Gratuity for private sector employees raised to Rs 10 lakh

Bringing cheer to thousands of private sector employees, the government on Thursday approved raising the ceiling for payment of gratuity to them from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The move will bring about parity between government and private sector employees in enjoying equal gratuity benefits. The Sixth Pay Commission recommendation had raised the limit for Central government employees.

Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge had earlier said his Ministry was holding consultations with various stakeholders to arrive at a consensus for raising the ceiling.

They lost their lives for Rs.10

A mound of slippers on the site bore a grim testimony to the tragedy that occurred at the Kripalu Maharaj’s ashram on Thursday

Twelve-year-old Kishori was lost in a daze outside the ashram, unsure of the fate of her mother and two aunts who were separated from her in the stampede that left at least 65 people dead on Thursday.

The four were among thousands of people – the poorest of the poor – who had gathered to eat food at a community kitchen and collect a steel plate, Rs. 10, a laddu and a handkerchief – distributed by popular godman Kripalu Maharaj at his ashram on the “Shradh” (post-death rites) of his wife every year.

Policemen make records as the bodies of victims are seen after a stampede at Kripalu Maharaj’s ashram in Kunda near Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday

But this year, police claimed, the function saw an unprecedented crowd leading to the stampede. A mound of slippers on the site bore a grim testimony to the tragedy.

Eyewitnesses said there were separate lines for men and women leading to the ashram. But as a gate fell due to pressure from the surging crowd at around 9.30 a.m., the ashram officials allegedly started pushing back the crowd. The women panicked and ran with their children, triggering the stampede.

Locals claim there were no police personnel present during the function. However, Inspector General of Police (Allahabad Range) Chandra Prakash said it was an annual function and that an adequate deployment had been made but the turnout was much more than expected.

Police cordoned off the ashram site, 60 kms from here.

Women mourn after a stampede at an ashram in Kunda, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday

Unable to get any information about the fate of their loved ones, hapless family members were seen wailing outside the ashram long after the incident – their hope of seeing their relatives diminishing with every passing moment.

Though the district administration said it had released a list of those killed, people claimed it was not made available to them.

Temple stampede kills 63 people – police

At least 63 people, more than half of them children, were killed in a stampede triggered by a massive rush for free food and clothes at a temple in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, police said.

Thousands of people had gathered at the old temple at Kunda village for free food and clothes being distributed by a monk, but panicked after a wooden gate collapsed.

“At least 37 among the dead are children and 26 of them are women,” said Mahesh Mishra, a senior police officer.

Some people were crushed to death under the gate, while others tripped and came under the feet of the rushing crowd as they tried to escape through a narrow corridor. More than 200 people were injured.

“The children fell first and the women in their attempt to save them fell on them,” said Shiv, a witness, who only gave his first name. “The crowd just trampled on whoever fell on the ground.”

Local residents in Kunda helped police carry the injured to nearby hospitals, police said.

Witnesses said a handful of policemen found it difficult to control the crowd which wanted to enter the temple premises.

In the country, stampedes are relatively common at temples, where thousands of people gather to pray during festivals.

In 2008, at least 285 people died in two temple stampedes in northern India.

Chile keeps shaking, rattling survivors

Frightened by more heavy aftershocks, coastal residents in Chile camped out on hillsides on Thursday, five days after one of the strongest earthquakes in a century killed more than 800 people.

An emotional President Michelle Bachelet, a popular leader who steps down next week, pleaded with Chileans to stop hoarding supplies as aid reached central Pacific coast towns that were hardest hit by Saturday’s 8.8 quake and surging tsunamis.

Panicked over a possible repeat of the ferocious tide, people scurried up the hills near hard-hit Concepcion after one particularly strong aftershock, and yet another 6.1 magnitude tremor jolted the country late on Wednesday.

The original quake broke bridges and highways, cracked modern buildings in the capital’s suburbs, shattered vats at Chile’s famous vineyards and briefly shut down the country’s vast copper mines, the biggest in the world.

Retailers were left reeling after looters sacked shelves and burned some stores.

While the death toll stood at 802, hundreds more were unaccounted for. Families in coastal areas were camped on hillsides, scared to return to their homes.

Very few survivors emerged from the water after enormous waves sucked them out to sea on Saturday.

