Sunday, September 20, 2009

Anti-Israel Day Becomes Anti-Iranian goverment Day

Iranians protest their own government on day set aside to protest Israel.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chinese scientists claim to have filmed 'UFO for 40 minutes'

Chinese scientists claim that they filmed an unidentified flying object for about 40 minutes, during the solar eclipse on July 22.

Researchers at the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing have said that they will spend the next 12 months studying the footage before reaching any conclusions.

In an interview with, Ji Hai-sheng, the director of the observatory, said that scientists would not be speculating publicly on the nature of what was captured on film until it had been properly studied.

"'Purple Mountain Observatory and Chinese Academy of Sciences said that during the July 22 total solar eclipse observation, China had discovered near the sun, by observing staff, an unidentified object, it's physical nature remains to be further studied," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"Currently manpower is being organized to deal with this data, complete the data analysis and reveal the scientific results and this will take at least one year's time to finalise," he added.

The incident comes after a series of UFO sightings in China, which eventually led to the object being captured on film by students in Deqing.

The footage, featured on Chinese television, apparently shows the object repeatedly changing shape after initially appearing as a glowing blue sphere.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why are US Railroads 4 feet 8.5 inches in width?

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.
Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did 'they' use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

Bureaucracies live forever....

So the next time you are handed a specification/ procedure/ process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?', you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.)

Now, the twist to the story:
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs.
The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.
The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.
The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.
So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.
And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important?

Ancient horse's asses control almost everything.. .

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Savvy Internet users defy China’s censors on riot

Independent information about deadly riots in China’s remote northwest filtered out on Twitter, YouTube and other Internet forums on Monday, frustrating government efforts to control the news, AFP reported.

The communist authorities who built the so-called Great Firewall of China raced to stamp out video, images and words posted by Internet users about the unrest on Sunday which, officials said, left at least 140 people dead.

Twitter and YouTube appeared to be blocked in China late on Monday afternoon, while leading Chinese search engines would not give results for ‘Urumqi,’ the city in Xinjiang where the riots occurred.

Traditional press also carried only the official version of events, which blamed the unrest on ethnic Muslim Uighurs.

But similar to the phenomenon seen last month during Iran’s political turmoil, pictures, videos and updates from Urumqi poured onto social networking and image sharing websites such as Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

In many cases, items were reposted by other Internet users on sites outside China to preserve the content, while Twitter helped link people around the globe to images Chinese authorities did not want seen.

A US academic in Urumqi appeared to break news about the unrest via Twitter, saying hours before the mainstream news organisations on Sunday night that security forces were blocking off streets in the city.

State-run China Central Television showed its first images of the violence just before midday Monday — more than 12 hours after footage began circulating on the Internet.

CCTV broadcast images of a woman apparently being kicked as she lay on the ground, protesters throwing stones at police, vehicles on fire, and two young girls with bloodied hands comforting each other.

But its footage gave a different impression to some of the clips on YouTube that Uighur exile groups said backed their case the protesters were largely peaceful.

Footage posted on YouTube showed what appeared to be, at least initially, a peaceful protest, with men and women marching, chatting on mobile phones, sipping bottled water and raising their arms as they cheered.

Another video on the site apparently taken by low-grade video technology in Urumqi showed police in black helmets leading away handcuffed protesters.

Meanwhile some Chinese Internet users were able to express frustration at having their postings on the violence deleted. In one case, Chinese blogger Wen Ni’er reposted an entry on a Google site.

‘Chinese mainland websites repeatedly deleted my post, which seriously violated China’s law and violated my freedom and rights. I hereby want to express my strong disgust and condemnation,’ she wrote.

She had help from other anonymous sites based outside of China that were aggregating and saving both official and non-official materials about the incident, such as

‘I saved them primarily because once the Chinese censors order a take-down, they might not be seen again. Indeed, since I saved them, many of these pictures were ‘harmonised’ and can no longer be accessed,’ the site’s operator wrote.

China’s Urumqi city in chaos as mobs vow revenge

Police on Tuesday fired tear gas to disperse thousands of Han Chinese protesters armed with makeshift weapons and vowing revenge, as chaos gripped this flashpoint city riven by ethnic tensions, AFP reported.

Authorities ordered a night curfew and thousands of heavily armed police deployed across Urumqi, the capital of China’s remote northwest Xinjiang region.

But tensions spiked dramatically following weekend clashes that claimed at least 156 lives.

Authorities said they had arrested 1,434 suspects, accusing them of murder, assault, looting and burning during attacks by Muslim Uighurs against the Han, China’s dominant ethnic group who are seen in Xinjiang as oppressors.

But despite the security clampdown involving police with submachine guns, shotguns and batons, mobs of Han Chinese marched through Urumqi — with many wielding bricks, chains and poles and bent on reprisals against Uighurs.

‘The Uighurs came to our area to smash things, now we are going to their area to beat them,’ one protester, who was carrying a metal pipe, told AFP.

Dong Sun, a 19-year-old leader of one mob, expressed similar fury. ‘There are more of us,’ he said in reference to the number of Han Chinese versus Uighurs. ‘It is time we looked after ourselves instead of waiting for the government.’

Police repeatedly fired volleys of tear gas, but many of the demonstrators refused to yield ground despite their eyes streaming and their throats welling with pain, an AFP reporter witnessed.

By late afternoon there were no reports of deaths or injuries in Tuesday’s unrest. But mobs continued to march through the streets.

Meanwhile, authorities confirmed they had cut off Internet access in parts of Urumqi in an attempt to control the flow of information.

