Vina Malik Jumps into fray

Veena Malik at the red carpet event for the Lu...

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As if the latest spot-fixing controversy was not enough to mar Mohammad Asif’s career, former friend and actor Veena Malik claimed in a programme on Express TV to have evidence of the fast bowler’s involvement in match-fixing. Asif, who played in the last Test against England at Lord’s, is one of the four players alleged to have played a role in spot-fixing after he bowled a no-ball exactly at a time specified by bookmaker Mazhar Majeed.

“I have proof that Asif is involved in match-fixing. On the Australian tour, he talked to me and said Pakistan will not win any series in 2010,” said Veena.

She added that Asif’s influence was rubbing off on the 18-year-old Mohammad Aamir as well, also alleged to have played a role in spot-fixing.

“He said that he called Aamir and influenced him to get involved on the Australian tour. ‘There are as many controversial cases against me as your age’ were his words to Aamir.

“He got out of the doping case in the Indian Premier League after bribing the doctor Rs3 million, an amount that I lent him when we were friends.” The programme host, Kamran Shahid, tried to contact Asif and his lawyer but both were unavailable for comment during the show.


DTH in Pakistan, Major Impact and Considerations

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For last few years, we have been hearing about DTH (Direct to Home) and its expected launch in Pakistan. However, it seems that DTH is overlooked in past fiscal years and people are still waiting for something to come in especially after Digital Cable TV system.

As per PEMRA’s annual report, penetration of Digital cable TV system is still under penetration. It says still phase-I is in-process, which is expected to be completed soon i.e. in December, 2011 and that too at metropolitan level.

Concurrently, district level penetration of digital cable TV system was planned to be launched in January 2010 and to be completed by the end of December 2015.

We have already enlightened our readers in past about Digital Cable TV system and its benefits to end users and operators. Without expounding into specifics of digital cable TV system let us analyze the DTH, its impacts and contemplations.

DTH technology is capable of transmitting audio/video signals to subscriber’s premises by using geo stationary satellites. The small dish antennas are used to receive signals by using STB (Set Top Box) with much better audio and video signal and other on demand active and pay per view services.

The DTH is being delayed due to several reasons, while officials may know the exact reasons for its pending status, but what we can measure by viewing current market trends is that its demand is at highest level as of now.

Moreover, government is also overlooking the chance of better execution of electronic media regulations through DTH.

Major Impact of DTH Launch on current cable TV market:

Existing Cable TV market is high revenue market while DTH would be big time threat to existing Analog and Digital Cable TV systems, especially due to its proximity and low cost penetration in rural areas. Resultantly emergence of DTH could be revenue shrinking for existing cable TV operators.

How to overcome this impact?

As every difficulty comes with an opportunity, Digital cable TV system can be a major competitor to DTH service and it will create benefits for customer’s w.r.t tariffs. Digital cable TV system operators can be benefited with their increased ARPU’s w.r.t its value added services.

Existing cable TV operators can easily manage DTH’s competition by having digital cable TV system and launching different active services including Education learning portals, active games, rss feeds updates, pay per view and on demand movies services.

Is it right or wrong to delay the launching of DTH?

Time will answer this question, but officials must not ignore the benefits of DTH, uproar in the current Cable TV market revenue streams and possible threat to existing cable TV after DTH.

If any, PEMRA can play major role in avoiding any revenue disturbance for any segment of the market.

If in five years as planned, PEMRA completes the digital cable TV penetration in Pakistan (metropolitan and district level), and later on or concurrently DTH service is launched, this may create intense competition for both segments, while handling this competition may go tough for PEMRA.

With that, PEMRA also needs to regularize and plan content development for such services on Digital Cable TV system before penetration is completed. Workshops and seminars can play major role in educating benefits of digital cable TV system to existing licensees. It may nurture in Digital Cable TV operators to launch services more appropriately and proven to be money-spinning.

This read is taken from

Phone Calls From Gmail

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NEW YORK: Google Inc said users of Gmail will now be able to call telephones directly from their email, putting it in direct competition with Web calling service Skype and more traditional operators such as AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications.

While Google had already offered computer-to-computer voice and video chat services, it said that starting on Wednesday it will now allow calls to home phones and mobile phones directly from Gmail for the first time.

Google promised free calls to U.S. and Canadian phones from Gmail for the rest of this year and said it would charge low rates for calls made to other countries.

