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Cell phones combat drunk driving in Japan
A new cell phone device is proving popular with bus and transport companies in the fight against drunk driving in Japan, the Yomiuri Shimbun (some Jap daily) reported. The device consists of a cell phone attached to a breath analyzer developed by NTT DoCoMo Inc.

As public awareness of the dangers of intoxicated driving is growing throughout Japan, the Construction and Transport Ministry has tightened administrative punishments for transport companies, the report said. One of the measures was a possible suspension in business for companies that allowed employees to drive while intoxicated. To use the new system, the driver makes a video-phone call to the company, then breathes into the analyzer connected to the cell phone. The video image of the driver blowing into the analyzer and data recording the alcohol level on his or her breath are transmitted to the company and confirmed there by computer. The Yomiuri Shimbun reported the new measures have motivated companies to become more serious about preventing drivers from operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Only in Japan!

Robot drummer can keep to the beat
The last time I went to a concert the entire line-up could have been comprised of robots (except Ayub Bachchu who was at his most lively).

The rest just stood there and played their instruments. Probably taking a cue from such lacklustre performances, Georgia Tech built Haile (High-lee), a device that boasts robotic precision as well as being a bit of a looker. Haile goes a step further than its robotic predecessors by actually interacting with other musicians, said Music Technology Professor Gil Weinberg who invented the drum machine with graduate student Scott Driscoll. "Computers have been playing music for 50 years," Driscoll told CNN.
"But we wanted to create something that didn't just play back what it heard, but play off it, too."
Weinberg and Driscoll also designed Haile to be good-looking. They wanted a humanoid, but not a human, and the result is a robot made from hardwood with hands and legs and a head.

"The first version of Haile had only one hand and nothing else," Weinberg said."There was no connection between the player and the robot. It felt like you were just playing with a device."

Haile made its debut during the SIGGRAPH 2006 conference in Boston. "Knowing that Haile is hearing the music and responding to the tone, pitch and amplitude of the beat when creating its own drum response is quite moving," said Heather Elliott-Famularo, the conference's organizer.

Stolen phones scream themselves to death
Cell phone software being marketed in Britain enables users whose cell phones are stolen to trip an alarm to make the stolen phone scream loudly until it dies. Remote XT markets the service for about $17 a month.The software makes the phone unusable no matter what a thief tries to do with the phone, Sky News reported.

When a person realizes their phone is missing, they call a security number, and the phone then begins emitting a loud, human-like scream.

Apart from the attention it might draw to the thief, the phone essentially commits suicide at that point, erasing everything in its SIM-card memory becoming useless. If the thief removes the battery, the phone permanently deactivates itself, the report said.

Remote XT spokesman Mark Whiteman said the technology was bound to stem cell phone thefts, which have risen by more than 200 percent in the past several years. "By making mobiles unusable to anyone but the rightful owner, the phones become worthless and we'll see (the) market for stolen handsets stamped out," Whiteman told Sky.

Now if only the phones started screaming the moment anybody other than the owner touched it.

By Gokhra


Sports update

This week's sports update starts with a tribute to one of the greatest showman on the formula one track, Michael Schumacher as he retired from the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, Schumi's last race did not finish as a fairy tale. He had to pull out from the race due to engine problem and lost his title to Renault's Fernando Alonso. Alonso won his second driver title by finishing second to Massa. Schumi won 91 races along with 7 driver's title. His pole position is 68 along with 1369 points. Now he wants to live a simple life along with his family.

Apart from racetrack, the twenty-two yard of cricket seems to have found its old beauty. All the Champions Trophy matches had the average scoring around 250 runs and making the lives difficult for the chasing batsman. West Indies became the first team from group A to reach the semis when they have defeated India by three wickets. India's most dependable number three batting all-rounder Irfan Pathan failed yet another time by gifting coach Greg Chappell a duck from six balls. Adding to miseries, he gave away 22 runs from his first three over. South Africa and New Zealand both went to semis by beating Pakistan. Pakistan team is missing their three main players who can change the result of any match alone. Big man Inzamam is missing the tournament due to suspension and their two-pacemen Shoaib Akhter and handsome Mohammad Asif are facing the dope charges. However, Pakistan won their first match against Sri Lanka but after that, they lost their way; got bowled out in the last match with only 89 on the board, and lost the match by 124 runs.

Moving from cricket to football, the last two weeks have given us some great matches. All the big teams Real Madrid, Man U, Ac Milan, and Bayern Munich have won their matches in Champions League. The Champions League classic Chelsea vs. Barcelona finished this time 1-0 in favor of La Blues. Before the match, Chelsea was two down as their top two goalkeepers were out of side due to injury. However, their third keeper 19 year old Hilario had a great match with some great saves. The wait of Drogba ended at last with a beautiful goal from 30 meters distance. He never scored any goal against Catalans in past four meets. Chelsea's top two goalkeepers Peter Check & Carlo Cudicini were injured in the same match against Reading in EPL early this week. However, it looks like Arsenal in Moscow have not had similar fortunes as they have lost their match against CSKA Moscow by 1-0. Liverpool lost their match against Man U by two goals to nil in English Premier League.

Last but not the least football, Real Madrid at last won the Spanish Premier League match against Barcelona by two stunning goals from Raul and Nistelrooy. Nevertheless, later on this week Real were back to playing terrible football and just managed to draw against the third division team Ecija by 1-1. This time Beckham was their lifesaver whose trademark free kick saved the Galacticos yet another time though he is not in the good boy list of Capolla.

In tennis, Maria Sharapova has won her first Zurich title and this year's fourth by her win over Daniela Hantucova. Roger Federer has won one more title Madrid open for this year by defeating David Nalbandian by 6-4, 6-0.

This is all from last two weeks. Now I am signing off by giving you people smoochy news as is my tradition. Boxing bad boy Mike Tyson has returned to the ring. Though he claims he is out there for charity, his intentions seem somewhat different. He has started his recent tour and he wants to fight against the lady boxers. The first name on the list is Ann Wolf who has won fifteen of her sixteen bouts.

By Quazi Shah Newaz Rahman


Things that we learned from the movies!

Double storied apartments in New York City are plentiful and affordable, even if the tenants are unemployed.
One of a pair of identical twins is evil. If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to be a world-famous expert on nuclear fission, dinosaurs, hieroglyphics, kung-fu, or anything else, at the age of 22.

Honest and hard-working policemen are usually gunned down a day or two before retirement.
You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

A man will show no pain while taking the most horrific beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
If someone says "I'll be right back soon", you might as well expect that they won't.

Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel from time to time.
A detective can only solve a case after he has been suspended from duty.

If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone around you will be able to mirror all the steps you come up with, and hear the music in your head, without even practicing the steps for once.
If you are single and in a party, you are almost always likely to come across a lovely girl (who also happens to be single)!
When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.

By Shamma M. Raghib

 

 
 

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