams
American tennis star Serena Williams toppled World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4, to reach the women's final of the US Open in New York.
It was Williams’ first appearance in the US Open semi-finals since 2009, and the 28th seed is now only a win away from her 14th Grand Slam title.
Williams finished with 19 unforced errors and 15 winners in the first set and 34 over all. Wozniacki had five winners and 12 unforced errors.
“For me, it’s amazing. Just thinking about being in the hospital and now I’m beating the No. 1 player, I think it calls for an even bigger reaction,” the New York Times quoted Williams, as saying.
Wozniacki later said that Williams just played “very, very well”.
“You know, she’s in great shape, serving well, returning well, playing her hard strokes. Especially that serve was just a killer,” she said.
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Azharuddin’s son critical after bike mishap, friend dies

Mohammed Aiyazuddin, son of former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin, was battling for life after he met with an accident while racing his 1000 cc imported Suzuki motorcycle on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Aiyazuddin played for Hyderabad under-19 cricket team. His friend, Ajmal-ur-Rehman, 16, who was riding with him and sustained severe head injuries was declared dead by doctors at the Apollo Hospital, Jubilee hills. Chief Surgeon Dr Mahesh Joshi said that when they were brought to the hospital at 9 am, they had no pulse and not were not respiring on their own.
“In medical terms, they had both gone into a state of cardiac arrest. In spite of our best efforts we could not revive Ajmal. Aiyazuddin has suffered serious injuries on his head, chest and abdomen and is at present undergoing surgery. His condition is very very critical. We are trying our best to resuscitate him,’’ Dr Joshi said. Ajmal-ur-Rehman is son of former Congress Rajya Sabha MP Khalil-ur-Rehman who passed away in January this year.
The accident occurred between 8 and 9 am, near the Narsingi check post on the Outer Ring Road, and police said that the duo were probably racing since early morning on the Shamshabad stretch of the six-lane road where two-wheelers are banned. Narsingi Police Station officials said the bike is brand new and does not have a registration plate yet.
“The helmet that Aiyazuddin was probably wearing was totally crushed. Tire marks at the accident spot indicate that the bike skidded and hit the road divider at a very high speed,’’ a police official said. Azharuddin who is now a Congress MP from Moradabad is in England and is rushing back.
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US Open - Nadal downs Murray to reach final

Rafa Nadal, his form and confidence rising with each match, powered past Britain's Andy Murray 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2 at the US Open to set up a rematch of last year's final with Novak Djokovic.

The second-seeded Spaniard was brilliant from the baseline and the net, and proved too steady against an out-of-sorts Murray, who shouted at himself and whacked his leg with his racket as his frustrations boiled over in the first two sets.

In the fourth set, Nadal again unsteadied the volatile Murray, giving himself a chance to avenge a string of stinging losses to Djokovic this year.

Nadal beat Djokovic in last year's final but the Serb, who advanced with a thrilling five-set win over Roger Federer on Saturday, has beaten the Spaniard in five finals this year, including Wimbledon, to replace him as world number one.

"This year I'm not having a lot of luck against him. I have played him already in five finals and I lost all of them," 10-time Grand Slam winner Nadal told the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd. "So hopefully, New York will help me this time."

Murray was out of step in the opening sets but flashed his great retrieving skills and athletic volleying to keep himself in the match. By the end he was undone by a rash of unforced errors, peppering the net with routine shots.

The Briton, a three-time Grand Slam finalist who was hoping to end a 75-year drought for a British men's Grand Slam winner, cracked 44 winners, 13 more than Nadal, but his 55 unforced errors was more than twice his opponent's total.

The Spaniard looked set to take charge early in the match, grabbing 0-30 leads in Murray's first two service games, but the Scotsman fought him off, leaving his feet to put everything into his strokes to keep the first set on serve before wilting under Nadal's constant pressure in the seventh game.

Unforced errors crept into Murray's game and the Briton yelled at himself after one glaring mistake before sending a forehand long to lose his serve and fall behind 4-3.

Nadal served out to claim the set 6-4 and stepped up his attack in the next set, breaking the Briton twice to take a two set lead, with Murray banging himself with his racket for not cashing in on three break points along the way.

Murray tried another tact in the third set, changing pace more often and engaging the hard-working Spaniard in longer rallies before seizing opportunities to go on the offensive.

Nadal and Murray traded service breaks early in the third set before the Briton broke in the eighth game and held serve to hand the Spaniard his first lost set of the tournament.

After fighting off two break points, Murray finally yielded the critical service break in the fourth game when he sailed a forehand long to fall behind 3-1.

The fight seemed to seep out of Murray, who had a tough four-set match against American John Isner on Friday, and Nadal broke the Briton again in the eighth game to end the three-hour 24-minute match.
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Movie Review: Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is the dull one
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Actors: Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif
Rating: *1/2

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

“Bahut confused hoon, complicate ho raha hai (I’m confused, things are getting complicated),” says Imran Khan, related stories Rocky S on styling Katrina for MBKD I have a knack for selecting right scripts: Katrina who looks forever confused in this movie anyway.

He’s talking to the girl who’ll soon become his brother’s bride. He could as well be talking to his audience that’s probably just as dumbstruck at the unnecessarily complicated, tiring, lame mess the hero finds himself in, merely to serve the purpose of an over-imagined plot. Contrary to its title, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan isn’t really about a brother’s bride.

At least not in the same way the Cher movie Moonstruck (1987; masterpiece, compared to this), or closer home, Onir’s Sorry Bhai (2008), were. The brother here (Ali Zafar; casual, charming) has met his girl once, for a few seconds, over Skype, or a computer window that suspiciously looks like an ad for a matrimonial website. She asked him a few “Koffee With Karan rapid fire round questions,” the final one of which was if he preferred underwear or no-underwear. London boy got bowled over, match was made, mandap’s ready.