“It’s amazing to be alive,” said 43-year-old non-swimmer Bernardita Vives, who was tossed back on shore with broken bones after the sea dragged her away from Constitucion, a picturesque coastal town that was devastated and lost an estimated 350 people.

Infosys planning wage increase in April

Infosys Technologies, India’s No. 2 IT services exporter, plans to raise wages for all its staff in April on a rebound in demand for outsourcing services, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Infosys and its rivals such as Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro had put off their annual wage hikes in April last year as global recession crimped investments on technology services by their clients.

Nasdaq-listed Infosys, which has a market value of more than $33 billion, announced wage rises in October last year for this fiscal year ending in March.

“Yes, we are considering a wage hike in April. We expect business to be normal in the coming year and as in a normal year, we give hikes every April,” the Infosys spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

“The hikes will be across the board,” she said, adding the quantum of the hikes would be decided in April.

The Business Standard daily reported, without quoting sources, Infosys was planning 8-12 percent wage increase.

Shares in Infosys fell as much as 1.7 percent, also weighed down by a rise in the rupee to a six-week high.

High wages and a stronger rupee can crimp the profit margins of the IT services exporters, who get bulk of their revenue from the United States.

The Infosys spokeswoman said the Bangalore-based firm would not be able to quantify now the impact of wage inflation on the profit margins.

Google China hackers stole source code – researcher

BOSTON  – The hackers behind the attacks on Google Inc and dozens of other companies operating in China stole valuable computer source code by breaking into the personal computers of employees with privileged access, a security firm said on Wednesday.

The hackers targeted a small number of employees who controlled source code management systems, which handle the myriad changes that developers make as they write software, said George Kurtz, chief technology officer at anti-virus software maker McAfee Inc.

The details from McAfee show how the breach of just a single PC at a large corporation can have widespread repercussions across the broader business.

Google said in January that it had detected a cyber attack originating from China on its corporate infrastructure that resulted in the theft of its intellectual property. Google said more than 20 other companies had been infiltrated, and cited the attack, as well as Chinese Web censorship practices, as reasons for the company to consider pulling out of China.

The Chinese government has said that Google’s claim that it was attacked by hackers based in China was “groundless.”

Kurtz said on Wednesday that he believes that the hackers, who have not been apprehended, broke through the defenses of at least 30 companies, and perhaps as many as 100.

He said the common link in several of the cases that McAfee reviewed is that the hackers used source code management software from privately held Perforce Software Inc, whose customers include Google and many other large corporations.

“It is very easy to compromise the systems,” Kurtz said.

Turn your body into a touchscreen -Skinput

According to an article in the New Scientist, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (Chris Harisson) along with Microsoft’s lab (Dan Morris and Desney Tan) claim to be able to turn your skin into a touch-screen. Innovatively called ‘Skinput’ (a combination of the words ‘skin’ and ‘input’), it uses a bio-acoustic sensing array in combination with a wrist-mounted pico-projector to turn your arm into a display and input device, without any implantation

How does it work? The pico-projector (which can be mounted in other places than just your wrist) will project images onto the skin of your arm (or on any part of your body in line of sight of the projector), and as you press these image buttons, particular vibrations/sounds will ripple through your skin, muscles and bones, which will be picked up and interpreted as signals by special software in the bio-acoustic sensing array. Specific locations/images/buttons can be mapped for specific functions.

What is interesting is that the projector itself is not critical to the process, only the sensing array and software is, enabling you to ‘tap’ the chosen area without any images on it, and still cause an effect. From an observer’s perspective though, this might look quite ridiculous, with a person touching himself for no apparent reason. It also gives new meaning to the term logging off, when a touch could trigger anything from a song to a search.

This application joins the ranks of real-world digital-interfaces, along with the Microsoft Surface, Project Natal, and Pranav Mistry’sSixthSense. Recent work on Microsoft’s Surface will also soon make the device a portable one, similar to SixthSense. Pranav Mistry, whose device certainly seems to have the most potential applications as well as portability, warns that the Skinput device will have to be very precisely placed each time, so that the images and sounds are nearly identical each time, thereby limiting the functionality of the device.

U an just checkout the video for more details

 –thinkdigit

Other NEWS article regarding this:

*Sixth Sense technology is coming, Microsoft demos Surface-based NUI

 

Aiming to bring the world to a level of ubiquitous integrated mobile computing, the Microsoft Research team have demonstrated a shrunken Mobile Surface application where a projection of a motion-touch interface can be placed on almost any flat object turning it into a responsive active display screen.

