Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New year will be a second late

As New Year revelers count down to the last second of 2005 this December 31, time will, literally, stand still for a moment.

But only for a second, as standard clocks around the world will add an extra second to the year, to make up the difference between solar time and "real" or "absolute" time. For the first time in seven years, that is, since 1998, a "leap second" will be added to time standards, on instructions from the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) located in the United States.

Indian Standard Time (IST) will also add this time-difference. IST is monitored and controlled by the
National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Delhi, which maintains SI units in India, and also calibrates the national standards of weights and measures.

"Through an Act of Parliament, we have been designated the official timekeepers of India. And it is our
responsibility to see that we keep time properly," says Dr P. Banerjee, Head of the Time and Frequency Division at NPL.

This time-addition, however, takes place even as scientists, astronomers and technologists debate on the need for "leap seconds" at all. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at Geneva recently postponed its decision on a proposal to ban leap seconds from December 2007, in view of continuing
discussions on the subject.

"The debate was postponed because people are confused," says Dr Banerjee.

There are two time systems which are accepted worldwide:

International Atomic Time, based on relatively stable, invariant atomic clocks, and
Universal Time, derived from the rotation of the earth.

The difference between the two systems should not exceed 0.9 seconds. If so, it is decided to give a jump in the opposite direction, and this jump is colloquially termed "leap second".

"The decision to introduce positive or negative leap seconds was made in 1971, and the first was added the
following year. Since then, we have added 22 such seconds to our clocks. And this will be the 23rd time in the history of time," he says. "NPL has been following the system for years. If the ITU chooses to continue with it, it is fine. If it chooses to ban it, there is still no problem."

One faction in the debate suggests that this time differential need not be maintained at all. "One can perhaps
consider it when the difference reaches that of one hour. Which means 3600 seconds. And taking an average addition of +/-1 second per year, it means approximately 3600 years. Which is equivalent to several human lifetimes," the scientist says.

Astronomers and navigators who want their clocks to match the natural day-night rhythm of Earth's rotation tend to prefer the leap second, because it helps them keep track of
where astronomical objects are in the sky.

Whereas, technologists, who depend on the unvarying, uniform frequency of the atomic clock, are not entirely in favour of the leap second. For it can create problems with modern communication systems and other electronic operations which rely on synchronicity

"In the olden days, time as we knew it was determined by the rotation of the earth. Based on calculations, and the periodic difference from sunrise-to-sunrise, people arrived at the duration of a second," he says.
"Now, we have moved far beyond the pendulum and the quartz-clock. The standard of measuring time is now the atomic clock."

"It is very stable since it is based on atomic phenomena, so much so that it led to the discovery of the variation in earth's rotation, which effectively meant variations in the length of day."

"It was then discovered that we needed to keep the atomic clock in time with the earth clock. Which is how scientists arrived at the need of the leap second," he says. Leap second corrections are made either on June 30 or December 31 of a given year, and are normally declared in advance by the IERS. International time-keeping standards adjust their systems accordingly.

There have been no changes since 1998 because of a relative stabilization in the earth's rotation.
The addition of a second may not mean much to revelers this year end, but for scientists, every leap is worth a debate.

Courtesy: PTI

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jackson negotiating to avoid defaulting on loans

US pop star Michael Jackson has sought a six-month extention on repayment of about a 270 million dollar loan to save his state in the Beatles catalogue and Neverland ranch. Jackson's representatives are trying to seek a six-month extention to repay the Fortress Investment Group, which owns the loans that came due on Tuesday, a media report said yesterday. Fortress purchased the debt from Bank of America in April.

The loans are collateralized by Jackson's 50 per cent partnership in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture between the singer and the electronics company that owns a 4,000 song catalogue, containing songs as Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and more than 250 Beatles songs, including "Yesterday", The Los Angeles Times said.

Jackson's share in Sony/ATV, which also owns his valuable catalogue and Neverland ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, is worth more than 500 million dollars, according to court testimony.

