Intel to reduce boot time to two seconds

 Intel Corporation, the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, is working on reducing the boot time in personal computers to a mere two seconds, its top official said.

“Taking into account the oft-repeated complaints by PC users of longer response time (in switching on and shutting of), we are working on reducing the boot time to as low as two seconds,” Ajay Bhatt, Intel Fellow and Chief Client Platform Architecture Group told reporters here on Friday.

The other important product Intel is working on is wireless power. Fundamental technology for this is already available.

“What we working on now is productisation which will take some time, may 5 to 10 years or even more given the regulatory, distance and functionality issues involved,” he said.

Detailing the future trends in mobile computing which has witnessed a lot of advancement, Bhatt said mobile computing in future will move from an era of personal computing to an era of many devices per person.

“The way we use personal computers, has also been evolving. We are moving more towards internet-driven users, social networking, user generated content, information and media and entertainment,” he said.

Laugh heartily for good health

As a therapy has been hailed for long and SUKANYA CHELLAPPA can no longer hold herself from it

I was amused at myself for choosing “laughter meditation” as this week’s workout. Along with the students of Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College, I hit the campus hoping to ring out my frustration and clang in the much needed perkiness with this quaint therapy.

Yoga instructor P.Vijay Kumar took off with a brief on initiating laughter as a therapy and meditation. The simple philosophy behind it is that when one learns to laugh without being dependent on a stack of reasons, he or she could well be assured of a blissful life.

Since the therapy is not premised on any reason, it does not jostle one into a world of storms arising from disappointment, failure or frustration.

“It was started by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Worldwide Laughter Yoga, with the aim to take it up as a movement,” shares Mr.Kumar while citing the benefits of laughing.

In present times when life has become complex and stressful, laughter as meditation is highly therapeutic. It soothes an individual and is a universal language that transcends all boundaries and barriers. It creates a positive eco-system not only outside but also within as the health benefits are immense.

It is said that 40 per cent of heart ailments can be prevented with laughter therapy. When one laughs, it encourages deep breathing and detoxifies the body because with each deep breath, the stale oxygen from one’s lungs comes out.

Laughter is also known to reduce body pain and mental stress. It is rejuvenating and gives one a sense of well-being.

After the talk, I merged with the students at the ground. The cacophonic crowd was soon drawn into rapt attention as Mr. Vijay Kumar took centre stage explaining how laughter was the secret to good health.

He asked all the students to lift their hands up and laugh continually for no rhyme or reason. I admit, I was a trifle conscious in doing so and became uptight. But I heard students all around bursting out laughing and guffawing as the instructor goaded them on to laugh.

My initial reluctance to join the group soon ebbed away as I too got into the groove, enjoying the session. I got so deeply engrossed that a fellow student had to remind me that the session was winding up. Now, it was my turn to laugh at myself!

Initial embarrassment to ultimate enjoyment, the experience was enriching enough and I would surely recommend such a session to all. Leave behind your mundane worries and go for it.

CEOs press Indian government for faster clearances, uniform tax

Investors and CEOs assembled at the World Economic Forum requested the Indian government to expidite clearances for projects in India and establish a uniform tax rate.

Several of them interacted with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who assured them that within the defined Foreign Direct Investment policy, the government would not only ensure speedy clearances but also facilitate them.

However, “the issues which they had were improving the mechanism in states for cutting down the time for approvals and rationalisation and uniformity of the taxes throughout the country,” Sharma said.

Sharma, who had several meetings in small groups with CEOs, apprised them of India’s ambitious tax reforms through the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will replace most of the taxes at the Central and the state level.

Sharma said India’s FDI policy regime assures investors of security of investment, intellectual property rights, data protection and exclusivity.

After establishing itself as a services hub for the world, India would work towards becoming a global sourcing centre for manufacturing.

The factory production contributes about 20 per cent to the country’s GDP against over 55 per cent from the services.

With an intention to increase the share of manufacturing in economic production, the government will soon come out with a national policy.

“We have started work on the manufacturing policy. We want to make India the production hub of the world,” he said.