‘We cut Internet connection in some areas of Urumqi in order to quench the riot quickly and prevent violence from spreading to other places,’ the city’s top Communist Party official, Li Zhi, told state media.

But the authorities’ efforts to impose a blackout have been stymied by a flood of pictures, videos and eyewitness updates appearing on popular websites such as Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Authorities also reported that police dispersed ‘more than 200 rioters’ who gathered Monday night outside the main mosque in Kashgar, another city in Xinjiang about 1,050 kilometres southwest of Urumqi.

Police believed people were ‘trying to organise more unrest’ in other cities across Xinjiang, a vast mountainous and desert region that borders Central Asia, according to Xinhua.

Sunday’s unrest saw thousands of Muslim Uighurs take to the streets, with state television showing protesters attacking Han Chinese in scenes reminiscent of last year’s violence in Tibet.

China’s eight million Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking people who have long complained about the influx of Han Chinese into what they regard as their homeland, as well as political and cultural repression.

Exiled Uighur groups have sought to lay the blame for Sunday’s violence on Chinese authorities, saying the protests were peaceful until Chinese security forces over-reacted and fired indiscriminately on crowds.

China has accused exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer of masterminding the violence, which also left more than 1,000 injured, but she has denied the accusations and called on Monday for an international probe into the violence.

‘We hope that the United Nations, the United States and the European Union will send teams to investigate what really took place in Xinjiang,’ Kadeer told reporters in Washington, urging a forceful response from the White House.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, in a brief statement issued from Moscow during US President Barack Obama’s visit there, said the United States was ‘deeply concerned’ about the reports of deaths in Urumqi.

The statement called for ‘all in Xinjiang to exercise restraint.’ The identities of those killed and injured in the riots remained unclear on Tuesday. Chinese authorities have not said how many were Han Chinese or Uighur.

Google Chrome OS

In the second half of 2010, Google plans to launch the Google Chrome OS, an operating system designed from the ground up to run the Chrome web browser on netbooks. “It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be,” Google writes tonight on its blog.

But let’s be clear on what this really is. This is Google dropping the mother of bombs on its chief rival, Microsoft. It even says as much in the first paragraph of its post, “However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web.” Yeah, who do you think they mean by that?

And it’s a genius play. So many people are buying netbooks right now, but are running WIndows XP on them. Windows XP is 8 years old. It was built to run on Pentium IIIs and Pentium 4s. Google Chrome OS is built to run on both x86 architecture chips and ARM chips, like the ones increasingly found in netbooks. It is also working with multiple OEMs to get the new OS up and running next year.

Obviously, this Chrome OS will be lightweight and fast just like the browser itself. But also just like the browser, it will be open-sourced. Think Microsoft will be open-sourcing Windows anytime soon?

As Google writes, “We have a lot of work to do, and we’re definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision.” They might as well set up enlistment booths on college campuses for their war against Microsoft.

Google says the software architecture will basically be the current Chrome browser running inside “a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.” So in other words, it basically is the web as an OS. And applications developers will develop for it just as they would on the web. This is similar to the approach Palm has taken with its new webOS for the Palm Pre, but Google notes that any app developed for Google Chrome OS will work in any standards-compliant browser on any OS.

nuclear-bomb-badger350What Google is doing is not recreating a new kind of OS, they’re creating the best way to not need one at all.

So why release this new OS instead of using Android? After all, it has already been successfully ported to netbooks. Google admits that there is some overlap there. But a key difference they don’t mention is the ability to run on the x86 architecture. Android cannot do that (though there are ports), Chrome OS can and will. But more, Google wants to emphasize that Chrome OS is all about the web, whereas Android is about a lot of different things. Including apps that are not standard browser-based web apps.

But Chrome OS will be all about the web apps. And no doubt HTML 5 is going to be a huge part of all of this. A lot of people are still wary about running web apps for when their computer isn’t connected to the web. But HTML 5 has the potential to change that, as you’ll be able to work in the browser even when not connected, and upload when you are again.

We’re starting to see more clearly why Google’s Vic Gundotra was pushing HTML 5 so hard at Google I/O this year. Sure, part of it was about things like Google Wave, but Google Wave is just one of many new-style apps in this new Chrome OS universe.

But there is a wild card in all of this still for Microsoft: Windows 7. While Windows XP is 8 years old, and Windows Vista is just generally considered to be a bad OS for netbooks, Windows 7 could offer a good netbook experience. And Microsoft had better hope so, or its claim that 96% of netbooks run Windows is going to be very different in a year.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Internet to die by 2010: Report

Video killed the radio star. But could it also kill the Internet? New research from American analyst firm Nemertes Research Group says that by 2010, increasing Internet traffic, particularly video applications like YouTube and Hulu, will fatally clog the tubes.

This isn’t the first such prediction that has been made in the recent past: Brett Swanson of the Discovery Institute, a think tank, warned in 2007 of a coming surge of data that “today’s networks are not remotely prepared to handle”. So are the increasingly dire predictions of the demise of the Internet on the mark, or have rumours of the Net’s death been grossly exaggerated?

It is true that with the advent of Web 2.0, Internet usage has shifted to bandwidth-heavy applications like YouTube and Skype. The amount of traffic generated by YouTube in 2006 was more than that of the entire Internet in 2000. At 50-60 percent a year, the current growth of Internet traffic is enormous. However, several experts believe that the Internet is in no danger of collapsing under the weight of its own success.

Andrew Odlyzko, a computer scientist at the University of Minnesota who specialises in analysing historical trends in networking, believes that global Internet traffic is and will remain manageable with modest capacity updates.

