Saturday, March 15, 2008

F1 rule changes for 2008 season

The major rule changes include a ban on traction control (TC) and the use of a standard Electronic Control Unit (ECU) on all cars. Until last season the success of a start depended largely on the Traction control (which prevents wheelspin) than on driver's ability but the rule change will even things out.

The other changes are:

Tyres: Bridgestone is the official supplier. Each driver has 14 sets of tyres over each race weekend- seven for dry-weather, four wet, and three sets for extreme weather.

Engines: Must last for two consecutive Grand Prix. If engine is changed before qualifying a 10 place grid peenalty is awarded. If engine is changed after qualifying, the driver must start from the back of the grid.

Gearboxes: To last four consecutive Grand Prix, five place grid penalty for gear box change. If a driver does not finish a race he can change the gearbox for the next race without receiving a penalty.

Control electronics: All cars to use Electronic Control Unit (ECU) supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems and Microsoft.

ECU must control all components of engine and gearbox, including clutch, differential and all associated actuators.

Web-based messaging services

Several free on-line services meant for sending SMS to mobile phones are in place.

The web based SMS service offered by Indyarocks is one among them. To make use of this service you need to register and verify your mobile phone number.

Another such service for sending SMS from your PC or web is Chikka messenger. You have to register with your mobile phone number for this service also.

If you do not have a mobile phone number and still want to send SMS then you can try Atrochatro.

If you also want to send voice messages in addition to text messages and accommodate landline numbers too then you can try the newly launched voice broadcasting service, Msgforyou.The advantage of this service is that you can send voice messages to a group of people at a specified time in one go.

Friday, March 14, 2008

UEFA Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draw

The draw for the quarter-finals are:

First Leg:

Roma v Manchester United. Tuesday, 1st April 2008.
Schalke 04 v Barcelona. Tuesday, 1st April 2008 .
Arsenal v Liverpool. Wednesday, 2nd April 2008.
Fenerbahce v Chelsea. Wednesday, 2nd April 2008.

Second Leg:

Chelsea v Fenerbahce. Tuesday, 8th April 2008.
Liverpool v Arsenal. Tuesday, 8th April 2008.
Barcelona v Schalke 04. Wednesday, 9th April 2008.
Manchester United v Roma. Wednesday, 9th April 2008.

The draw for the semi-finals are:

First leg:

Arsenal/Liverpool v Fenerbahce/Chelsea. Wednesday, 23rd April 2008.
Schalke 04/Barcelona v Roma/Manchester United. Wednesday, 23rd April 2008.

Second leg:

Fenerbahce/Chelsea v Arsenal/Liverpool. Wednesday, 30th April 2008
Roma/Manchester United v Fenerbahce/Chelsea. Wednesday, 30th April 2008.

Chelsea has got the relatively easier draw of all teams against outsiders Fenerbahce while Liverpool gets the toughest as it takes on current BPL leader Arsenal. Barca might fancy its chances against German club Schalke 04 while Man Utd must be wary of AS Roma who qualified for the quarters after defeating Real Madrid 4-2 on aggregate. The stage is now set for the climax of one of the most electrifying events in world sports.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

GRE test pattern

The GRE test consists of 3 sections testing your Quantitative, Verbal and Analytical writing skills.The Quants and Verbal section are for 800 marks each while the analytical section is scaled to 6. The GRE is an adaptive test unlike most of the tests you have taken at school and colleges i.e the questions are not fixed in nature. The next question you get depends on the difficulty level of the previous question and whether you have answered it correctly or not. The first question is of moderate difficulty while the difficulty of the second depends on the answer to the first. A correct answer means a more difficult second question while a wrong answer means an easier second question. The catch is that if you get the easier questions wrong you get to lose more marks than a more difficult one. This process continues till the last question. If your last question is exceedingly tough it means you have done well in the exam. If you have done very poorly the last question will be child's play!

This is why the first 10 questions are very important in the GRE. If you get them all right then you enter the 'tougher' zone and so even if you get a few questions wrong after that you get to lose lesser marks. If you get most of the first 10 wrong you lose more marks because these questions are relatively easier. So concentrate on the first 10 questions and try to get most of them right.

Quantitative section:

The Quantitative section consists of 28 questions to be answered in 45 minutes. The Quants section mainly covers topics that tests your basic knowledge of mathematics. Major topics include Number Systems, Percentages, Fractions & Decimals, Algebra (including Quadratic Equations), Geometry (including Basic Coordinate Geometry), Ratio & Proportion, Area & Volume of 2-D and 3-D figures, and Probability.

Verbal section:

The Verbal section consists of 30 questions to be answered in 30 minutes. The questions can be sentence completion, analogies, antonyms and reading comprehension. There can be 2-4 comprehension passages containing 8-13 questions. The passages can be make or break of your performance. If you are a good reader than you can not only get most of the answers right but also save some time for the other questions.

Analytical writing section:

The most tedious part of the exam is the analytical writing section. The writing assessment section requires you to write two short essays. The first is the Issue task, in which you need to analyze the issue presented and explain your views on it. For the Issue task, you will be able to choose 1 of 2 essay topics selected by the computer from the pool of topics. The time allotted is 45 minutes.

The second essay is Analysis of an Argument, in which a given argument has to be critically analyzed and evaluated. The Argument task does not offer a choice of topics; the computer will present you with a single topic selected from the topic pool. The time allotted is 30 minutes.

F1 schedule for 2008 season

March 16 Australia (Melbourne)
March 23 Malaysia (Sepang)
April 6 Bahrain (Sakhir)
April 27 Spain (Barcelona)
May 11 Turkey (Istanbul)
May 25 Monaco
June 8 Canada
June 22 France
July 6 Britain (Silverstone)
July 20 Germany (Hockenheim)
Aug 3 Hungary (Hungaroring)
Aug 24 Europe (Valencia)
Sep 7 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
Sep 14 Italy (Monza)
Sep 28 Singapore--- night race
Oct 12 Japan (Fuji)
Oct 19 China (Shanghai)
Nov 2 Brazil (Interlagos)

Indian cricket team felicitated in New Delhi

The Indian cricket team was felicitated in New Delhi after a victorious one day series against Australia and Sri Lanka. Thousands of spectators thronged the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium to catch a glimpse of their stars. The cash-rich BCCI once again demonstrated its financial muscle awarding Rs.58 lakhs to each member of the victorious team. The Indian team deserves all the accolades for an outstanding win defeating the World Champions in their own den. This was in spite of all the controversies and pressure that was on the team. Perhaps, the biggest hero emerging out of this triumph is Bhajji who put up a brave face in spite of the pressure from the Aussie crowd and media. Adding spice to the victory is the fact that this was achieved with a young and inexperienced team while the Aussies had the services of all the experienced players. Young guns like Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar came up with sizzling performances when it really mattered. MS Dhoni's captaincy was also pretty good and his handling of tense situations speaks volumes of his capabilities. The cherry on top of the cake was of course the two masterpieces by the little master Sachin Tendulkar in the finals. Apart from doing his job clinically on the field, he has acted as a mentor and role model for the youngsters guiding them through tough times. One hopes that this young team continues in the same vein. But for now we can safely say that the Indian team is heading in the right direction in order to capture the crown from the Aussies.