The system uses a small webcam and digital projector to project a seamlessly integrated interface where the user can respond with gestures creating interactions with the system.   Similar to the concept used in the film Minority Report, shown by PrimeSense at CES this past January, this technology will be the next wave in computer manipulation.

Gesture-based interfaces have been imagined by many great minds, like the ‘Sixth Sense’ technology shown by Pranav Mistry.  The video demonstration on TED India shows his technology creating a mobile interface that will integrate into many parts of your life, giving you access to information for making optimal decisions throughout your day.

Microsoft’s demo uses similar technologies, just less exciting in respects to its actual presentation.  A video by TechFlash shows researchers playing a simulated drum set which is projected on a table, allowing the user to tap his fingers or drumsticks to initiate the drum sounds.

Plans to integrate this technology in future games for the Project Natal game control system for Xbox 360 have led to advancements in natural user interfaces (NUI) and is essentially the Wii of the future.

Checkout the video for more details…

–mobilemag

Strong earthquake hits Taiwan; 12 people injured

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday, terrifying residents, disrupting communications and triggering at least one large fire. Twelve people were injured, the National Fire Agency said.

A woman recovers a wall clock from the damage caused by a strong earthquake that jolted the island, Thursday, March 4, 2010, in the southern area of Kaohsiung county, Taiwan. A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday morning, causing widespread damage, and disrupting communications around the island

No tsunami alert was issued. The quake was centered in the same mountainous region of rural Kaohsiung county that endured the brunt of the damage from Typhoon Morakot, a devastating storm that killed about 700 people last August.

Taiwanese actor Chu Chung-heng said he and other passengers were close to panic when the high-speed train on which they were traveling was dislodged from its track by the quake.

Damage from an early morning earthquake is seen at a local temple, Thursday, March 4, 2010, in the southern area of Kaohsiung county, Taiwan. The powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday morning, causing widespread damage, and disrupting communications around the island

“Many people in my car were screaming,” he said. “I was so scared that I couldn’t make a sound. The train shook very hard and I thought it was going to overturn.”

Rail service in southern and central Taiwan was suspended, as was the state-of-the-art subway system in Kaohsiung city, Taiwan’s second largest with a population of 1.5 million. Kaohsiung is about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of Taipei.

Evacuated students sit outside in their playground protecting their heads after a strong earthquake shook the island, Thursday, March 4, 2010, in the southern area Chaiyi county, Taiwan. A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday morning, causing widespread damage, and disrupting communications around the island.

In nearby Tainan, a fire broke out in a textile factory shortly after the quake hit, sending huge plumes of black smoke billowing into the air. Power outages struck Taipei and at least one county to the south, and telephone service in many parts of Taiwan was spotty.

Kuo Kai-wen, director of the Central Weather Bureau’s Seismology Center, said the quake was not geologically related to the massive temblor that hit Chile last Saturday, but its intensity was unusual for the area.

Firemen battle a blaze at a textile factory that started shortly after a strong earthquake jolted the island, Thursday, March 4, 2010, in the southern area of Tainan, Taiwan. A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday morning, causing widespread damage, and disrupting communications around the island

“This is the biggest quake to hit this region in more than a century,” he said.

The quake’s epicenter was near the town of Jiashian, especially hard hit by last year’s typhoon. A Kaohsiung county official told CTI TV news that some temporary housing built for typhoon survivors collapsed.

The Ministry of Defense said troops were dispatched to Jiashian to report on the extent of the damage.

In nearby Liugui an unidentified high school student described the quake as terrifying. “Everyone was running out of the classroom, and some people fell in the rush,” she told ETTV.

All of the 12 injuries were relatively minor, the fire agency said.

A spokesman for President Ma Ying-jeou said authorities had been instructed to follow the quake situation closely and take steps to mitigate damage and dislocation. Ma was widely criticized for his government’s slow response to last year’s typhoon.

The presidential office said he planned to visit Tainan on Thursday afternoon.

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan but most are minor and cause little or no damage.

Plumes of dust rise from landslides caused by a strong earthquake, Thursday, March 4, 2010, in the southern area of Kaohsiung county, Taiwan. A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday morning, causing widespread damage, and disrupting communications around the island.