Mr. Sharma said India and China are being clubbed as the two important emerging economies witnessing a shift of the economic balance of power.

“The shift is clearly acknowledged. And the new world economic order is headed in the right direction, reflecting the ground realities,” he added.

Companies vow to protect private online data


Important to look at safeguards and whether sharing information requires etiquette


CHENNAI: This Thursday (January 28) was observed as the Data Privacy Day by the United States, Canada and 27 countries of the European Union that accord as much importance to personal data security online as to privacy in general.

It was also a day when several huge corporations — some of which are under the scanner for their privacy policies — renewed their pledge to safeguard private data of millions of its users.

In a scenario of increased information sharing online, especially on social networks, it becomes important to step back and look at not only the safeguards on personal data online but also whether online information sharing requires any etiquette.

Some companies have started systematic monitoring of online activity, especially on social networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook, of their employees to an extent where they consider online data “professional data;” and hence ask them to show some restraint.

Earlier this month, Facebook’s young billionaire-CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”

It was both in defence of Facebook’s new controversial privacy policy, which has received flak from several quarters, and also a commentary on whether the notion of privacy itself no longer exists the way it was a few years ago.

While the U.S., Canada and some European countries have explicitly laid out Data Protection Acts and agencies monitoring them, in India the issue falls under the Information Technology Act, and some of the prosecuting powers are vested with the office of Industry Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) working under the Information and Technology Ministry.

N. Vijayashankar, a cyber law expert, says most of the rules and regulations of data security, as they exist in the American and European countries’ data protection Acts, have been incorporated in the revamped Information Technology Act of 2008.

India not having a separate privacy law still will mean that online users disgruntled with misuse of private data have to find ways under other Acts to get justice, he says.

There have been a lot of concerns on what the big companies such as Google and Facebook will do to safeguard online data. But another aspect of data privacy is also about what individuals voluntarily disclose on social networks. Often on Facebook and LinkedIn, people unwittingly disclose professional information that could end up either with those who must not get it or even in the hands of hackers.

In one recent instance, a software service provider in Chennai was looking for investments and one of its senior executives put out the information on his LinkedIn profile. It was brought to the notice of the CEO, and the information was asked to be pulled out. “It would have reflected badly on the company had the sensitive information reached the attention of competitors. On a social network, such news goes viral immediately,” said one of the representatives of the company, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tasty Ayurvedic delights

Gourmets groan when asked to switch to a health diet as it usually means giving up yummy, tasty stuff for bland food. But not anymore. Ayurveda teaches that you can be healthy even while indulging your taste buds. You can make mouth-watering dishes that are nutritious and healthy too. Most health problems are caused by an improper diet. In Ayurveda every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya) and a digestive consequence (vikapa). You upset your system if you combine foods of different nature such as fruits with milk. Ayurveda teaches a rational way to prepare food keeping in mind the dietary need of the individual based on his or her body type and prakurti (body constitution of vata, pitta and kapha).

The focus of Ayurveda cooking is healing, prevention and health care. Food prepared in Ayurveda style also reduces stress and helps cure heart ailments, diabetes and asthma. Cloves ease toothache, fennel with dry coriander reduces acidity, ginger shoos away the cold and turmeric has antioxidant properties.

Avoid using aluminum pots and non-stick cookware because of their carcinogenic properties. Use brass, stone, wooden and stainless steel cookware. What’s more, you can take your pick from Indian, Chinese, Continental and Thai cuisines too.

The writer teaches Art of Living’s Ayurveda Cooking Course.

Recruitment rally for Army

Guntur: The Krishna district youth welfare officer, Mr Velagapudi Joshi, said that an Army recruitment rally would be conducted on February 5 in Guntur to fill soldier technical, soldier nursing assistant posts from Krishna district.

The candidates appearing for the test should be 17 years to 23 years of age, at least 165 cms in height and 50 kg in weight. The candidates appearing for the soldier technical posts must pass 10+2 examination with physcics, chemistry, mathematics and english subjects.