For example it said calls to Britain, France, Germany, China and Japan would be as low as 2 cents per minute.

Analysts said the service would likely be a bigger competitive threat to services like Skype’s than to traditional phone companies, which have already been cutting their call prices in recent years in response to stiff competition.

“This is a risk to Skype. It’s a competitor with a pretty good brand name,” said Hudson Square analyst Todd Rethemeier.

Skype, which owned by private equity firms and eBay Inc and planning a $100 million initial public offering, has long allowed consumers to make calls from computers to phones. Skype became popular by first offering free computer-to-computer voice and video services.

Like Skype, Rethemeier said the Google service will likely be much more popular among U.S. consumers making international calls, than among people calling friends inside the country.

“Calling is so cheap already that I don’t think it will attract a huge amount of domestic calling. It could take some of the international market,” he said.

Another analyst, Steve Clement from Pacific Crest, said that anybody who is tempted by Internet calling services has likely already disconnected their home phone.

“The type of person who would use a service like that isn’t the type of customer who still has a landline,” Clement said.

Google said making a call through its service works like a normal phone in that a user could click on the “call phone” option in their chat buddy list in Gmail and type in the number or enter a contact’s name.

Calls that cost money will be charged from an online account that users can top up with a credit card, Google said. The service will not be available for making outgoing calls on cell phones because other Google apps already cater to that market, the company added.

Google shares closed up $3.23, or 0.72 percent, at $454.62 on the Nasdaq, while the shares of eBay rose 29 cents, or 1.27 percent, to $23.16, also on the Nasdaq.

7 Unfailing Laws Of Successful Relationships

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Most think that relationships exist to make them happy. When they find that special person, they believe that love will naturally grow. But in relationships we encounter everything – challenges, joy, fulfillment, loss. But few know how to handle the rough times.

We seldom learn about how to build relationships in a way that brings out the best in all. However, there are simple laws of successful relationships. These laws act as guideposts, helping us to choose wisely and to avoid costly mistakes. Seven of these basic laws are described below.

Law #1 – There is never a lack of relationships. Relationships are abundantly available.

Many live with the idea that love is scarce and that they must cling to whoever comes their way. This idea can cause them to get involved with the wrong person, or stay in a relationship that is toxic for them. It is crucial to realize that relationships are plentiful. (If you don’t have one, look and see how and why you are keeping it away). It is never necessary to cling to the wrong person out of fear of being alone.

Law # 2 – Know Who You Are And What You’re Seeking

Many enter relationships hoping that it will give them a life, or make them feel better about themselves. They may want their partner to take care of them, or give them the approval they’ve been denied.

But it is of the utmost importance to know and respect who you are, to enjoy your own company and be aware of your own values and goals. Otherwise, it is easy to become lost in a relationship, to become a pawn in someone else’s world.. A healthy relationship is always mutual, it is an acknowledgement that both partners are equally valuable.

Law #3 Don’t Keep Choosing The Wrong Person For You

Some find, to their amazement, that they choose the same partner, over and over again. Relationships patterns repeat as well. This is called the repetition compulsion.

It is the unconscious need to repeat a situation over and over until we master it or it turns out the way we want it to. This compulsion keeps some people stuck in a bind. If you are caught in this, see what this pattern is doing for you. Actively choose different places to go and make a point of choosing individuals who are different from those you usually meet. Become stronger than the pattern. Turn you life around.

Law #4 – Enjoy Honest Communication

Without the ability to say No, we cannot say Yes. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not to make another happy. Don’t give up that which is meaningful to you for the sake of a friendship. The bedrock of all happy relationships is mutual respect and acceptance and open, honest, communication. Ask for what is important to you.

Find out what is really going on for your partner. When a person really feels listened to and accepted they feel loved.

Law #5 Don’t Try To Change Or Fix Other Person

Let everyone be who they are, including yourself. So many of us are obsessed with changing or fixing everyone. This is not friendship, but manipulation. . Many believe that if the person cared enough, they would certainly change for them. This is not so. Changing another is not your job. Find out who the person you are with really is. If someone feels accepted, they can change themselves, if they want to.

Law # 6- Know Difference Between Real and Counterfeit Love.