However, a 7.6-magnitude temblor in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people. In 2006 a 6.7-magnitude quake south of Kaohsiung severed undersea cables and disrupted telephone and Internet service for millions throughout Asia.

-Associated Press

Strong earthquake hits Taiwan; injuries reported

Damage from an early morning earthquake is seen in a home on Thursday in Taiwan

A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday, causing widespread damage and disrupting communications around the island. Local news reports said several people were injured.

The quake was centred in the county of Kaohsiung, and struck at a depth of about 3.1 miles (5 kilometres). Kaohsiung is about 249 miles (400 kilometres) south of the capital Taipei.

No tsunami alert was issued.

Kuo Kai-wen, director of the Central Weather Bureau’s Seismology Centre, said the Taiwan quake was not geologically related to the temblor that hit Chile over the weekend, killing more than 800 people.

In the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan, a fire broke out in a textile factory shortly after Thursday’s quake struck, sending huge plumes of black smoke billowing into the air. At least one train in southern Taiwan shifted slightly off its tracks, and authorities suspended service throughout the region. Subway service in the city of Kaohsiung was temporarily disrupted.

Power outages hit Taipei and at least one county to the south, and telephone service in some parts of Taiwan was spotty.

Buildings swayed in the capital when the quake struck.

The quake’s epicentre was near the town of Jiashian, in the same area where a devastating typhoon struck last August. A Kaohsiung county official told CTI TV news that some temporary housing in the town collapsed as a result of the quake.

The Ministry of Defence said troops were dispatched to Jiashian to report on damage.

CTI reported one person was moderately injured by falling debris in Kaohsiung, and one woman was hospitalized after a wall collapsed on her scooter in the southern city of Chiayi. Also in Chiayi, one person was hurt by a falling tree, government-owned Central News Agency said.

A spokesman for Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said authorities had been instructed to follow the quake situation closely and take steps to mitigate damage and dislocation.

Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan but most are minor and cause little or no damage.

However, a 7.6-magnitude temblor in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people. In 2006 a 6.7-magnitude quake south of Kaohsiung severed undersea cables and disrupted telephone and Internet service to millions throughout Asia.

Congress party’’s top priority is food prices: Sonia Gandhi

Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday told party Members of Parliament that bringing down food prices would be its top priority.

Gandhi supported Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the budget proposals for 2010-11, suggesting that there will be no fuel price roll back.

She was also critical of the Opposition walkout from Parliament during Mukherjee’’s budget speech last week, saying that it was not in good taste”.

The Opposition members left Parliament over a demand for a fuel price rollback on February 26. UPA allies — the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have said they would prefer a rollback,but will not quit the government on the issue.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who has cautioned against instant populism, has told party MPs and UPA leaders that correcting distortions in petro good pricing was unavoidable. He also said the time to take bold decisions is “right now”.

Mukherjee also referred to the window of opportunity available to the Centre and added that fuel price hike was critical to the economy.

Mukherjee had hiked customs duty on petrol and diesel to 7.5 percent from 2.5 percent while excise duty was raised by Rs 1 on non-branded, or normal, petrol and diesel to maintain growth and give the common man spending power.

Mukherjee said he had three options before him: Sit back and do nothing; Go on a borrowing spree; or Restore the duty structure. He said he opted for the third, as the government could not afford to take economically reckless decisions.

Addressing concerns raised by UPA leaders over the decision’’s impact on the prices of essentials, he said the government has already carried out a back-of-the-envelope calculation.

“The inflationary impact will be a mere 0.41 percent,” he said, adding that an improved crop situation can absorb it.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led opposition has decided to halt proceedings in Parliament for the second consecutive day over the fuel price hike and other issues. (ANI)

IntenseDebate integrates with WordPress.com for commenting

IntenseDebate integrates with WordPress.com for commenting

IntenseDebate has announced that they have now integrated with the WordPress.com system for commenting on blogs.

Users would now be able to comment on blogs running IntenseDebate comment systems using their WordPress.com credentials.

IntenseDebate already support commenting through their own accounts in addition to Facebook and Twitter.

IntenseDebate is also in the process of merging accounts with WordPress.com for users who already have accounts on both the services.