The hero himself had hooked the two up, because the brother had asked to find him an Indian bride. He toured homes across Bhopal, Lucknow, Panipat etc, before placing a front-page jacket ad in a newspaper, with a poster of the prospective groom that left a suave diplomat impressed enough to pass on his beautiful daughter. That girl’s the bidi-smokin’ hot, former lead guitarist of a rock band. Okay. Seriously? I know we shouldn’t always test movies on bounds of reality, but then again, films like these can’t be about aliens either.

That’s the basis of this Yashraj films’ big-ticket rom-com event picture of the year. The two lead characters – the bride, and the groom’s matchmaking brother – it turns out, already knew each other from some camping trip or rock concert across the Taj Mahal in Agra, where the UK-born heroine was surrounded by weird blokes, doing the general fake-cool stuff, “Hey guys, woohooo… Woohoo, hey guys!” The girl was from Lady Shri Rao, the boy went to Keval Maro college (both puns on Delhi’s Lady Sri Ram and Kirori Mal).

“You think I’m a tart, bitch, slut?” she’d asked the boy after being attacked by a random rapist type in her tent. The hero had reasoned, “This is India, not London. Har desh ki ek soch hoti hai (Every nation has its own thought process).”

The average Indian girl had “sharm, lihaaz,” was shy, meek; very different from her. So deal with it. Hmmm. Don’t know what to make of this explanation, besides ignore it completely. For the sake of this film, suffice it to know this hero, and the heroine, are in love. They run away from the wedding venue once, shift the party to another city after, intoxicate the wedding baraat along the way, bring the brother’s girlfriend into the picture… The movie is so stretched from both ends, you could see it tearing apart from the centre. The couple’s clueless fathers look on like notable ‘sideys’ in suits. All good things come to an end.

Thankfully, that’s true for things not so good as well. You still have to give it to a few casting gems in this movie (hero’s buddies etc), some inspired dialogue-writing that captures the patois of India’s rustic North (one of them, “Bhabi badi frank hain,” rightly makes it to posters!). But what can you give it? Your sympathies, of course. Katrina Kaif plays the said "rock chick". It’s hard to tell if her character’s restlessly rebellious, or plainly retarded.

There's a thin line between the two, something that relaively similar, far more enjoyable, recent romantic comedies have managed to balance out incredibly well (Anand Rai's Tanu Weds Manu; Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met). This is Kaif’s third outing at the theatres this year, the last being a quick ‘item number’ opposite Salman Khan in Bodyguard, before that, a fine role beside Farhan Akhtar in Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara (both commercial successes being as diametrically opposite to each other as the ‘70s screenwriter duo Salim and Javed’s sons!).

This picture is almost entirely centred on her. Though enough credit is never given to leading ladies in Hindi films, Hong Kong born, half Caucasian, half Kashmiri, Kaif possibly has the most impressive track record in Bollywood at present: 16 out of her 24 films have reportedly been hits! For all you know, this could well be another one. “Maybe I do have a knack for selecting the right scripts,” she says, in an interview to the Press Trust of India. That’s not true. If you’ve the patience, sit through this movie. You’ll know.
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US Open: Djokovic in final, comeback to end Federer title bid

djokovic in us open semifinal

Tennis fans got exactly what they were hoping for on Super Saturday, when the semifinal showdown between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and the winningest player in tennis history, Roger Federer, went to five sets on Arthur Ashe, with Djokovic coming back from a two-sets-to-love deficit to win 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

After a slow start from Djokovic, Federer took the first two sets by repeatedly attacking the Serbian’s backhand. But just as Djokovic found his groove and an answer for Federer’s strategy, Federer cooled off
and dropped the third and fourth 0sets, shocking the crowd, who was behind the five-time US Open
champion throughout the match. It was in the fifth set when the fans got the battle they were looking for,
with long rallies, angled shots and impressive gamesmanship from both players.

The fifth set began just like the first, with both men holding serve and posting nearly identical stats, until Djokovic began serving in the eighth game. Federer took the first two service points from Djokovic, reading the court perfectly and blasting two winners. Djokovic then double-faulted and followed that mistake with a critical unforced error -- a forehand hit wide -- handing Federer the opportunity to serve for the match.

But Federer couldn't capitalize on the opportunity, and serving at 5-3, allowed Djokovic to break him back,
squandering two match points and putting the set back on serve. Djokovic then went on to hold serve and break Federer one more time, before taking a 6-5 lead and serving for the match.

In what will be his third appearance in the US Open Finals, Djokovic will face the winner of the Rafael Nadal
vs. Andy Murray semifinal match taking place today on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
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Reliance launches CoolPad D530 Android CDMA phone in Kolkata

Sep 9, 2011

CoolPad D530
Reliance communications today announced another addition to its portfolio of Android CDMA smartphones in the form of CoolPad D530. This entry-level smartphone runs on Android 2.1 and will be sold for  NR7,999. Other CDMA Android phones with RCOM are Galaxy Pop, Galaxy I500, Galaxy I899, and Motorola XT800.

CoolPad D530 features 3.5 inch display with 480×320 pixels resolution, 2MP camera, 1280 mAh battery, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0.

“In the current scenario, we see Reliance CDMA as the key driver of mobile data business in India. Feature-rich CDMA handsets will play a crucial role in addressing this segment.”

Sami Al-Lawati, Managing Director, Coolpad Communications RCom is also offering various 100% cashback plans with the smartphone, you can find out more about them at the nearest Reliance store.

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