There is some evidence to support that conclusion. For one, telecom companies in both Britain and America are already investing significant amounts in order to upgrade Internet infrastructure, including the last mile cable, to increase capacity. Secondly, the Internet was originally developed to withstand all kinds of catastrophes and has proven to be remarkably robust. It has coped with massive growth over the past 15 years. There’s no reason to suppose this can’t continue.

Anyway, engineers are preparing for the worst by working to replace the Internet with a superfast ‘grid’. So, even if capacity updates fail to keep pace with demand, an alternative will be in place. No one is suggesting that the Internet wouldn’t face operational difficulties if it was left just as it is.

The debate is over whether the rate of investment in capacity upgradation is fast enough to cope with rising demand. Studies like this can provide an impetus for telecom majors to invest in infrastructure. As of now, though, it’s safe to assume that the Net will be with us for a while more.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Proof of massive sea monster

Just 800 miles (1287 km) from the North Pole, paleontologists believe they have found the fossilized remains of a massive sea monster that lived 150 million years ago.
Predator X -- a new species of a Pliosaur -- is said to have been the most dangerous creature to have lived under water.
The creature was about 50 feet (15 meters) long, had a head ten feet (3 meters) long and jaws armed with teeth the size of cucumbers.
Dr. Jorn Hurum, and his team of paleontologists discovered Predator X in northern Norway last October and says the new species of a Pliosaur was more fearsome in power than the land-based Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NASA astronaut to send Twitter updates

NASA, which used Twitter to send updates about the Mars Phoenix Lander program, is turning to the micro-blogging service again.
The US space agency announced on Monday that astronaut Mike Massimino would be using Twitter to provide a behind-the-scenes look at his training for an upcoming space shuttle mission.
Massimino will be firing off 140-character-or-less messages at @Astro_Mike.
Massimino is to be a mission specialist and spacewalker during the space shuttle Atlantis mission due to launch on May 12 to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA did not say whether the astronaut would be “tweeting” from space.
NASA’s Twitter feed on the Phoenix Lander program earned it praise and more than 38,000 people had signed up to receive “tweets” from Mars by the time the mission ended in November.

5,000 clash with police in China: Rights group

About 5,000 villagers clashed with police in eastern China after laying siege to a coal mine blamed for damaging local farmlands, a human rights group said on Thursday.

The villagers had "surrounded and attacked" the coal mine in a rural county of Anhui province on Tuesday, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a press release.

Police in Fengtai county confirmed the protest took place but said only about 1,000 people were involved and denied there was any clash with police.

"They wanted the coal mine to stop operating in the villages because the lands have sunk due to the mining," a police officer who refused to give his name said by phone.

"No conflict happened between police and the people."

However, the human rights group, quoting local authorities, said the crowds fought with police, smashed up a police car and injured the county's vice chief, Ma Shiping.

Residents say the Gubei coal mine has caused land subsidence that has affected 50,000 people in the area, with a total of 8,000 hectares (19,800 acres) suffering cave-ins, the rights group said.

It said more than 1,000 paramilitary police had been sent to the area to restore calm and that local officials were trying to resolve the dispute, but that 5,000 people were still at the mine on Thursday.

"Local leaders and the coal mine have been holding meetings to resolve the issues raised by villagers these days, but we need time," the police officer said.

He denied villagers were still gathered at the scene.

China sees tens of thousands of protests or outbursts of violence every year, often stemming from land disputes or dissatisfaction with local authorities.

China's rulers are particularly concerned about unrest in 2009, which will see a string of sensitive anniversaries including 20 years since the Tiananmen massacre and 60 years since the founding of the communist republic.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

BSF on high alert at western border

India's western border with Pakistan in Rajasthan is now a huge cause of concern for security agencies. In the past fortnight, four intrusion attempts have been foiled by the BSF and what has alarmed officials is that one intruder was caught with eight active mobile sim cards on him.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who are the world's nuclear powers?

US President Barack Obama set out his vision for a world free of nuclear weapons on Sunday, vowing to involve all states with atomic weapons in the process of reducing arsenals. Here are details of official and unofficial nuclear powers and their arsenals:

Official Nuclear Powers:

United States: According to the counting rules in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), as of January 2009, the United States had an estimated 5,200 nuclear warheads and 2,700 operationally deployed warheads (2,200 strategic and 500 nonstrategic warheads).

According to the May 2002 Treaty of Moscow (the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, or SORT) between the United States and the Russian Federation, both are required to reduce their nuclear arsenals to 1,700-2,200 operationally deployed warheads by 2012.

Russia: Under the provisions of the START I, the Russian nuclear arsenal has been reduced to approximately 4,138 strategic nuclear warheads, as of July 2008.

France: France has been a nuclear weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) since 1992. In 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that the country would leave its submarine missile arsenal in place while cutting its stock of air-launched weapons by a third. As of Sept 2008, France had already pared down its arsenal to approximately 300 nuclear warheads.
Britain: The United Kingdom's current nuclear stockpile consists of fewer than 200 strategic and "sub-strategic" warheads on four Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

China: China's nuclear weapons programme began in 1955 and culminated in a successful nuclear test in 1964. Since then, China has conducted 45 nuclear tests, including tests of thermonuclear weapons and a neutron bomb.

China is estimated to have about 400 strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, and stocks of fissile material sufficient to produce a much larger arsenal. It acceded to the NPT in 1992 as a nuclear weapon state.

Other "declared" Nuclear nations:

North Korea: North Korea has only undertaken one test of a nuclear device which took place in Oct. 2006 and occurred after Pyongyang withdrew from the NPT.