IntenseDebate and WordPress.com are both owned by Automattic which is behind the WordPress blogging platform.

Stampede in ashram, 15 feared dead – Lucknow

At least 15 people could have been killed in a stampede in an ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district, an official spokesperson here said on Thursday.

The tragedy at the Radha Saomi ashram in Mangarh area of Kunda town, about 180 km from here, took place when a free lunch, or a bhandara, hosted by Kripaluji Maharaj was taking place.

The spokesperson said the stampede broke out when a temporary shed caved in. There were also reports that a gate leading to the ashram collapsed.

It appears that a gate leading to the ashram collapsed, leading to the tragedy. Casualties were feared.

Sonia indicates no rollback on fuel prices, lauds Pranab

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday indicated there would be no rollback of a hike in central taxes on petrol and diesel as the government needed resources to meet its social obligations.

“We have many essential social obligations and to meet them it is necessary to raise resources. I congratulate the finance minister for a fine and delicate balancing act (in the union budget) which has been widely welcomed,” she told the Congress Parliamentary Party here.

Referring to a meeting of party MPs Wednesday with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, she said he had briefed them about the salient features of the Feb 26 budget and the government’s new initiatives.

“I am sure this input will help you in countering the opposition’s propaganda,” she said.

Mukherjee had announced a hike in central taxes on petrol and diesel in his budget speech. The decision drew resistance from even some the allies of the Congress besides the opposition.

Gandhi said containing food prices was the foremost priority for the government which had put in place “pro-active policies” to mitigate the hardships of people. She said the crisis was born out of circumstances beyond the government’s control.

Referring to the replies of Mukherjee and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to debates in parliament on price rise and a meeting of chief ministers on the issue convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gandhi said states should ensure that the public distribution system functioned properly and de-hoarding was effective.

“The food price inflation detracts from UPA’s outstanding accomplishment in sustaining high economic growth that is so essential for generating resources for social welfare programmes and inclusive long term prosperity,” she said.

She described the Food Security Bill “as perhaps the most important pledge” in the party’s manifesto last year and said the government was ready to place the draft of the bill in the public domain for discussion.

Japanese scientist develops ‘painless’ injection

London: If you have always dreaded an injection, a Japanese researcher has given you a big reason to smile by developing a painless new vaccine delivery technique.

Kanji Takada, a professor of pharmacokinetics (the study of the absorption, distribution and fate of substances delivered to the human body) has created a round vaccine “chip” measuring a mere 1.5 cm in diameter, containing 300 micro needles, each 0.5 mm long and 0.3 mm wide. The device is capable of delivering drugs to the body without breaking the skin’s dermis.

The chip penetrates just 0.5 millimetres when the needles dissolve administering the vaccine. According to Prof Takada, the patient feels no pain and there is no bleeding.

“The patch can be used to deliver any type of vaccine and people are not frightened of having the injection because they feel nothing at all,” the Telegraph quoted Prof Takada of Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, as saying.

He took six years to come up with the new injection system.

Some other researchers had also tried using microneedles made out of sugar but these degraded at temperatures above 100 degrees centigrade, said Prof Takada.

Prof Takada used a water-soluble polymer instead of sugar. This polymer dissolves when pressed into the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, releasing the vaccine into the circulatory system.

Prof Takada’’s new drug delivery device could be available in Japanese hospitals by 2012. (ANI)

11 men involved in Mumbai attack in Pakistan’s terror list

Islamabad: Eleven people wanted for the Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead are on a terror list prepared by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The country’s top Taliban leadership, however, isn’t mentioned in it, a media report said.

The list, also known as the `red book’, names 119 people including those involved in attacks on former premier Benazir Bhutto, former president Pervez Musharraf and on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the Dawn said quoting a web report.

Prepared in October 2009, the list includes names of 11 people wanted for the Mumbai attacks but there are no details on the bounty in case of their arrest.

Ten terrorists sneaked into Mumbai Nov 26, 2008 and went on a killing spree. One of the terrorists, Ajmal Amir Kasab, was arrested. The terror strike strained India-Pakistan relations.

The Dawn report said the list does not include names of prominent militant leaders from Swat and Fata region and there was no mention of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s leadership.

The list includes the names of 25 wanted people from Punjab, 24 from Sindh and 18 from Balochistan.