According to the report Fortress will demand interim payments during the extension, and may insist on an interest rate that could reach be more than 1.5 million dollar a month. Fortress also owns another Jackson loan worth 70 million dollar, that has not come due yet. Fortress declined to comment on the negotiations.

However, a spokesperson for Sony/ATV declining to discuss the specifics said the company is "trying to be a good partner, and keep the partnership with Jackson going," the daily said. Jackson's lawyers and spokesperson did not return phone calls.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hard Drive

One hand on wheel, one hand out of window: Chicago...

One hand on wheel, one hand on horn: New York...

One hand on wheel, one hand on newspaper, foot solidly on accelerator: Boston...

Both hands on wheel, eyes shut, both feet on brake, quivering in terror: Ohio, but driving in California...

Both hands in air, gesturing, both feet on accelerator, head turned to talk to someone in back seat: Italy...

One hand on horn, one hand greeting, one ear on cell phone, one ear listening to loud music, foot on accelerator, eyes on female pedestrians, conversing with someone in next car: Welcome to Delhi!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Yoga at your fingertips

Yoga has tremendous healing power and can cure all major diseases, if performed properly. It also offers happiness. We are telling you some simple yet effective mudras, which if practiced daily can keep you healthy for life.


Sit with your back and neck straight. Keep your index finger at the root of your thumb and press it. Index finger should also touch the middle finger. Then, move your hands to the knee region with the palms facing upwards. Put a little pressure on your palm and the rest of the hand should be in a relaxed position. Practice this for 10-15 minutes everyday.

Helpful for gastro problems, joint pain, backache, sciatica, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.


Sit with your back and neck straight. Join the tip of your middle finger with the thumb in both hands, press a little and keep rest of the fingers straight. Now, keep your hands near the knee with palms facing upwards. Sit in this position for five to ten minutes.

Helpful in heart diseases. Strengthens bones.


Sit comfortably. Put your middle finger of both the hands at the root of the thumb and press a little. Now keep your hands near the knee with your palm facing upwards. Sit in this position for five to ten minutes.

Helps control deafness, strengthens gum muscles, and most importantly, regulates thyroid gland functions.

Courtsey: TOI

Friday, December 02, 2005

The power of dreams

THEY TAKE over our minds while we are sleeping. They may be intriguing, ridiculous, mundane or frightening. Every night while you sleep, your subconscious mind unlocks parts of your psyche that your waking mind is never aware of. Your dreams often reveal powerful inner wisdom and can bear the messages you need to lead a happy life. Dreams are, at their simplest, a function of learning. They are also a means of exploring possibilities of resolving anxiety and conflict, a means of integrating new experiences into old attitudes (or changing old attitudes in the light of new experiences) and a method and result of the search for meaning in life. What do these dreams really signify? Dreams can be classified into four categories:

  • The house cleaning dream or a dream that cleans away thoughts of fear, anxiety and prepares the dreamer for the next day. Even a simple overdose of television can stimulate a long house cleaning dream.
  • The problem solving or mechanical dreams revolve around a real problem the person maybe facing. It could mean any kind of problem.
  • The psychological dreams are a result of the current mental state of the dreamer. These dreams mean an attempt by the unconscious to get in touch with the conscious.
  • The spiritual or occult dream, the highest order of the dreams, comes from the super conscious rather than the unconscious.