Six-Party Talks between North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and the United States began in 2003 to quell North Korea's nuclear ambitions but broke down in 2005.

Talks were resumed in 2007 and in June 2008 it presented a long-delayed list of its nuclear arms programmes. However North Korea said late last month it would restart its nuclear plant that makes arms-grade plutonium if the United Nations punished it for a satellite launch which took place on Sunday.

India: India has formally declared itself a nuclear weapon state. New Delhi is likely to have manufactured weapons grade plutonium for at least 100 warheads. A 2007 report from the International Panel on Fissile Materials estimated that 50-60 warheads had been assembled so far. Neither India or Pakistan are signatories to the NPT.

Pakistan: Pakistan is believed to have stockpiled approximately 580-800 kg of highly enriched uranium, sufficient amounts to build 30-50 fission bombs. According to the United States, China helped Pakistan by providing nuclear-related materials, scientific expertise, and technical assistance. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, estimated in 2007 that the Pakistani arsenal comprised about 60 warheads.

Other undeclared nations:

Israel: Israel is widely understood to possess a sizeable nuclear arsenal, but it maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity.

Based on estimates of the plutonium production capacity of the Dimona reactor, Israel has approximately 100-200 advanced nuclear explosive devices. Officially, Israel has declared that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. Israel has not signed the NPT treaty.

Iran: Iran has been a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT since 1970, and has had a nuclear programme, ostensibly for peaceful purposes. However its nuclear programme has advanced significantly in the past decade with Iran's decision to enrich its own uranium.

Iran says it needs nuclear energy so that it can export more of its huge oil and gas reserves. Its refusal to halt nuclear work which can have both civilian and military purposes has drawn three rounds of limited U.N. sanctions since 2006.

Renault Yeni - A Competitor to TATA nano

Don't hurry for Nano; one more beautiful car is on its way to India ..!
This car will be launching in India in collaboration with Mahindra,
Which is another budget car to compete TATA and FIAT 500.
Take a complete overview of this amazing car comparing with Tata's NANO..

Make : TATA
Model: NANO
Apprx. CostRs. 1,34,000

Model: YENI...
Apprx. Cost: Rs. 1, 30, 000 ( AED 10,000/-) (US $2750)

Interior design in NANO ..small seating's comparing to the YENI..

Interior design in YENI ..Large seating's with extra space behind..

Concept In NANO :

Tata Motors has just unveiled its hotly anticipated ‘one-Lakh’ car at the New Delhi Auto Expo. Officially called the Nano, the new vehicle is also known as the ‘people’s car’, as it aims to get the upwardly mobile Indian market motoring for a starting price of 100,000 rupees ($2,500).

Available in either Standard (red) or Luxury (yellow) guise, the 624cc, rear-engined four-door Nano has been designed for a four person family and is claimed to have generous interior space despite its compact exterior dimensions - the car is just 3.1m long, 1.5m wide and stands 1.6m high. The mono-volume design, with wheels at the corners, enables this combination of space while facilitating maneuverability in crowded urban areas.

Aside from its low price, a strong selling point of the new Nano will also likely be the ability to personalize the vehicle, like the Mini and the Fiat 500. Buyers will be able to specify different scoop trim (situated ahead of the rear wheels), decals, seat covers and dash colors. It is expected to launch in India later this year.

Concept in YENI : The cheapest car available soon in India by the collaboration of RENAULT and Mahindra. The car will cost around Rs 1,30,000 which will compete TATA mini car and FIAT 500 . This car will be available soon in market at end of 2007 all these car s are in same segment and the price of these mini cars is really close to each other. These will effect the sale of bikes because these mini cars are much efficient and fuel effective and cost little more then a bike so every one would like to buy car rather than a bike, so these car will change the trend and every one will purchase these mini cars. This would also effect the mid range cars market.

These three companies are good at market and there will be very good competition after
releasing these car. Information for the car Mahindra - Renault Yeni will be available
on every showroom of Mahindra detail of this car. The car looks are futuristic design like
swift already in market. Mahindra-Renault also launched the Logan which is running at good
pace in market.

This segment is very tight there are many cars and big brand available like General Motors Lancer, Ford Fiesta, Swift Optra Magnum and much more. But in mini segment there is growth but yet it will boost sales record when these cars enter in market. These cars are affordable by price and running cost . Everyone wants to buy a car but price of car and running cost shatter their dreams but now dreams will come true for the middle class families. This new year will give you greatest gift of new Yeni car by the collaboration of RENAULT and Mahindra.

Journalist throws shoe at Indian Home Minister

FOOT IN MOUTH: A journalist hurled a shoe at P Chidambaram during minister
A Sikh journalist has thrown his shoe at Indian Home Minister, Mr Chidambaran. The incident happened during a press conference today when chidambaram was trying to answer a question raised by the journalist on the issue of Congress minister Jagdish Titler being given clrean hsit by CBI (Central Bureau Of Investigation). Unsatisfied by the home minsters reply to his question, the dianik Jagaran journalist threw a hoes at the home minister uttering the words, "I Protest".

The name of the journalist was Jarnail Singh. The journalist has been escorted out by the security guards. The incident happened in the congress headquarters, where a press conference was being held to give clarification on congress governments stand on terrorism.

The journalist later talking to NDTV india, said that he ws wrong in throwing his shoes. He said that he was carried away by emotions. But he said that we wouldn't apologies as he thought that the cause for which he stood for was valid and relevant.