Several killed in stampede in ashram – Lucknow

Lucknow: Nearly 50 people were killed in a stampede in an ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district on Thursday, police here said.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said about 48-50 people had been killed in the tragedy in Mangarh area of Kunda town, about 180 km from here.

The incident at the Radha Saomi ashram took place when a free lunch, or a bhandara, hosted by Kripaluji Maharaj was taking place, a government official added.

The official said the stampede broke out when a temporary shed caved in. There were also reports that a gate leading to the ashram collapsed.

At least 65 dead in stampede in UP temple

NEW DELHI: At least 65 people were killed and 30 injured on Thursday in a stampede at Ram Janki temple in Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh.

Sub divisional magistrate said at least 65 people have been killed in the tragedy in Mangarh area of Kunda town, about 180 km from here.

The stampede occurred after the main gate of the temple collapsed. More than 30 people are reported to be trapped in the debris.

Most of the trapped people are women and children. There was a huge crowd gathered at the temple to attend a ‘bhandara’ (luncheon) of Swami Kripaluji Maharaj.

Police and administrative officials have reached the stampede site and are engaged in rescue and relief work.
 Other NEWS articles regarding the same NEWS say:

15 dead, dozens injured in temple stampede

At least 15 people were killed and dozens more injured Thursday in a stampede at a temple in north India, police says.

The accident occurred when thousands of people crowded into the compound of a temple in Kunda, a small town 112 miles (180 kilometers) southeast of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, said Brij Lal, a senior local police official.

Mr. Lal said the death toll would likely go up as more details emerged from the accident site.

The temple is located in a compound that belongs to Kripalu Maharaj, a popular local religious leader.

Free clothes and utensils were being distributed at a religious function at the Ram Janki temple, which likely caused the stampede, Lal said.

As people jostled each other, a gate to the compound also fell, causing more injuries, he added.

Deadly stampedes are a relatively common occurrence at temples in India, where large crowds — sometimes hundreds of thousands of people — congregate in small areas lacking facilities to control big gatherings.

In 2008, more than 145 people died in a stampede at a remote Hindu temple at the foothill of the Himalayas

Fotobabble ..Add Voice to ur photos

What is Fotobabble?

Fotobabble lets you create talking photos in two clicks. Simply upload a photo and then record your voice directly through your computer to create a talking photo. You can easily share it by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or embed it into a blog or website.

 It’s free and all completely web-based. No software to download, just register and get started in seconds.

 About Fotobabble

Fotobabble takes photo sharing to a new level. Fotobabble lets you create talking photos in a matter of two clicks, to enhance photos you want to share with friends and family. Adding a voice…..your voice or perhaps your child’s voice, gives photos life and creates a memorable experience for someone in the process.

  • Imagine sending a photo while on safari to your friend that is captioned by your voice telling her how you felt the moment you first saw the lion?
  • Imagine sharing a photo of a 70th birthday party with family on the other side of the world with their voice as an overlay to a shot of their great grandchild sitting on their lap?
  • Imagine sending a photo to your boyfriend or girlfriend of yourself while adding a romantic or fun message to an image of you standing in front of a sunset?
  • Imagine adding voice to an event invitation telling your guests about the band you just hired or a book group invite sharing a teaser about the book in two lines?

Simply upload a photo and then record your voice directly through your computer to create a Fotobabble. Then share it by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or embed it into a blog or website.

It’s free and all completely web-based. No software to download, just register and get started in seconds

NEWS Articles about Fotobabble :

 

*Fotobabble’s Enables Talking Photos

 Fotobabble has launched as a new service that allows users to add voice to photos in seconds with just a few clicks on a Web browser or an iPhone. Voices can be added to photos stored on a computer, or those that are in an iPhone.

“There are tens of billions of static photos on the web without a voice or sound,” said Kamal Shah, CEO of Fotobabble.

 “Three billion photos are uploaded to Facebook each month alone. Using Fotobabble, people and businesses can greatly enhance these images with the energy and emotion of voice.”

 Free to use, it only takes seconds to create and share a “Fotobabble.” Users simply upload a photo and record their voice directly through their computer’s microphone to create a talking photo. Or on an iPhone, after downloading the free Fotobabble app, users simply select an existing photo or a snap a new one, hit record and it is done.

