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.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

100 keyboard shortcuts

Here are 100 keyboard shortcuts to pace up your work and Impress others

CTRL+C (Copy)
CTRL+X (Cut)
CTRL+V (Paste)
CTRL+Z (Undo)
DELETE (Delete)
SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)
CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
F2 key (Rename the selected item)
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)
CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)
CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)
CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)
CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)
SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document)
CTRL+A (Select all)
F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)
ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)
ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)
CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)
ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)
F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)
CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)
ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
F5 key (Update the active window)
BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
ESC (Cancel the current task)
SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)

Dialog Box Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL+TAB (Move forward through the tabs)
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the tabs)
TAB (Move forward through the options)
SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the options)
ALT+Underlined letter (Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option)
ENTER (Perform the command for the active option or button)
SPACEBAR (Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box)
Arrow keys (Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons)
F1 key (Display Help)
F4 key (Display the items in the active list)
BACKSPACE (Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box)

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
Windows Logo+M (Minimize all of the windows)
Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore the minimized windows)
Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)

Accessibility Keyboard Shortcuts

Right SHIFT for eight seconds (Switch FilterKeys either on or off)
Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN (Switch High Contrast either on or off)
Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK (Switch the MouseKeys either on or off)
SHIFT five times (Switch the StickyKeys either on or off)
NUM LOCK for five seconds (Switch the ToggleKeys either on or off)
Windows Logo +U (Open Utility Manager)

Windows Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

END (Display the bottom of the active window)
HOME (Display the top of the active window)
NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*) (Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder)
NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+) (Display the contents of the selected folder)
NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-) (Collapse the selected folder)
LEFT ARROW (Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder)
RIGHT ARROW (Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder)

Shortcut Keys for Character Map

After you double-click a character on the grid of characters, you can move through the grid by using the keyboard shortcuts:
RIGHT ARROW (Move to the right or to the beginning of the next line)
LEFT ARROW (Move to the left or to the end of the previous line)
UP ARROW (Move up one row)
DOWN ARROW (Move down one row)
PAGE UP (Move up one screen at a time)
PAGE DOWN (Move down one screen at a time)
HOME (Move to the beginning of the line)
END (Move to the end of the line)
CTRL+HOME (Move to the first character)
CTRL+END (Move to the last character)
SPACEBAR (Switch between Enlarged and Normal mode when a character is selected)

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Main Window Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL+O (Open a saved console)
CTRL+N (Open a new console)
CTRL+S (Save the open console)
CTRL+M (Add or remove a console item)
CTRL+W (Open a new window)
F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the MMC window menu)
ALT+F4 (Close the console)
ALT+A (Display the Action menu)
ALT+V (Display the View menu)
ALT+F (Display the File menu)
ALT+O (Display the Favorites menu)
MMC Console Window Keyboard Shortcuts
CTRL+P (Print the current page or active pane)
ALT+Minus sign (-) (Display the window menu for the active console window)
SHIFT+F10 (Display the Action shortcut menu for the selected item)
F1 key (Open the Help topic, if any, for the selected item)
F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
CTRL+F10 (Maximize the active console window)
CTRL+F5 (Restore the active console window)
ALT+ENTER (Display the Properties dialog box, if any, for the selected item)
F2 key (Rename the selected item)
CTRL+F4 (Close the active console window. When a console has only one console window, this shortcut closes the console)

Remote Desktop Connection Navigation

CTRL+ALT+END (Open the microsoft Windows NT Security dialog box)
ALT+PAGE UP (Switch between programs from left to right)
ALT+PAGE DOWN (Switch between programs from right to left)
ALT+INSERT (Cycle through the programs in most recently used order)
ALT+HOME (Display the Start menu)
CTRL+ALT+BREAK (Switch the client computer between a window and a full screen)
ALT+DELETE (Display the Windows menu)
CTRL+ALT+Minus sign (-) (Place a snapshot of the active window in the client on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)
CTRL+ALT+Plus sign (+) (Place a snapshot of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing ALT+PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)