Friday, April 3, 2009

4 die, up to 40 held hostage in Binghamton shootings

A lone gunman began shooting Friday in an immigration services building in Binghamton, New York, killing at least four people, a law enforcement source close to the situation said.
The source said more than a dozen were wounded.

The man began shooting in the American Civic Association, which helps immigrants and refugees, the source said.

The source said a citizenship test was being administered in the building, but it was not immediately clear whether the shooting occurred in the area where people were taking the test.

The source said there may be 20 to 40 people who have been taken hostage.

The local newspaper, the Press & Sun-Bulletin, said on its Web site that at least four people were shot and 41 people had been taken hostage.

It said sharpshooters from the city's SWAT team were poised outside the building.

Video from the scene showed a person on a stretcher being taken to an ambulance. Watch interactive view of shooting scene

The Press & Sun-Bulletin said about 10 people came out of the building shortly after noon. They emerged with their hands on their heads. The police searched some of them, the newspaper reported.

Around 12:40 p.m., another 10 -- clad in white sheets -- came out of the rear of the building, the newspaper said.

Frank Rozboril, a spokesman for Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, which is in the city, said the hospital had one person who had been at the association in the emergency room. Rozboril said the patient, who arrived around 12:30 p.m., was being assessed.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the FBI is sending hostage negotiators and an evidence response team to the scene. The agency has an office in Binghamton, and agents are being sent from offices in Albany and Syracuse as well.

The newspaper said the incident began around 10:30 a.m. ET. Nearby apartments were being evacuated and Binghamton High School is on lockdown, it said.

"Within minutes [the situation] turned into one just flooded with police," Bob Joseph, news director of WNBF Radio, told CNN.

The American Civic Association helps immigrants and refugees with a number of issues, including personal counseling, resettlement, citizenship and reunification, and provides interpreters and translators, according to a United Way of Broome County Web site, which is affiliated with the association.

Rashidun Haque, who owns a nearby convenience store, said police had him and his four customers stay inside and away from the windows.

"I'm really shaky because this kind of thing -- it's a small city, it's a beautiful city -- but nothing goes down serious like this," Haque said.

He said the Civic Association building is about a two-minute walk from downtown.

New York Gov. David Paterson issued a statement saying it was "a tragic day for New York." He said he had directed state police to assist the Binghamton Police Department. "I speak for all of New York when I offer my prayers for the victims and families of this tragedy," Paterson said.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Online Tax payment: e-tax or e-payment service by TIN NSDL to pay direct taxes.

Procedure for e-payment:

  • Click here to start 
  • To pay taxes online the taxpayer will select the relevant challan i.e. ITNS 280, ITNS 281, ITNS 282 or ITNS 283, as applicable.
  • Enter its PAN / TAN as applicable. There will be an online check on the validity of the PAN / TAN entered.
  • If PAN/ TAN is valid the taxpayer will be allowed to fill up other challan details like accounting head under which payment is made, name and address of TAN and also select the bank through which payment is to be made, etc.
  • On submission of data entered a confirmation screen will be displayed. If the taxpayer confirms the data entered in the challan, it will be directed to the net-banking site of the bank.
  • The taxpayer will login to the net-banking site with the user id/ password provided by the bank for net-banking purpose and enter payment details at the bank site.
  • On successful payment a challan counterfoil will be displayed containing CIN, payment details and bank name through which e-payment has been made. This counterfoil is proof of payment being made.

To avail of this facility the taxpayer is required to have a net-banking account with any of the banks listed below, which are the only banks offering this facility at present.

  • Account Holders of
    1. Axis Bank
    2. State Bank of India
    3. Punjab National Bank
    4. Indian Overseas Bank
    5. Canara Bank
    6. Indian Bank
    7. Bank of India
    8. Corporation Bank
    9. State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
    10. State Bank of Travancore
    11. State Bank of Indore
    12. Vijaya Bank
    13. HDFC Bank
    14. Oriental Bank of Commerce
    15. State Bank of Patiala
    16. Bank of Baroda
    17. IDBI Bank
    18. State Bank of Mysore
    19. Bank of Maharashtra
    20. State Bank of Hyderabad
    21. Union Bank of India
    22. Allahabad Bank
    23. Dena Bank
    24. Syndicate Bank
    25. ICICI Bank
    26. United Bank of India
    27. UCO Bank
    28. Central Bank of India
    29. Andhra Bank
    30. Jammu & Kashmir Bank

Tata to distribute Nano applications from April 4

Tata Motors will start distributing application forms for its Rs 1 lakh car, Nano, from April 4 onwards. These forms will be sold through Croma, the multi-brand consumer durables and electronics chain from the Tata. The forms will be available till April 25 at a price of Rs 300.

Speaking on the initiative, Ajit Joshi, CEO and MD, Infiniti Retail, said: “In our endeavour towards offering best deals to our customers, for every purchase on the Tata Nano application form, we will offer a discount of Rs 300 on select products across our entire range."

Tata Nano will be on display at 15 Croma stores across India, including Mumbai (High Street Phoenix, Juhu, Malad, Belapur, Domestic Airport), Pune (Aundh), Ahmedabad (Himalaya Mall), Bengalooru (Kormangala, Eva), Delhi (Rohini), Faridabad, Baroda, Surat and Hyderabad (Jubilee Hill, Punjagutta).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pakistan set to reap $35 billion windfall profit from terrorism

Terrorism pays. That may well be the message the United States and its allies send out to the world this week as they line up billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan despite the country’s military and intelligence agencies being implicated by American officials in acts and practice of terrorism.