 Fotobabble takes photo sharing to a new level. There is no software to download, Fotobabble supports PCs and Macs, as well as the iPhone, and makes it easy for people to create talking photos and to share them with a few close friends or with the whole world.

 *Fotobabble: Add Audio to Your Pics

 We’ve recently come across an app that literally brings its users “talking pictures.”

 Essentially, Fotobabble attaches an audio caption to any image you can upload. It’s a cute, fun way to share and narrate photos with friends, and could even be useful for certain kinds of online businesses – for example, photographers who wanted to explain more information about a particular shot or online retailers who wanted to give potential customers details about a product. Can Fotobabble accomplish these tasks better with audio than conventional text-based captions do now? Read on and tell us what you think

 Currently, users can choose to share their creations across a wide variety of social networks or email; however, autosharing is not built in. The app is available as a web app for PC/Mac/etc. and as an iPhone app.

 We do wish that Fotobabble would let users audio-caption pics from Facebook, Flickr photo streams or elsewhere on the Web. Ensuring ownership would be easy enough, as well, through Flickr’s API or Facebook Connect.While we’re on that subject, account creation should be possible through Facebook Connect or Twitter OAuth. Ideally, we’d also want to be able to create slide shows and sets or groups of pics.

 What do you think: Can you see yourself using Fotobabble? If so, how would you use it? Let us know what you think in the comments.

*Fotobabble’s Talking Photos Brings Images to Life in Seconds

 

Quickly Create Talking Photos in a Few Button Clicks; Share Talking Photos with Friends & Family via Email, Twitter, Facebook or an iPhone

 EMERYVILLE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Announced today, Fotobabble allows people to add voice to photos in seconds with just a few clicks on a web browser or an iPhone. Whether you want to add your voice to a photo stored on your computer, or on one just snapped with your iPhone, Fotobabble brings images to life that can be shared immediately with friends and family

“There are tens of billions of static photos on the web without a voice or sound,” said Kamal Shah, CEO of Fotobabble. “Three billion photos are uploaded to Facebook each month alone. Using Fotobabble, people and businesses can greatly enhance these images with the energy and emotion of voice.”

 Free to use, it only takes seconds to create and share a “Fotobabble.” Simply upload a photo and record your voice directly through your computer’s microphone to create a talking photo. On your iPhone, after downloading the free Fotobabble app, select an existing photo or a snap a new one, hit record and you’re done. Whether using a computer or your iPhone, you can share talking photos via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or embed them into a blog or website.

 Fotobabble for Fun & Communication:

 The possibilities of what you can do with talking photos are endless, whether it’s to add life to photos you upload on Facebook, send talking greetings to Grandma from your kids’ birthday party, capture a funny or touching moment experienced with friends, send a picture to your spouse with your voice describing the perfect couch for the living room, include your voice in a home-made greeting card, or send talking postcards from a vacation.

 Imagine being on safari and sending a photo to a friend – captioned with your voice – that truly captures the excitement you felt the moment you first saw a lion? How unique and fun it would be to have talking photo status updates within Twitter and Facebook?

 You could also become a citizen journalist, Fotobabbling a car accident you just witnessed. Imagine a broadcast network asking people to Fotobabble the situation in an emergency zone such as Haiti, or providing instant scoop on local news or sporting events.

 Fotobabble for Business:

 Businesses can create Fotobabbles to promote a product, to more effectively engage with customers online, or to increase the number of visitors to their website, blog or Facebook page. Fotobabbles are easily embedded anywhere on the web and vastly improve how images are presented and experienced online.

 Whether you sell a product or service, or you’re a sports personality, musician, politician or activist, your talking photos will be a memorable experience for customers and fans.

 Brands and ad agencies can use Fotobabble as a social media marketing platform. Fotobabble’s flexibility makes it easy to build customized viral marketing campaigns that are more engaging than text or static photos, and are much simpler to create and share than video. Brands can build truly unique campaigns using Fotobabble in contests, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and more.

 A New Level:

 Fotobabble takes photo sharing to a new level. Since there is no software to download, Fotobabble supports PCs and Macs, as well as the iPhone, and makes it easy for people to create talking photos and to share them with a few close friends or with the whole world, in just a few button clicks.

