Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Facebook beats Google for visitors: Tracker

Social-networking star Facebook surpassed Google to become the most visited website in the United States for the first time last week, industry analysts showed.

Facebook's homepage finished the week ending March 13 as the most visited site in the country, according to industry tracker Hitwise.

The "important milestone," as described by Hitwise director of research Heather Dougherty, came as Facebook enjoyed a massive 185 per cent increase in visits in the same period, compared to the same week in 2009.

By comparison, visits to search engine home increased only nine per cent in the same time - although the tracker does not include Google property sites such as the popular Gmail email service
, YouTube and Google Maps.

Taken together, and amounted to 14 per cent of the entire US Internet visits last week, Dougherty said.

Google has been positioning challenges in recent months to Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter by adding the social-networking feature Buzz to its Gmail service.

In what could signal an escalating battle between Facebook and Google, the leading social-networking service celebrated its sixth birthday earlier this year with changes including a new message inbox that echoes Gmail's format.

Facebook boasts some 400 million users while Gmail had 176 million unique visitors in December, according to tracking firm comScore.

Mayawati's garland worth Rs 22.5 crore, says Congress

As speculation continues over how much the garland placed around Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's neck on Monday cost and who footed the bill, the Congress claims it's worth a whopping 22.5 crore rupees.
Speaking to NDTV's Barkha Dutt on the Buck Stops Here, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh accused Mayawati of destroying evidence to avoid an Income Tax probe. He also said he had calculated the number of notes used in the garland.
"I had it calculated - this garland. Each ring of this garland has 45 notes of 1000 denomination, i.e 45,000 rupees. Each centimeter has got five such rings. 5 x 45,000 is Rs 2,25,000. This garland is 10 meters long i.e. 1000 cm. So 2.25 lakh x 1000 becomes Rs 22 crore 50 lakh. So there is a reason why I came to this figure," he said.

Meanwhile, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has accused opposition parties of unnecessarily raking up the issue of garland made of currency.

The party further said the tradition of felicitating leaders by offering them or weighing them in money is followed by all political parties since long.

NDTV sources say that the garland has now been dismantled and the money transferred to party account.

Sources have told NDTV that BSP is open to an inquiry. BSP leaders, however, allege that this is the Centre's (Congress led UPA government) way of targeting the party because of its successful rally.

BSP party workers say the garland made of thousand rupee notes is "with the Chief Minister of UP, where it belongs".
The garland was placed around Mayawati's neck on Monday at a silver jubilee celebration for the Bahujan Samaj Party. It was so lavish that it seemed over-the-top even at a rally that cost 200 crores. Money, her party adds quickly, that came from its own donors and members, and not from taxpayers.
The Income Tax department says it will investigate who paid for it, and how.
Naseemuddin Siddiqui, a minister in Mayawati's government, says the garland "came from the Lucknow unit (of the BSP) and was made with the contributions of the workers here. We are all a part of it...its cost is 21 lakh rupees."

That's a revision of an earlier BSP estimate that said the necklace was worth 11 lakhs.

While Mr Siddiqui reiterated that the garland was made in Lucknow NDTV sources say it was made in Karnataka.

BSP is also reported to have discussed the legal opinion on the issue in its meeting, that was held at Mayawati's residence on Tuesday in Lucknow.

Angry Opposition leaders claim the garland is worth several crores. Siddiqui says their math is incorrect. "If someone has counted the money, they should tell us.... the Opposition is threatened by the success of the rally and the party and that's why they are making these baseless allegations."
Siddiqui says the BSP actually chose a more refined way of valuing its leader. Other parties, he points out, weigh their leaders in coins. This was more practical. He adds, "In all parties, packets of money are presented to leaders...they are only troubled because it's a Dalit party and Mayawati is a Dalit's daughter. This is hypocrisy."

Trouble for ND Tiwari over paternity suit

Did ND Tiwari father a son, now 31 years old? The Delhi High Court could decide.

In a huge setback for Tiwari, the former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, the Delhi High Court has ruled that it will hear a paternity suit against him filed by Rohit Shekhar. Speaking to NDTV, Shekhar shared, "I am asking for a simple DNA test and a public apology for what he has done. My case should be a deterrent for people like Tiwari who think they can do anything and get away with it."