For solider nursing posts, the candidates must pass 10+2 with physics, chemistry and biology with English. The candidates must have 40 per cent marks in every subject and 50 per cent marks in all subjects on an average. Physical fitness and medical tests will be conducted on February 9 in Secunderabad.

Creating a collaborative work environment

One of the examples in Crossing the Divide is that of Yamada, a Japanese project manager whose work requires him to work for short stints in countries throughout the Asia Pacific. His role as a boundary spanner demands that he quickly build productive and task-oriented cross-national teams to launch new IT (information technology) initiatives, describe Chris Ernst and Jeffrey Yip, the essay’s authors.

“On assignment in Korea, Yamada frequently created neutral zones through after-work events for his team members from Australia, Indonesia, Korea, and New Zealand. Over time, team members discovered that the cultural stereotypes they held did not apply to members of the team.” By providing space for personal relationships to develop, Yamada was able to build the level of trust needed to launch IT projects in a timely fashion, the authors add.

Building bridges is, however, not always easy. For example, in Yamada’s case, there was resistance to after-work activities in Hong Kong. “He found that even though his expatriate colleagues from Europe enjoyed going to an Irish pub, his local Chinese colleagues preferred the karaoke bar.”

These inter-group boundaries were reinforced in the workplace, Yamada found. “Project delays, workarounds, and behind-the-scenes in-group conversations were the norm. The actual technical work was not the problem.”

Finding himself in the middle of ‘a clash of civilisations between East and West,’ Yamada struck upon an elegant solution, the authors chronicle. “Hong Kong is a city blessed with some of the finest cuisine from all corners of the globe. By organising weekly ‘Dine Around the World’ events, Yamada used food as a medium to develop personal relationships across cultures, which in turn created a more positive and collaborative work environment in the office.”

Another essay in the book, edited by Todd L. Pittinsky, is about ‘creating common ground,’ by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. She speaks of many examples, including the initiative by Sam Palmisano, IBM’s CEO, to reinvent the values for the twenty-first century through a Web-based chat session with more than three hundred thousand employees.

One of the innovative projects was of IBM Egypt, which partnered with the Egyptian government to create new technology for a Web site in three languages, software programs to download information from handheld devices at tourist sites, and a school curriculum, as the essay describes.

“Innovation came from ideas exchanged between engineers in Cairo and Chicago. The Egypt team also relied on IBM’s Israel research lab, ignoring political and religious hostilities between the countries.”

Eternal Egypt became a model for IBM China’s Forbidden City project, Kanter continues. “Visiting Beijing in November 2006, Palmisano announced to IBMers worldwide that a global ‘Innovation Jam’ (a Web dialogue among one hundred forty thousand IBMers) had identified virtual worlds as a top priority, which he demonstrated by showing his own avatar entering the Forbidden City…”

Recommended addition to the global leaders’ shelf.


Call the conductor for bus timings


RTC passengers can now ring them up on their mobile

HYDERABAD: In an effort to reduce the waiting time for passengers and also help them find the location of a bus on a particular route, the APSRTC is proposing to allot mobile phones for bus conductors and thus facilitate direct conversation with commuters.

Passengers can call on these mobile phones and know the arrival and departure time of a bus. Every conductor operating on a particular route would be given a mobile and the phone numbers would be displayed in the buses shuttling on the route. Operated under the Closed User Group (CUG) service, these mobiles would also help the authorities in monitoring the frequency of buses and arrange alternate buses efficiently in case of any breakdown, said APSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director B. Prasada Rao on the sidelines of a surprise visit to Jubilee Bus station here on Saturday.

GPRS facility soon

This apart, efforts are on to introduce GPRS facility to disseminate the details of arrival and departure of buses on LED screens at all bus stages in the city within six months, he informed.

On the long-pending proposal to install CCTV cameras at Mahatma Gandhi Bus station (MGBS) and Jubilee Bus station, he said the authorities are finalising the number of CCTV cameras required and very shortly they would be installed on the station premises.