Ignoring confirmation about the Pakistan’s continued support and use of terrorism obtained through electronic surveillance and informants, and even brazen affirmation by Pakistani officialdom itself, the Obama administration is set to lavish a bonanza that might eventually add up to more than $ 30-$ 35 billion over the next decade.

About half the windfall will come from the US and the other half from its allies such as Japan, EU, and Gulf countries.

Washington is set to announce its largesse of around $ 15 billion of US tax-payer money in course of its new Af-Pak policy to be unveiled Friday, followed by a conference in Tokyo on April 17 of the so-called ''Friends of Pakistan'' where Islamabad is pitching for $ 10 billion.

This is in addition to the $ 7.6 billion pledged by the IMF and various donors, all at the instance of the United States, which believes Pakistan will disintegrate, with disastrous consequences all around, if it is not rescued with massive amounts of aid.

Congressional staff and sources associated with drawing up the aid package say there will be stringent conditions and tough oversight attached to the assistance, but critics of the policy regard the assurances as credulous. The Indian government has not opposed the package. ''If they (the United States) have not learned from the past, there is little we can do,'' one official said on background, referring to the Reagan era bonanza when untrammeled support for Pakistan’s military emboldened the country to adopt terrorism as a state policy.

That policy is still very much in place, going by a stunning page one New York Times account on Thursday in which Pakistani officials admit first-hand knowledge of ties between the ISI and extremists and even justify. They tell the paper that the contacts are less threatening than the American officials depict and are part of a strategy to maintain influence in Afghanistan for the day when American forces would withdraw and leave what they fear could be a power vacuum to be filled by India.

''In intelligence, you have to be in contact with your enemy or you are running blind,'' the paper quotes a senior Pakistani military officer as describing Islamabad’s strategy of backing the terrorists. But evidently, Pakistan's activity constitutes more than just contact with the enemy.

The NYT account, striking for the candid detail revealed by unnamed US and Pakistani officials, said Pakistan’s support to the Taliban and other militant outfits is coordinated by operatives inside the shadowy S Wing of the ISI. The report says the ISI also shared intelligence with Lashkar-e-Taiba accused in the Mumbai attacks and ''provided protection for it.'' It did say when this cooperation and protection took place.

But other new details reveal that the ISI is aiding a broader array of militant outfits with more diverse types of support than was previously known, even months after Pakistani officials said that the days of the ISI’s playing a double game had ended, the paper reported. One such outfit is the Haqqani network, which by American accounts bombed the Indian Embassy in Kabul with help from the ISI.

The attack killed 54 people, including an Indian diplomat and a military commander. Pakistan’s army chief Pervez Kiyani, a former ISI Director-General, subsequently described the Haqqani network as Pakistan’s ''strategic asset.''

But according to the NYT, the ISI’s S wing not only helps such networks with fuel and ammunition to fight American troops in Afghanistan, but also replenishes its ranks with recruits from madrassas in Pakistan. There is even evidence that ISI operatives meet regularly with Taliban commanders to discuss whether to intensify or scale back violence before the Afghan elections, it said.

None of this appears to have made a whit of a difference in the planned US largesse for Pakistan. If anything, US officials and analysts argue it is all the more reason to rush aid to Pakistan so that its democracy and social sector can be strengthened and it can be walked away from the abyss. ''If there is a better way to do this, we are all ears,'' a senior Congressional aide involved in the process, said. While some analysts say that Pakistan extracts aid by pointing a gun to its own head, key figures in the Washington establishment don't want to take the chance that Pakistan ends up falling into the abyss.

US officials, who typically make strenuous effort to shield the Pakistani leadership from charges of fomenting terrorism, maintain that mid-level ISI operatives cultivate relationships that are not approved by their bosses. They say it is unlikely that top officials in Islamabad are directly coordinating the clandestine efforts. But Pakistani officials themselves appear to scoff at American credulity in the NYT report, saying it is part of their long term strategy to keep their options open when the U.S withdraws from Afghanistan.

That expectation got a boost this week when US President Barack Obama
spoke of an ''exit strategy'' in Afghanistan. Although Obama did not specifically refer to any troop withdrawals (on the contrary, he has just directed induction of 17,000 more troops), the fact that Washington is even contemplating an exit strategy seems to justify Pakistan’s outlook of keeping its Taliban and terrorism powder dry.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tata Nano Launch Video

Tata Nano Specifications on Video : The drive to big dreams

Tata Nano, the Rs 1-lakh car, hits the road

Tips for interested buyers of Nano

Following are a few pointers for interested buyers of

* Nano on display at Tata Motors
showrooms from April 1

* Sale of application/booking at Rs.300 per application form, starts from April 9

* First phase of booking to end April 25

* Application forms available at over 30,000 locations in 1,000 cities

* Forms can be submitted to State Bank of India in 1,350 notified branches in 850 cities

* 15 other banks/NBFCs to provide booking loan

* Online bookings can be submitted at:

* Deliveries to commence from July 1

* 100,000 cars to be price protected

* Attractive range of accessories and Nano merchandise

The three variants of Nano, which shall be available are:

* Tata Nano Standard (BS-II and BS-III): The basic model or the standard version, in three colour options, single-tone seats, and fold-down rear seat

* Tata Nano CX (BS-II and BS-III): In five colour options, with heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, parcel shelf, booster-assisted brakes, fold-down rear seat with nap rest

* Tata Nano LX: (BS-III) With the features of CX plus complete fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, body coloured exteriors in three premium colours, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, cup holder in front console, mobile charger point, and rear spoiler

Many of these features are not available on current entry-level small cars in the country.

Income TaX In India: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1. What Is PAN?

Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued in the form of a laminated card, by the Income Tax Department.

A typical PAN is AABPS1205E.

{Section 139A(7) Expln (b) and (c)}

2. Why Is It Necessary To Have PAN?

It is mandatory to quote PAN on return of income, all correspondence with any income tax authority. From 1 January 2005 it will be mandatory to quote PAN on challans for any payments due to Income Tax Department.

{Section 139A (5) (a) and (b)}

It is also compulsory to quote PAN in all documents pertaining to financial transactions notified from time-to-time by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. Some such transactions are sale and purchase of immovable property or motor vehicle or payments in cash, of amounts exceeding Rs. 25,000/-to hotels and restaurants or in connection with travel to any foreign country. It is also mandatory to mention PAN for obtaining a telephone or cellular telephone connection. Likewise, PAN has to be mentioned for making a time deposit exceeding Rs. 50,000/- with a Bank or Post Office or depositing cash of Rs. 50,000/- or more in a Bank.

{Section 139A (5) (c) read with Rule 114B}

3. How does Income Tax Department ensure that PAN is quoted on transactions mentioned above?

It is statutory responsibility of a person receiving document relating to economic or financial transactions notified by the CBDT to ensure that PAN has been duly quoted in the document.

{Section139A (6)}

4. Is it compulsory to quote PAN on return of income?

Yes, it is compulsory to quote PAN on return of income.

5. How will these authorities verify PAN?

A facility for verifying PAN is available on the website of the Income Tax department.

6. Who must have a PAN?

i. All existing assesses or taxpayers or persons who are required to furnish a return of income, even on behalf of others, must obtain PAN.

{Section 139A (1) and (1A)}

ii. Any person, who intends to enter into financial transaction where quoting PAN is mandatory, must also obtain PAN.

{ Section 139A (5) (c) read with Rule 114B}

iii. The Assessing Officer may allot PAN to any person either on his own or on a specific request from such person.

{Section 139A (2) and (3)}

7. Can a person obtain or use more than one PAN?

Obtaining or possessing more than one PAN is against the law.

{Section 139A (7)}

8. Where to apply for PAN?

In order to improve PAN related services, the Income Tax department has authorized UTI Investor Services Ltd (UTIISL) to set up and manage IT PAN Service Centers in all cities or towns where there is an Income Tax office and National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to dispense PAN services from TIN Facilitation Centers. For convenience of PAN applicants in big cities, UTIISL has set up more than one IT PAN Service Center and likewise there are more than one TIN Facilitation Centers.

9. How to apply for a PAN? Can an application for PAN be made on plain paper?

PAN application should be made only on Form 49A. A PAN application (Form 49A) can be downloaded from the website of Income Tax department or UTIISL or NSDL (, or or printed by local printers or photocopied (on A4 size 70 GSM paper) or obtained from any other source. The form is also available at IT PAN Service centers and TIN Facilitation centers.

10. Can an application for PAN be made in Form 49A obtained from anywhere?

Yes, PAN application may be made on Form 49A obtained from any source other than IT PAN Service Centers or TIN Facilitation Centers. For instance, a PAN application may be made on form downloaded from the website of Income Tax department or UTIISL or NSDL; or on form printed by local printers or a photocopy of downloaded or printed form.

11. Can an application for PAN be made through Internet?

Yes, application for fresh allotment of PAN can be made through Internet. Further, requests for changes or correction in PAN data or request for new PAN card (for an existing PAN) may also be made through Internet. For more details visit (

12. How do I get a PAN allotted quickly (TATKAL)?

If an application for allotment of PAN is submitted through Internet and payment made through a 'nominated' credit card, the PAN is allotted on priority and communicated through email.

13. How to find an IT PAN Service Center or TIN Facilitation Center?

Location of IT PAN Service Centers or TIN Facilitation Centers in any city may be obtained from local Income Tax Office or any office of UTI/UTIISL or NSDL in that city or from websites of the Income Tax department ( or UTIISL( or NSDL (

14. What services are provided by these IT PAN Service Centers or TIN Facilitation Centers?

IT PAN Service Centers or TIN Facilitation Centers will supply PAN application forms (Form 49A) and forms for 'Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes In PAN Data', assist the applicant in filling up the form, collect filled form and issue acknowledgement slip. After obtaining PAN from the Income Tax department, UTIISL or NSDL as the case may be, will print the PAN card and deliver it to the applicant.

15. What if I submit incomplete Form 49A?

IT PAN Service Centers or TIN Facilitation Centers shall not receive any incomplete and deficient PAN application. However, these centers will assist applicants to correctly fill up form 49A or 'Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes In PAN Data', as the case may be.

16. What documents and information have to be submitted along with the application for Form 49A?

a. Individual applicants will have to affix one recent, coloured photograph (Stamp Size: 3.5 cms x 2.5 cms) on Form 49A;

b. Any one document listed in Rule 114 must be supplied as proof of 'Identity' and 'Address'; and

c. Designation and code of the concerned Assessing Officer of Income Tax department will have to be mentioned in Form 49A.

17. Which documents will serve as proof of 'Identity' in case of Individual applicants, including minors and HUF applicants?

Copy of school leaving certificate or matriculation certificate or degree of a recognized educational institution or depository account or credit card or bank account or water bill or ration card or property tax assessment order or passport or voter identity card or driving license or certificate of identity signed by a MP or an MLA or a Municipal Councilor or a Gazetted Officer;

In case the PAN applicant is a minor, any of above documents of any of the parents or guardian of such minor shall serve as proof of Identity;

In case PAN application is made on behalf of a HUF, any of above documents in respect of Karta of the HUF will serve as proof of Identity.