A very simple but common example of a dream which all of us must have seen at a certain point of time, is the dream about falling. If the dream is spiritual, we would see falling as going from a higher level to a lower level of consciousness. In a psychological dream we even if we are falling there is a feeling of loss of confidence, anxiety and stress. There is no such thing as coincidence in dreams. However, one can interpret common symbols. Here are a few symbols and what it means:

Animals: Signifies instinctual side of our selves

Abandon: Reflects loss of friends and favours

Abroad: Indicates changing lifestyle

Accident: Signifies obstacles or an impending illness

Adultery: Reflects guilt complex and anguish

Castration: Indicates feeling of sexual inadequacy or impotence

Cleaning: Recovering from old injuries, preparing for a new phase in life

Death: Indicates a sense of loss, of separation from the world of a known person. It could also indicate hostility. If you dream about death of an unknown person, it indicates the dreamer is involved in an intolerable situation

Falling: Indicates failure or fear of it

Fighting: Indicates struggle, conflict, inner turmoil

Illness: Reflects uncleared bad feelings

Nudity: Indicates exposure or lacking defenses

Losing something: Being out of touch with feelings

Poisoning: Indicates danger

Rejection: A refusal to accept an influence in life

Repairing: Indicates recovering from bad feelings or injuries

Running: Indicates physical pleasures or exhaustion of resources

Suffocating or drowning: Indicates being overwhelmed with a situation or emotion

Suicide: Indicates aggressions or frustration in some form or another

Sweeping: A desire to remove old ideas and attitudes

Sex with stranger: Represents whim for a different kind of sexual experience. Dream of sex with partner acts as a reassurance of your love and bonding

Thus, dreams are the one essential path to enlightenment and reveals inner wisdom and is available to everyone.

Writer: Tarot card reader and karmic healer POONAM SETHI

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Are cyber cafes safe?

Cyber cafe were once a very rarefied place that existed in only select parts of the city and visited by those in the know of the latest technology. But with the ubiquitous usage of Internet in all aspects of our life from work to play, cyber cafes have mushroomed in every nook and corner and at all public places imaginable. While this have made life easier and more efficient, there are security issues too that can compromise your online identity. As Niraj Kaushik, country head of Trend Micro says, “The public terminals at the airport, libraries, cyber cafes are not safe at all if one has to make online transactions that involves typing in sensitive information like the bank account’s username, passwords and other confidential data. Unless you are quite sure that the cyber café’s administrator has put in place all the security firewalls and softwares that can identify and block spywares, do not ever give out your credit card number details or anything that might be stolen by others at your cost. Sometimes your email account can be hacked and used to harm your reputation.

Criminals may also hijack your screen name and use it for illegal purpose.” For Rajeev Barman, a cyber security expert, keyloggers that record every word you type is a great risk. “These run in the background unobtrusively and keep a log of your typing activity, including the passwords to your email and banking accounts. Even the highly trained security expert might be hard pressed to tell whether a particular PC has such kind of stealth programmes installed for they are hidden from the users,” says Rajeev.

So the best security tip is to desist from using any public Internet access terminal. If it becomes exceedingly important to use it for some urgent transaction, one should follow certain security tips.

Be cautious

Look around: Make sure nobody is trying to look at your screen or keyboard. Also, don’t walk away from the computer while you’re logged in.

Beware of keyloggers: Many public computers are locked down by the administrator to disallow installation of any additional softwares by the users. But there’s a chance a hacker could install a Trojan keylogger to capture keystrokes, and an industrious crook could use a hardware device—such as the KeyGhost Hardware Key-Logger—that connects between the keyboard and PC. Check the hardware carefully and if you find any suspicious piece of device, find another PC.

Don’t reveal sensitive information: We recommend that you avoid typing any sensitive data at public kiosks. Many sites set cookies for an online session so if you close the browser and reopen it, you don’t have to log on again. If you close the browser and walk away, the next user could pick up where you left off.

Erase your tracks: Be sure to delete your electronic trail of temporary files, cookies, and surfing history. If you’re using Internet Explorer, click on Tools / Internet Options. On the General tab, click on Delete Cookies, Delete Files, and Clear History.

Still in Internet Options, click the Content tab, then click the AutoComplete button. In the resulting dialog box, click the Clear Forms button and the Clear Passwords button.

If you downloaded any documents, delete them too. If you edited any documents, clear the “recently used documents” list.

Courtesy: DT

Nice picture!!!

good one!!!!!!!!