Laying emphasis on improving passenger service, Mr. Rao informed that corporation was planning to enter into an agreement with self help groups for upkeep of buses and bus stations across the State.

Startpage launches anonymous Web service

Search-engine company Startpage launched a service allowing users concerned about privacy to carry out Web searches and click on linked pages without being identified, tracked or recorded.

Unlike mainstream search engines that gather commercially valuable information about user behavior, privately held Startpage ( has focused on privacy since 2005.

Startpage — also known as Ixquick outside the United States and Britain — had already offered private searching, but users would leave the company’s protection when they clicked on a search result and entered a third-party website.

The new service offers use of a Startpage proxy that means the user is invisible to all websites, though pages load more slowly since Startpage must first retrieve the contents and then redisplay them.

“My wake-up call came last year,” says Katherine Albrecht, who runs U.S. media relations and marketing for Startpage and who says she noticed Google Inc had installed a program monitoring users who typed in terms indicating they had influenza — and was sharing the information with the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

“I had been a privacy advocate for 10 years, but even so I was using Google just like everybody else,” she said.

The chief executive of Google, which dominates the global Web search market, outraged critics last month with comments in a TV interview. “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” Eric Schmidt said in a interview on news channel CNBC.

“The reality is that search engines, including Google, do retain this information for some time,” he said. “We are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities.”

In 2006, however, Google was the only major search engine to reject a U.S. Justice Department subpoena to hand over data, saying the demand violated the privacy of users’ searches and its own trade secrets.

Rivals Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc complied. Startpage does not keep information about its users on file, so it could not be forced to hand anything over.

Startpage says it has been profitable for the last five years. It is funded by advertising including sponsored links that are matched to the content of Websites and searches, but not to user profiles.

Startpage, which was founded in New York and is owned by private Dutch company Surfboard Holding BV, does not publish user numbers but says it had served over 1.2 billion searches as of December 2009.

It also competes with Infospace’s Dogpile, WebCrawler and MetaCrawler in metasearch, or returning results from multiple search engines. It is also exploring ways to offer private email.

When you are not the boss’ favourite

If your boss is consistently fair, considerate, decent, and humble, you are very lucky, says Peter Morris in ‘The Dysfunctional Workplace’ ( ). For the rest of us, though, bosses come in all shapes and sizes of unfairness.

Your boss may, for instance, play favourites, giving his pet the best assignments or even a promotion that somebody else deserves more. “The boss may blame other employees for his favourite’s mistakes or shortcomings. He may be more likely to award his favourite a raise, let her take more days off, or give her the best office space or desk,” the author describes.

The result of such boss behaviour may be a demoralised workforce and resentment. “If the boss defers to a particular employee during meetings, always seeking out this person’s opinion to the exclusion of others, the rest of the group feels (correctly) that their input is not valued and they need not apply their minds to the task at hand.”

Then, there is the lunchtime clique, with the boss preferring to ‘hang out’ with one or two employees more than others at lunch or during casual moments throughout the day. This can create an implicit hierarchy in the workplace, with those ‘closer’ to the boss occupying a higher rung on the social ladder, Morris cautions.

“A certain amount of hierarchy is necessary for most organisations, but when the social hierarchy – defined by whom the boss views with favour – becomes an unstated pecking order that has little to do with seniority or job description, a corrosive oppression sets in.”

To the non-favourites, it is difficult to take such behaviour of the boss personally, the author concedes. “There is something innately threatening and painful about having the person you depend on, the person who has a certain amount of control over your fate, not appreciate you as a person.”

Yet, try not to take the boss’ behaviour to heart, Morris advises. “It isn’t your fault that the boss is being a jerk.” Instead, you can look at your options, he guides.

The first option is to lay it on the line. “In a private meeting with your boss, respectfully but firmly point out how long you have been with the company, what impressive accomplishments you have achieved (be ready to modestly itemise them), and why you ought to receive a particular promotion or responsibility for a major project.” Other options include approaching the boss’ supervisor or the HR department.