Feeling happy, high, excited or attached to a person, feeling possessive or dependent is not love. It’s infatuation, ego thrills or dependency, usually based upon fantasy. Inevitably, fantasies fade. People then feel that the love is over. It is not over, it’s just been a form of counterfeit love. We must learn the difference between real and counterfeit love, between love and fantasy.

Counterfeit love always involves struggle and pain. Real love never does. Real love is a verb. It is not based simply upon feelings, which come and go, but actions. It is important to learn “to”do love”. Do love and you will be loved. in return.

Law #7 – See the Best In Others – And In Yourself.

What we see in others, we bring out in them. If we focus upon their negative points (and let them know about them), you can be certain the negativity will increase. When we focus upon what is good in that person and let them know, this brings out the best. The better a person then feels about themselves, the less need they have for negativity. Often it can just fall away on its own.

Law #7 1/2- The Master Law – When They Come We Welcome, When They Go We Do Not Pursue

Understand that each relationship lasts for a certain time. You’ve come together to learn from one another, to share, enjoy and often move along. This is not rejection, but growth and change. Change is natural and inevitable. Don’t see it as failure. Don’t see it as loss. Don’t try to control when time comes to go.

The greatest art of relationships is to know how to let go. When someone new comes welcome them, when it’s time to let go, thank the person for all you’ve received from them and let go.

You, Me and Cyberspace

Remember the good old days when we used to go out, interact with 3-D people and talk to them on the telephone, effectively conveying our feelings and emotions?

Screw that. Now we have cyberspace! Let the World-Wide-Web handle your relationships for you! Why go through all the excruciating effort of dialing a number when you can simply “poke” a friend on Facebook? And decorate your updates with an emoticon that comes somewhat close to your actual feeling… we have a wide array of emoticons to choose from.

It’s disturbing how we’re pumping our souls out into machines and using them to handle problems which are purely “human”. We’re investing so much in a precarious system which, if collapses, would cause our identity, our social standing, our work to go down the drain with it!

Get real, people… and I mean that literally.

The $35 Indian tablet

Given India’s chequered history of non-deliverable low-cost devices, it’s easy to believe the sceptics of India’s $35 tablet.

But this device might just turn the tables.

While the media disses and dismisses the ultra low-cost tablet, Microsoft and Google are apparently fighting a pitched battle to place their operating systems on the device aimed at school children of the world. Microsoft has come forth and offered its Windows CE OS to run on the device which currently runs Google’s open source Android OS.

Striking a confident pose during a TV interview on Wednesday, India’s incumbent Human Resource Development minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, said that he was all set to deliver 1 million tablets to students in India’s colleges and universities in 2011 at the promised $35. He also reiterated his aim to bring down the price of the tablet to $10 a piece, riding on falling hardware prices.

Interestingly, the minister claimed that education content for the device had already been developed in India’s premier technology institute, the IIT, and was open source just like the Android OS the device runs on.

Both the presenters, who have reviewed tablets of all shapes and sizes (and cost) before, and were aware of India’s earlier failed attempts to make handheld computers, like the Sakshat and the Simputer, were impressed by the device’s built quality, and acknowledged that their efforts to “crash” the device were unsuccessful.

Tablet features

The device has Wi-Fi, and 3G connectivity, and a slew of add-ons as well. You can slot in a miniSD card to complement the 2GB memory, add in a SIM card, and plug in USB devices via the mini and full USB ports, with a video-out, and headphone jack for multimedia.

Ignoring the rock-bottom costs, compared with other tablets, the only negative the reviewers could find with the device was its resistive touchscreen, as opposed to the capacitative touchscreen which would surely add to its price. But then just to get a touchscreen at this price point is a major achievement in itself.

Although I still awaits a point-by-point reaction to the OLPC project’s open letter, Mr Sibal reflected Nicolas Negroponte’s belief that the device is a vehicle for knowledge and that it can’t be limited to a particular region.

But get this before you reach for your wallet. Of the $35, which equates to INR 1500, INR 750 is government subsidy. Without going into details, the minister said that if the tablet was in the retail market, something for which he has no plans for at the moment, there’ll be added cost to the device which will jack up the price.

The minister, a decorated lawyer, also offered advice to the world media: “Never be sceptical of the government. There are times when the government really delivers.”

2011 isn’t all that far away, and although it may be a while before we get this device in the open market, its mere existence has the potential to lower the prices of tablets globally.