Late last year, another judge of the Delhi High Court had said the case could not be heard in Delhi and should be filed in Hyderabad since Tiwari was the Andhra Pradesh Governor at the time.

In December, though, Tiwari had to resign as Andhra Governor after an alleged sex scandal - TV channels in Andhra ran footage that they said showed Tiwari in bed with three young women. In his resignation letter, Tiwari said he was quitting because of "poor health".

Tiwari has been fighting the paternity case vehemently, describing it as an attempt to malign him. He has argued that if Shekhar wanted to prove Tiwari is his biological father, he should have filed his case when he turned 18.

Shekhar says "I am not asking for a voting right or the right to go have a beer. I am asking for a paternity right. This is the first case of its kind...there is no precedence for this. I have the right to know who my father is. I have suffered from insomnia and depression since I was 20 - I have medical records to prove my stress."

The case will next be heard by the High Court on April 7.
ND tiwari

Sexual assault to replace 'rape' in IPC

Every 54 minutes a woman is raped in India, but less than 36 per cent of the rapists end up in jail. Rape has long been considered one of the worst crimes, almost at par with murder.

For years, lawyers and activists have argued that the penalty for rape, currently seven years, is far too lenient. Now, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is all set to introduce dramatic changes, not just on rape but all sexual crimes.

The government is planning to introduce a draft bill. And among the most controversial changes being worked on in the new bill, is about expanding the ambit of sexual assault. Feminists will welcome the change to expand the definition of rape beyond forced intercourse to include sexual assault.

The bill proposes a life term for convicted rapists and also seeks harsher sentences for assaults against minors and victims who have been gang raped or who were assaulted while in official custody to include shelter homes, hospitals and the police.

"Very often the victim goes to the police, because they don't register a case. Very often the victim is raped there again. When they go for a medical checkup they are raped there too," said Girja Vayas, Chairperson, National Commission for Women (NCW).

But the other proposals have divided public opinion sharply. For instance, the bill seeks to make sexual assault gender neutral by also including sexual violence by a man against another, a woman against a woman, and most controversially - by a woman against a man.

"Men are also victims of crime. But yes it is true that it can lead to some false cases too and can be used to settle scores as intercourse does not need to take place," said Ravi Kant, Activist, Shakti Vahini.

If the law makers do amend these provision of the IPC, it would mean not only stricter penalties for those who commit violent sexual offences, but also an acceptance of the new sexual orientation groups of modern India.

Tiger Woods factfile


Age - 34

Born - Cypress, California

Residence - Orlando, Florida

- 1.88m

Weight - 80kg

Family - Wife Elin (2004); daughter Sam Alexis (2007), son Charlie Axel (2009)

Website -

Turned pro - 1996

Major titles - 14 (Masters 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005, US Open 2000, 2002 and 2008, British Open 2000, 2005, 2006, US PGA Championship 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007)

USPGA Tour wins - 71: International wins - 11: Others - 12

Winner of the Ryder Cup with the United States (1999)

Player of the Year in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009

Money list standings: 1st in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2nd in 2003, 4th in 1998 and 2004

Career milestones:

Youngest Masters champion at 21 years, 3 months, 14 days in 1997

Youngest world No. 1 in history of golf, 15 June 1997, at 21 years 24 weeks

First player to win the US Open, British Open and US PGA Championship in the same year (2000)

First player to hold all four major titles simultaneously, adding the 2001 Masters to the US Open, British Open and US PGA Championship titles he claimed in 2000

Youngest player to win 50 US PGA Tour titles at 30 years (Buick Open 2006)

Returned to competition in February 2009 following knee surgery and an eight-month layoff at the World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Championship.

Won his first title since his 2009 comeback in his third event by taking the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. Won six times on the US tour in 2009, won the Australian Masters in November, played on victorious US Presidents Cup team.

On December 11, 2009, he said via website statement he was taking "indefinite break" from golf.

On February 19, 2010, in his first public statement since the scandal erupted, Woods apologized but did not indicate when he might return to golf.

On March 16, 2010, he said via website statement that he was ending his break from golf and would return at the Masters tournament, which starts April 8 at Augusta National Golf Club.
tiger woods