To those who feel their ideas and thoughts don’t receive enough air time at staff meetings, Morris’ suggestion is to prepare a memo before meetings about issues. “The boss is not likely to complain about this type of proactive preparation and forethought, especially if you present your memos in a respectful, professional manner.”

And those deprived of the sunshine of social attention that the boss chooses to bestow only upon the favourite few, sage counsel in the book is that your life is actually a bit simpler to have less rather than more casual interaction with the boss.

“You don’t need that type of relationship in your life! Let the boss’ inner circle enjoy their little clique, while you enjoy the integrity of your work and your working relationship with colleagues.”

Helpful insights to start the New Year with.


Coming soon: ‘Self-drive’ cars!

Imagine owning a car that does all the driving while you sit back and relax. Your fantasy seems to be getting closer to reality, thanks to scientists who are designing such a “self-drive” vehicle.

A European team claims to be working on such a fantasy car which can drive itself – in fact, tests would start next year on such vehicles that “drive themselves” and could be on roads within 10 years, ‘The Daily Telegraph’ reported.

Co-ordinated by a UK company, the European Union project is called Safe Road Trains for the Environment and it involves a “carpooling” roadtrain theory for use on motorways.

The roadtrain would consist of six to eight vehicles whose occupants would be able to relax, read the paper or chat on mobiles while travelling; this’ll be possible as their cars would be equipped with a navigation system and a transmitter unit that communicates with the lead vehicle, say scientists.

This lead vehicle – possibly a taxi a bus or a truck – will drive “normally” and effectively “do the motoring” for the rest of the roadtrain.

Drivers approaching their destination will take over control of their own vehicle, leave the convoy by exiting off to the side and then continue on their own to their respective destinations, according to the scientists.

Running shoes damage joints

Finally got that new pair of running shoes? Well, before you get down to taking them on the jogging track, here’s a piece of information—running shoes are likely to damage knees, hips and ankles.

 In a study, researchers compared the effects on knee, hip and ankle joint motions of running barefoot versus running in modern running shoes.

 They concluded that running shoes exerted more stress on these joints compared to running barefoot or walking in high-heeled shoes.

 Sixty-eight healthy young adult runners (37 women), who run in typical, currently available running shoes, were selected from the general population.

 None had any history of musculoskeletal injury and each ran at least 15 miles per week.

 All runners were provided with a running shoe, selected for its neutral classification and design characteristics typical of most running footwear.

 They observed each subject running barefoot and with shoes using a treadmill and a motion analysis system.

 The researchers observed increased joint torques at the hip, knee and ankle with running shoes compared with running barefoot.

 Disproportionately large increases were observed in the hip internal rotation torque and in the knee flexion and knee versus torques.

 An average 54 pct increase in the hip internal rotation torque, a 36 pct increase in knee flexion torque, and a 38 pct increase in knee varus torque were measured when running in running shoes compared with barefoot.

 The findings confirmed that while the typical construction of modern-day running shoes provides good support and protection of the foot itself, one negative effect is the increased stress on each of the 3 lower extremity joints.

 These increases are likely caused in large part by an elevated heel and increased material under the medial arch, both characteristic of today””s running shoes.

 “Remarkably, the effect of running shoes on knee joint torques during running (36pc-38pc increase) that the authors observed here is even greater than the effect that was reported earlier of high-heeled shoes during walking (20pc-26pc increase). Considering that lower extremity joint loading is of a significantly greater magnitude during running than is experienced during walking, the current findings indeed represent substantial biomechanical changes,” said lead author D. Casey Kerrigan, JKM Technologies LLC, Charlottesville, VA, and co-investigators.

 Kerrigan concluded: “Reducing joint torques with footwear completely to that of barefoot running, while providing meaningful footwear functions, especially compliance, should be the goal of new footwear designs.”

 The study has been published in the latest issue of PM&R: The journal of injury, function and rehabilitation. (ANI)

Eat pistachio to lower blood sugar

Munching a handful of pistachio nuts not only makes for a great snack but also a healthy one because it lowers the blood sugar level by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates in the body, a study said on Tuesday.

