Google now in ‘desi’ Indian flavor

Posted by Vipul Mistry Thursday, August 23, 2007 0 comments
In the process to widen the target audience, Google, one of the world’s most popular search engines has now become ‘local’ as yellow pages and ‘desi’ as regional and Hindi site, announced Vinay Goel, Google’s Country Head in India, for products and Prasad Ram, R& D head for Google India in Bangalore on Aug 21,2007.
'Our vision for the 60th year of independence is to empower Indian users by providing organised accessible information and products. The India labs is one such effort to enable users to test and provide feedback on products that are relevant to them’, said Prasad Ram.
Google has now launched its search engines in Hindi, Nepali, Sinhala along with 12 regional languages, so that the regional surfers, who are not so efficient in English can now search and browse internet in their mother tongue. Users will feel more proximity with this new flavor of Google tools. Besides this now Google has also been local like yellow pages in which any one can search the local business of any particular city or can add their business in the online Google directory, informed Google official to the media.
Google software engineers M.T. Raghunath and Gokul Nath Babu Manoharan in a Google blog post said, “In line with our mission of making information universally accessible, we're now offering an easier way to search in 14 Indian and South Asian languages,".
Google has developed this tool at its India-based development labs as well as the large number of Indian-origin engineers at its U.S. headquarters. Google has launched a slew of products for the large number of potential users of its services in this country, who may be challenged by their lack of proficiency in the English language. It has seven labs across the US, China, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
Google has simplified the search tool by entering a virtual keyboard and transliteration tool, which transforms the typing words phonetically in English Script in to Hindi (Devnagri) and other regional languages chosen by the users according to their mother tongue. Many vowel and consonant combination has been provided for typing on the virtual keyboard. User can type the text on the virtual keyboard and paste it onto Google search window and also can create Indian language contents in other applications such as blogs, spreadsheets or word processors etc. User can also search queries directly on the search window only using mouse by selecting the available vowels and consonants that would generate the desired query on the search window. Google had earlier already launched the Hindi transliteration for Blogging service this year.
In the other service the company has launched a local search tool like other local magazine or yellow pages, in which Indian users can access any information on local businesses like restaurants, shops and hotels of any city on the web. This will usually provide the address, contact numbers and location of local shops, establishments and institutions and will also link their own websites if available. Users can also upload their business and its profile on these tools. “We have provided a link where local businesses could upload their own profiles, pictures and service descriptions”, said Vinay Goel.
The links to the Indian language keyboards and the Hindi transliteration tool is available at the home page of Google India Labs:, while the local search tool is available on:, for adding new business details on the web follow the link:


Global warming forecast predicts rise in 2014

Posted by Vipul Mistry Friday, August 10, 2007 0 comments
Here is the climate forecast for the next decade; although global warming will be held in check for a few years, it will come roaring back to send the mercury rising before 2014.

The overall trend in warming is driven by greenhouse gas emissions
Overall warming trend is driven by greenhouse gas emissions

This is the prediction of the first computer model of the global climate designed to make forecasts over a timescale of around a decade, developed by scientists at the Met Office.

The new model developed at the Met's Hadley Centre in Exeter, and described in the journal Science, predicts that warming will slow during the next few years but then speed up again, and that at least half of the years after 2009 will be warmer than 1998, the warmest year on record.

Over the 10-year period as a whole, climate continues to warm and 2014 is likely to be 0.3 deg C warmer than 2004.

The overall trend in warming is driven by greenhouse gas emissions but this warming effect will be broadly cancelled out over the next few years by the changing patterns of the ocean temperatures.

Earlier computer models attempted to make projections up to 100 years into the future and to do this only needed approximate information on the current state of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, since the biggest effect comes from global warming. But their predictions were relatively uncertain over around a decade.

The new model developed by a team led by Dr Doug Smith can make these shorter term predictions significantly more accurately because it incorporates information about the actual state of the ocean and the atmosphere today, so it is possible to predict both the effects of natural factors, such as changes in ocean circulation, and those caused by burning fossil fuels.

The resulting improved climate forecasting should help decision-makers and businesses focus on where and when the most severe climate change will be happening and might provide new insights into pressing issues, such as the impact of warming on hurricanes.

As a bonus, the model could help show when the looming threat of global warming will be masked temporarily by the natural variability of the climate.

The team can be confident in its work because they tested it on past cases- hindcasts - over two previous decades it provides a more accurate predictions of global surface temperature The model successfully predicted the warming of El Niño, for example, and the effect of unusually warm or cold waters around the world.

A common criticism of conventional computer models, particularly for predicting the coming decade, has been that they only include factors, such as solar radiation, atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases, which are affected by changes from outside the climate system, such as the number of cars or processes in the Sun.

Likewise, they neglect natural changes within the system, like the ocean warming called El Niño, fluctuations in ocean circulation and anomalies in ocean heat content.

These lead to changes over a year to a decade, especially at the regional level, that can be opposition to those expected over the next century resulting from human activities. One example is a pattern in the variations of ocean warming, called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which can affect climate worldwide.

The new model incorporates the effects of sea surface temperatures as well as other factors such as man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, projected changes in the Sun's output and the effects of previous volcanic eruptions - the first time internal and external variability have both been predicted.

"This is a very valuable step forward," Science was told by meteorologist Rowan Sutton of the University of Reading. "It's precisely on the decadal time scale and on regional scales that natural variability and anthropogenic (man made) effects have comparable magnitudes."

Apple iPod rumours

Posted by nimisha mistry Saturday, August 4, 2007 0 comments
Keeping the rumour wheels spinning like they've been lubed with go faster grease, Apple's iPod is the subject of more and more speculation at the mo as to what we can expect to see in its next incarnation. While talk of a full touchscreen 'Pod remains robust, there are numerous other opinions out there. Word of a new shorter and fatter 'Pod is actually, according to specialist website 9to5Mac, the new Nano, reputedly a two-inch square design with the familiar scroll wheel, video playback and 4GB and 8GB flavours. We should also see a new choice of colours but a static price point. The big interest is in that range-topping touchscreen 'Pod, or 'phoneless iPhone', as it's being described. Some sites are even claiming a 7 August launch date, with shouts made that it's already shipping to the States. Apple has confirmed a new launch on said date, but only of a new line of Macs, but then again Mr Jobs is fond of surprises…