Microsoft Internet Explorer Navigation

CTRL+B (Open the Organize Favorites dialog box)
CTRL+E (Open the Search bar)
CTRL+F (Start the Find utility)
CTRL+H (Open the History bar)
CTRL+I (Open the Favorites bar)
CTRL+L (Open the Open dialog box)
CTRL+N (Start another instance of the browser with the same Web address)
CTRL+O (Open the Open dialog box, the same as CTRL+L)
CTRL+P (Open the Print dialog box)
CTRL+R (Update the current Web page)
CTRL+W (Close the current window)

Highlights of Union Budget 2008-09

Personal Taxes
  • Income Tax exemption raised to Rs 1,50,000
  • For income up to Rs 1,50,000 tax liability will be nil,
  • Between Rs 1,50,000 and Rs 3,00,000 tax liability will be 10%,
  • From Rs 3 lacs to Rs 5 lacs tax liability will be 20%,
  • From Rs 5 lacs upwards it will be 30%
  • Women exemption threshold extended from Rs 1,45,000 to 1,80,000
  • Income Tax exemption for senior citizens raised to Rs 2,25,000

Finance & Banking

  • Banking transaction tax to be withdrawn from April 2009
  • Commercial banks advised to have 250 rural accounts every year
  • Rs 303 cr as debt support to PSUs
  • Implementation of debt waiver to be completed by June 2008
  • Populism in farm loan waiver, bank shares to be hit

Other Taxes

  • Increase in short term capital gains tax to 15%
  • 5-yr tax holiday for setting up hospitals in tier-II, tier III regions
  • 5-yr tax holiday to 2,3,4-star hotels in UNESCO's heritage sites
  • Securities Transaction Tax to be treated like deductible expenditure
  • No FBT on crèches, employee sports facilities
  • No change in corporate income tax rate, surcharge stays
  • Tax to GDP ratio increased from 9.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 12.5 per cent 2007-08.

Infrastructure & Rural Development

  • Rs 31280 cr allocated to Bharat Nirman Program
  • Rs 12,970 cr allocated for National Highways
  • Govt to create national fund for power transmission & distribution
  • Rs 70,300 cr allocated for Drinking Water Mission
  • NR E G scheme rolled out for all 596 rural districts
  • Urban Infrastructure allocation to be 6,870 cr
  • Rs 500 cr for development of North-east
  • Rs 16,202 cr for schemes with 30% women representation
  • Rs 11,460 cr allocated for 100% women specific schemes


  • Rs 450 crore provision for textile parks

Other Updates

  • Refrigeration components to become cheaper
  • Cigarettes to be taxed more
  • 4 new sectors brought under service tax net
  • No change in peak rate of customs duty for non agriculture imports.
  • Special Countervailing Duty on power imports.
  • Some sports goods raw materials exempt from duty
  • Convergence products, duty cut from 10% to 5%
  • No duty on set-top boxes
  • Custom duties to be reduced on some power projects, steel & aluminum melting scrap & some life saving drugs.
  • Govt needs one more year to eliminate revenue deficit
  • Bulk Cement to attract 400 per metric tones or 14% at adveloram, whichever is higher
  • Rs 50 crore for the National Tiger Fund Authority, to deploy a special tiger protection force.
  • Rs 624 crore allocated for Commonwealth Games
  • Revenue deficit at 1.4% of GDP
  • Govt to set up Central Plan Scheme Monitoring system
  • Defense spending to increase by 10 percent
  • Govt to tap into resources of SCBs to set up funds
  • Completion rate of Golden Quadrilateral project at 98.6%
  • Rs 16,436 cr allocated as equity support to public sector enterprises
  • Keeping inflation under control is top priority
  • There is immense pressure on domestic prices
  • International prices of Iron Ore , other metals are up
  • Growth in GDP in 2007-08 has been 8.8%
  • 8% GDP growth for 12 successive years
  • 2007-08 has been one of the most challenging years
  • Confident of maintaining 8% growth