 “Pistachio, when eaten with high carbohydrate food items like white bread, may actually slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the body, resulting in a lower than expected blood sugar level,” said a statement on a study conducted by the University of Toronto.

 “Therefore, these nuts can help control diabetes in a country like India where 40 million people suffer from the disease. This figure is likely to go up to 80 million by 2025,” the statement added.

 Cyril Kendall, lead researcher of the study, said: “Controlling blood glucose level is important for preventing and controlling diabetes. Our preliminary findings demonstrate that suppressing the glycemic (blood sugar) response of high carbohydrate foods may be part of the mechanism by which pistachio contributes to the prevention and control of diabetes.”

 The study further found that pistachio helps control the appetite by controlling hunger stimulating hormones – thus improving long-term blood sugar control.

 According to an India-US study, there are about 2.98 million people suffering from diabetes in Delhi alone.

 Health expert R.R. Kasliwal said: “In the past five decades, the rate of coronary disease among urban population has more than doubled from four to 11 percent. The situation is of concern in India where more and more young people are getting affected by heart diseases.”

 “The mono-unsaturated fat in pistachio has been scientifically proven to help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL) which protects the heart,” he added.

Six types of learners in neotech age

Are you intimidated by new gadgets and technologies at your work place or do you take it in stride and learn the skill of handling them with dexterity? The answer will tell which of the six different types of human reactions to new scientific innovations you have.

 A study led by Deborah Compeau of Management Information Systems at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canadian University of Western Ontario focussed on how people in different organisations embrace and use technology.

 The Canadian researchers found that people fall into six categories depending on their attitude towards technologies and learning capabilities.

 Leading the list are ‘Purposive planners’. These are people who plan in advance with careful attention to detail while learning about new operations.

 Next follow ‘Explorers’ who learn on their own by delving into new areas.

 Close on the heels are ‘Visionaries’, who think about what way a new technology can help them and their organisations.

 They are followed by ‘Problem solvers’ who possess a task-oriented mindset and learn about a technology merely to master workplace tasks.

 Then there are ‘Reluctant learners’ – who don’t see the value of technology and learn only what they need to survive at work.

 Rounding off the list are ‘Pinballs’ – who pick up a variety of knowledge often through incidental learning.

 According to the research, hitting the wrong computer key may be all it takes for some people to learn new technology skills, while others need intensive training.

 Compeau has co-authored the study with Barb Marcolin, a Ph.D graduate at the Ivy School and Alain Ross, assistant professor of E-Commerce at Athabasca University in Alberta.

Weak backs and shoulders ail computer workers

Those who work for long hours on computers become victims of weak backs and shoulders, an affliction that doctors believe has multiplied over the years.

“Gurgaon is an IT hub and the problem is definitely severe here. I have seen a nearly 10 fold increase in the number of shoulder and back ache patients. They are falling flat on weak shoulders,” said I.P.S. Oberoi, a senior orthopaedic doctor at the Artemis Health Institute in Gurgaon.

“Nearly two years back, we used to get some 20 to 30 patients a month but now the number has gone up to 300. A resounding majority of them are computer professionals and those exposed to a computer for more than three-four hours a day,” Oberoi told IANS.

He said it starts with shoulder pain and leads to severe backache. Even medical studies have found the same result.

A new study by doctors at the Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital here has found that an overwhelming 76 percent of computer professionals in Delhi and its adjoining satellite towns have developed “musculoskeletal problems”.

“This is a significant proportion and denotes that the occupational health of people working in the computer industry should be emphasised as a field of concern in public health,” the study underlines.

The subjects of this study were software developers, call centre executives and data entry operators.

The study says that long periods of work in front of a computer are causing these shoulder and back problems. “They are also prone to eye strain and injuries of the hand and wrists.”

“Yes, the problem is increasing. It’s an emerging field and much study needs to be done. Our study subjects are people who have worked in the computer industry for at least six months,” Richa Talwar, lead researcher of the study, told IANS.

Her study also found that nearly 76 percent of these computer professionals, who are working as software developers, call centre workers and data entry operators too have some sort of visual problem.