18. What is proof of 'Address' for Individual applicants, including minors and HUF applicants?

Copy of electricity bill or telephone bill or depository account or credit card or bank account or ration card or employer certificate or passport or voter identity card or property tax assessment order or driving license or rent receipt or certificate of address signed by a MP/ MLA/Municipal Councilor / a Gazetted Officer;

In case the PAN applicant is a minor, any of above documents of any of the parents or guardian of such minor shall serve as proof of Address;

In case PAN application is made on behalf of a HUF, any of above documents in respect of Karta of the HUF will serve as proof of Address.

19. What documents will serve as proof of Identity and Address for other applicants?

Copy of Certificate of Registration issued by the Registrar of Companies or Copy of Certificate of Registration issued by the Registrar of Firms or Copy of Partnership Deed or Copy of Trust deed or Copy of Certificate of Registration Number issued by Charity Commissioner or Copy of Agreement or Copy of Certificate of Registration Number issued by Charity Commissioner or Registrar of Co-operative Society or any other Competent Authority or any other document originating from any Central or State Government Department establishing Identity and Address of such person.

20. How to find 'Assessing Officer code'?

Assessing Officer code may be obtained from Income Tax Office where you submit your return of income. Applicants who have never filed return of income may find out Assessing Officer code with the help of IT PAN Service Center or TIN Facilitation Center or jurisdictional Income Tax Office.

21. Is a photograph compulsory for making an application for PAN?

A photograph is compulsory only in case of 'Individual' applicants.

22. What is the procedure for applicants who cannot sign?

In such cases, Left Hand Thumb impression of the applicant should be affixed on Form 49A or 'Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes In PAN Data' at the place meant for signatures and got attested by a Magistrate or a Notary Public or a Gazetted Officer, under official seal and stamp.

23. Is father's name compulsory for female (including married/divorced/widow) applicants?

Only father's name is required to be filled in the PAN application (Form 49A). Female applicants, irrespective of marital status, should write only father's name in the PAN application

24. Is it compulsory to mention telephone numbers on Form 49A?

Telephone number is not compulsory, but if provided it may help in faster communication.

25. Who can apply on behalf of non-resident, minor, lunatic, idiot, and court of wards?

Section 160 of IT Act, 1961 provides that a non-resident, a minor, lunatic, idiot, and court of wards and such other persons may be represented through a Representative Assessee. In such cases, application for PAN will be made by the Representative Assessee.

26. I had applied to the department but I do not know my PAN?

Please contact the Aaykar Sampark Kendra (ASK) at 0124-2438000 (or 95124-2438000 from NCR) or visit the go to 'know your PAN'.

27. Are there any charges to be paid at IT PAN Service Centers or TIN Facilitation Centers?

UTIISL and NSDL have been authorized to collect Rs.60 + Service Tax as applicable, per PAN application and this includes cost of a tamper proof PAN card. This amount will have to be paid in cash at IT PAN Service Center or the TIN Facilitation Center.

28. Do you need to apply for a PAN when you move or transfer from one city to another?

Permanent Account Number (PAN), as the name suggests, is a permanent number and does not change during lifetime of PAN holder. Changing the address or city, though, may change the Assessing Officer. Such changes must, therefore, be intimated to nearest IT PAN Service Center or TIN Facilitation Center for required correction in PAN databases of the Income Tax department. These requests will have to be made in a form for 'Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes In PAN Data'

29. I had applied to UTITSL/ NSDL a month ago but I have not received my PAN card and I have to file my return of income.

Please contact Aaykar Sampark Kendra (0124-2438000 or 95124-2438000 from NCR) or or send an email

30. Will the existing PAN cards issued by the Department remain valid?

All PAN allotted and PAN card issued by the Department will remain valid. All persons who have been allotted a PAN need not apply again.

31. Income Tax Department has issued me a PAN card; can I obtain a new tamper proof PAN card?

For obtaining the tamper proof PAN card an application will have to be made in the form for 'Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes In PAN Data' to IT PAN Service Center or TIN Facilitation Center, in which existing PAN will have to be indicated and old PAN card surrendered. The payment of Rs.60 + Service Tax as applicable, will also have to be made.

32. I had applied for PAN and received PAN number but have not received the PAN Card?

Apply in the form for 'Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes In PAN Data' at any IT PAN Service Center or TIN Facilitation Center quoting the PAN allotted to you.

33. How will the new PAN card be delivered to me?

The UTIISL or NSDL, as the case may be, will ensure delivery of new PAN card at the address indicated by you in the PAN application form or form for 'Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes In PAN Data'

34. I want to pay taxes today but I do not have a PAN?

It takes about 15 days to get a new PAN allotted. However, PAN can be obtained in around 5 days if application is made through Internet and processing fee paid through credit card. It is advisable to initiate action for obtaining PAN will in time.

35. Who should be contacted for inquiries regarding PAN applications?

All such inquiries should be addressed to: 


The Vice President
IT PAN Processing Centre,
UTI Investor Services Ltd 
Plot No. 3, Sector - 11
CBD_ Belapur 
Navi Mumbai-400 614 
Tel No. 022-27561690 
Fax No. 022-27561706 


The Vice President 
Income Tax PAN Services Unit, NSDL
4th Floor, Trade World, A Wing
Kamala Mills Compound,
S. B. Marg, Lower Parel,
Mumbai-400 013 
Tel No. 022-2499 4650 
Fax No. 022-2495 0664

Coupon number or Acknowledgement number, as the case may be, should be mentioned in all communications.