 Free iPhone App:

 Free iPhone App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fotobabble/id353078443?mt=8   

 About Fotobabble

 Fotobabble allows people to create talking photos in seconds with just a few quick clicks. Individuals can use Fotobabble to share talking photos with friends and family and businesses can use it to market and advertise a product or service. Companies and celebrities can leverage the power of Fotobabble by creating talking photos to raise awareness for their brand and better engage with customers and fans. Visit: http://www.fotobabble.com . Twitter: @fotobabble .

 *Fotobabble Adds Your Voice to Your Photos

 You’ve probably noticed that while there’s no shortage of Web services that will showcase your photos or videos, not many of them allow you to narrate your photos without forcing you to turn them into a video.

 If you’ve ever wanted to add a voice note instead of a text caption to your photos, or narrate a slideshow of your own photos, take a look at new service Fotobabble. It allows you to add your voice or sound to your photos on the Web so your friends and family can see your photos and hear your voice at the same time.

 To make use of Fotobabble’s voice narration, you have to host your gallery at Fotobabble. Once you have your photos uploaded there, you can record a voice caption or voice note and attach it to the image.

 You can then share it with friends, either by sending them a link to visit your image or pasting the embed code into your own site so visitors can play it without leaving the page. The service also supports one-click posting to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and over a dozen other social networks and services.

 The service touts itself as a way for users to add a little personal flair to their photos and galleries in way unlike any other photo hosting site, a way to send personalized multimedia greetings, or even as a way for burgeoning citizen journalists to record and recount what they saw as they snapped the photo they uploaded.

 Upon browsing the site however, the bulk of the Fotobabbles posted are personal photos or images uploaded from other sites with silly or otherwise non-descriptive voices behind them. I did find one user who uploaded and narrated his trip to downtown Vancouver for the Olympics, which was interesting to see.

 Fotobabble is a neat idea; though it just combines a Flash audio recorder and player with a pretty simple gallery, the way it integrates those two features let it stand out. The interface is clean, and the tools are easy to use, which makes it easier for people looking for a little something more than a standard image gallery

Naidu takes on Speaker in Assembly

Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Assembly N Chandrababu Naidu today came down heavily on Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy and asked him to behave with dignity.

“As the principal opposition party, we respect the Speaker?s position and try to uphold its dignity. At the same time, the Speaker too should behave in a dignified manner and not make political comments against the opposition parties,” Naidu told reporters after the House was abruptly adjourned for the third day in a row.

“What nonsense,” the Speaker shouted at the TDP members before adjourning the House and also remarked that the TDP had failed as an opposition party.

Taking strong exception to this, the former chief minister said it was unbecoming of the Speaker to make such comments.

“There are limitations to the Speaker?s post. His duty is to run the House in order.

TRS to explain to Srikrishna panel about need for Telangana state

Shedding its opposition to the Srikrishna Committee, TRS today decided to submit a comprehensive report to the panel “on the need for formation of separate Telangana state”.

“TRS is the voice of Telangana. The voice of Telangana people should not go unrepresented. It should be properly represented. That we have decided to submit a comprehensive report to the Srikrishna Committee on the need for formation of Telangana,” TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) told reporters.

The decision was taken unanimously at a meeting of TRS polit bureau meeting held at party headquarters here today.

He also announced the appointment of 11 sub-committees to prepare the report to be given to the Sri Krishna panel.

The party’s report would highlight how Telangana region was deprived of its due share in the funds and allocations since 1956 when the Telugu-speaking areas of Hyderabad state were merged with other Telugu areas to form the united Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Rejecting the Terms of Reference of the Srikrishna Committee, 10 TRS MLAs have quit their posts. Chandrasekhar Rao, MP from Mahabubnagar and Vijayasanthi, the other MP of TRS, had also announced their decision to submit fresh resignations, but they have now decided not to quit.

“We know when to throw our bombs. We should not do it at once,” Rao said, when asked about his earlier decision to quit.

Replying to a query, the TRS president said the decision of his party to submit report to the Srikrishna committee is in consonance with the decision of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of various parties and people’s organisations.

“The JAC has made it clear that any constituent (of the JAC) is free to make a representation to the Srikrishna committee,” he said.

The JAC had decided not only to boycott the Srikrishna Committee but also called for protests in Telangana when the members of the panel visit Hyderabad for two days from tomorrow.

The TRS president, however, maintained that his party would continue its agitation till the goal of separate Telangana is realised though it decided to meet the Srikrishna committee.