P.K. Dave, an orthopaedic doctor and former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said that the working conditions of computer professionals are very sedentary.

“The problem is too bad these days. Many of these professional have a wrong sitting posture and are over exposed to computer screens,” Dave, currently serving at Rockland Hospital here, explained.

“Unfortunately those who are coming for medical help are in the highly productive age group. Generally 30-40 age group are what I have seen as the worst sufferers,” said the Padma Shri awardee.

Explaining the problem, Oberoi said these computer professionals’ hands are almost static while working.

“In the entire body, just the portion above the wrist works and the rest is static. They punch keyboards or hold the mouse for long hours. The problem begins here and it goes to the shoulder and finally they develop a weak back. They are falling flat on weak shoulders and sometimes victims can’t even move their hands in pain,” he elaborated.

Doctors said that as the NCR region is an IT hub, the problem is quite visible and growing. An improved sitting posture, regular exercise, good nutrition and a firm no to junk food can help victims avoid the problem.

Respect for elders is in genes

Ever wondered why we respect our elders? Well, it’s not just good manners, but it could be in our genes, says a new study.

 Researchers in France have carried out the study and discovered the practice may have its roots deep in evolution– in fact, respect for elders is a trait which is in genes rather than learned, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

 They have based their findings after an analysis of the behaviour of a group of monkeys who, just like the most polite people, stopped and listened carefully whenever their elders made a pronouncement.

 Although senior members of the monkey troop “talked” less, they were more likely to elicit a response from younger members, the study found.

 And, according to the researchers, the finding that primates other than humans appear to respect their elders suggests the trait is bred into us rather than learned.

 In fact, the researchers studied the calls made by the nine female members of a group of Campbell’s monkeys, which are native to west Africa.

 They found that the older monkeys called out less frequently but were more likely to receive a reply than the “chatterbox” youngsters.

 “Age appeared a major factor in the contribution of individuals to vocal exchanges. Elders were less loquacious than younger individuals. Despite that, they received more responses,” said the researchers from University of Rennes.

 Writing in the ‘Biology Letters’ journal, they said the older animals may have merited more attention because they had greater knowledge and a stabilising role on the group.

Committee on Telangana issue should stick to Dec 9 prog: JAC

The committee proposed to be appointed by the Centre to go into Telangana issue should stick to the December 9 time-frame, all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) spearheading the agitation for the separate state said here on Saturday.

“They should commit to the December nine programme and have a clear time-frame. These are our two expectations,” JAC Convener C Kodandaram told a news agency here today.

The JAC insisted on a time-frame for the completion of the task by the proposed committee as it fears the panel may end up like the women’s reservation bill, he said.

“We said some time-frame should be there. Otherwise, it would become an endless process. Like the women’s reservation bill, it will never see the light of the day,” Kodandaram said.

The committee should be within the framework of the two demands, he said, adding JAC has not discussed the nature of the panel.

“Within the framework of these two demands, the committee should be only for formation of Telangana. Nothing short of this will satisfy us,” he said and added JAC would continue its agitation if the Centre’s announcement falls short of its expectations.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had announced on Thursday that government would appoint a committee next week to go into the Telangana issue.

The JAC had earlier set a January 29 deadline for the Centre to make a statement on the separate statehood failing which they threatened to press for acceptance of en masse resignation of legislators from Telangana region.

In the wake of Chidambaram’s statement on Thursday, JAC extended the deadline for the mounting pressure on the Assembly Speaker to accept the resignations of MLAs and MLCs.

Government moves in to tackle cyber crime

Concerned over a spurt in cyber crimes in the city, the hub for IT and IT Enabled Services (ITES), the State police has made an urgent request to the State government and got the green signal for setting up a cyber crime police station (ccps) in the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate.

This will be in addition to the already functioning Hyderabad CCPS and will be operating under the detective department. Cyber crimes under the Information Technology (IT) Act jumped by over 300 percent since the beginning of the New Year as compared to the data two years ago. Currently, one offence a day is being recorded on an average. Year 2009 saw a 50 percent increase in cyber crimes over the previous year in the city.

Cases mostly pertaining to Nigerian frauds, portal hacking and data theft are being registered under sections 65, 66 and 67 of the IT Act at the Cyber Crime Cell in the city and the majority of offenders are said to be below 30 years of age.

B Sumathi, Superintendent of Police (SP), Cyber Crimes told Expresso that IT-related offences were on the rise in the city. “As many as 88 cases were registered in 2008 and the figure went up to 124 in 2009 with a large chunk of them being Nigerian frauds, hacking and data thefts,’’ she said. In order to tackle the cyber crimes, Director General of Police RR Girish Kumar has requested the State government to sanction a CCPS for Cyberabad.

The CC police stations, the existing one and the one about to come, will have a Deputy Superintendent of Police, two Inspectors, four sub-inspectors, four head constables, 20 police constables and four home guards. They will also have cyber crime labs manned by a sub-inspector and four constables. “Once the new police station comes up, it would be easier to take up investigation of cases,’’ Sumathi said.

In order to create awareness among the people on cyber crimes, the Cyber Crime Cell will start special programmes shortly.

Inter exams to start from March 10

Hyderabad: The state government on Friday postponed the Intermediate public exams by a week, bowing to pressure from some ministers of Telangana region and leaders of the Telangana Joint Action Committee.

The exams will now begin on March 10 as against March 3 announced earlier.

The SSC exams will, however, stick to schedule and start on March 23. Even the Intermediate practical exams will be held as per the original schedule from February 3.

The minister for secondary education, Mr D. Manikya Vara Prasada Rao, who had earlier ruled out postponement, was forced to backtrack after three ministers of T-region, Mr D. Sridhar Babu, Mr Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Mr Jupalli Krishna Rao, met the Chief Minister, Mr Rosaiah, on Tuesday and told him that students of T-region had missed out on a month’s classes due to the T-stir.

Mr Rosaiah discussed the issue at the review meeting on higher education on Friday but left the final decision to Mr Prasada Rao. “Though I am personally against postponement, it was done upon the persistent demands from public representatives and various students and lecturers’ associations,” Mr Rao said. (DC)

Revised Intermediate exam schedule

First year
* March 10: Second language.
* March 12: English
* March 15: Mathematics IA, Botany, Civics, Psychology.
* March 18: Mathematics IB, Zoology, History.
* March 20: Physics, Economics and Classical language.
* March 23: Chemistry, Commerce, Sociology, Fine Arts and Music.
* March 26: Geology, Home Science, Public Administration, Logic, Geography and Bridge Course (Maths).
* March 29: Modern language.

Second year
* March 11: Second language.
* March 13: English.
* March 17: Mathematics IIA, Botany, Civics and Psychology.
* March 19: Mathematics IIB, Zoology and History.
* March 22: Physics, Economics and Classical language.
* March 25: Chemistry, Commerce, Sociology, Fine Arts and Music.
* March 27: Geology, Home Science, Public Administration, Logic, Geography and Bridge Course (Maths).
* March 29: Modern language.

CM for stern action against those misusing INDIRAMMA

Concerned over irregularities in the implementation of the prestigious INDIRAMMA programme, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah today said stern action would be taken against the officials and non-officials responsible for misuse of the housing programme for weaker sections.

Reviewing the implementation of the flagship programme of the Congress Government in the state with his Cabinet colleagues, the Chief Minister called for finetuning the field-level delivery system and step up vigilance to prevent irregularities in the implementation of the programme, aimed at meeting the housing needs of poor people on saturation basis, Information Minister J Geeta Reddy told reporters.

The Government had already taken several steps to prevent any misuse of the programme like online monitoring and crediting of the amount directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries either in Post offices or commercial Banks, she said. As on January 15, 2010, as many as 27.87 lakh houses were completed under the three phases of the programme. 17.38 lakh houses were under different stages of construction, while the construction of 16.93 lakh houses was yet to start, she added.