27 December 2009

PS3, next-gen game set in Dubai !

UPDATE : UAE Newspaper 'The National' reports on it.

I've been waiting forever and forever for this to happen, but finally ! A next-gen is currently being produced that has a post-apocalyptic Dubai as it's backdrop. G.K Flash : Abu Dhabi, Dubai's neighbour is the capital of the UAE and not Dubai. The game, Spec Ops: The Line, is a reboot of the popular "Special Ops" games of the budget PS1 era.

The storyline is set in post-apocalyptic, and thankfully there are no monsters here (unlike Left 4 Dead). Cataclysmic sandstorms have wrecked the playground of the rich and the opulence of the city is history. Sandstorms have buried the city altering the landscape for interesting combat situations. A US Army squad that had stayed behind to protect those incapable of self-defence runs into trouble themselves.As U.S. Army Captain Martin Walker, you and your elite Delta Force team are sent to infiltrate the treacherous region to bring Konrad home.
If you ask me, the best part of the game is the adversaries are terrorists. It's just so depressing to have to kill ugly monsters and zombies alone, that too in an apocalyptic setting. For gamers like me, what makes Left 4 Dead 2 so attractive despite being apprehensive of the zombie-shooter types is the comfort in numbers. You are surrounded by three violent (if killing zombies with chainsaws and rifles is violent) friends throughout L4D2 who help you. Shooting zombies in Dubai would sound attractive, but killing terrorists is a much better option. 2K Games better avoid equating the terrorist groups with you-know-what. The adversaries in the game must be universally deplorable. You get what I'm hinting at.

The official announcement is a late 2010 release date. But it would have to face stiff competition from numerous other titles also releasing around that time such as Medal of Honor and Halo: Reach, as well as a likely 'Call of Duty' release.

Visit :

20 December 2009

Min.73 Saudi soldiers killed in Yemeni operation

At least 73 Saudi soldiers have been killed, 470 wounded and 26 are missing since Yemen's rich neighbour entered the conflict in November when the Al Houthi rebels that were fighting the government since the Yemeni military launched Operation Scorched Earth on August 11 launched a cross-border raid that killed a Saudi border guard and occupied two villages on Saudi territory. The capable Saudi air force and military launched an assault that killed dozens and dozens of rebels over the next few weeks.
Despite having a superior army to that of the rebels, the Saudis did sustain single-digit casualties over the subsequent weeks that soon rose to a figure under 20. It's shocking that for such an equipped army the casualty figure has risen so high. The army's weapons and equipment definitely do inspire confidence, something observed by the Saudi Assistant Minister of Defence, Prince Khalid, who said he "was amazed by the troops’ tactical skills and management of the battle".

We are not going to stop the bombing until the infiltrators retreat tens of kilometers inside their border,” Prince Khaled said on a visit to Saudi troops in southwestern Jizan province.
“As you stand fighting in the battlefield of honor sacrificing your lives to secure your homeland and its integrity, I am confident you are making a great victory,” he said addressing the troops.

I shared Prince Khalid's amazement too, but now in a different manner. As an American ally, American funds definitely went quite some way in modernizing the army, but almost two months after the invasion, which was mainly aerial, 70 martyred is a not-so-stellar figure. However, we should be glad that we at least got to know about the casualty figures on the non-rebel side."Dozens and dozens of rebels killed" isn't so comforting if an equal no. of soldiers are killed.

Unfortunately, much of the casualties on the Yemeni army side goes unreported and since their special forces are currently engaging in operations aimed at neutralizing the top leaders of the Houthis, we can only hope the KIAs are kept to a minimum. The dream of no K.I.As is a dream that will probably remain just a dream for the underarmed, under-equipped army that backs even basic armour for it's troops.

Source - France24

05 December 2009

Stunning pictures of Afghan Army's battle with the Taliban

Often, we get to see pics of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan during their tour of duty, chilling out at their bases and the kind. Time magazine recently presented a new photo essay featuring 14 shots of Afghan soldiers by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala. The essay takes an intriguing look at the conditions of the soldiers and their daily life. I watched a show on the Pentagon Channel where an American soldiers asks whether it's possible to have a game room and jacuzzi at their base in Afghanistan ! The senior replies with some footage of a wide indoor food court and other luxuries. The soldiers of Afghan National Army meanwhile rely on volleyball courts and radios for entertainment. Meanwhile, read an article about the Pakistani and Indian influence in Afghanistan.

* For more Photos, visit

28 November 2009

S.Korean man fined for racism against Indian

On July 10,Bonogit Hussain, a 29-year-old Indian man, and Hahn Ji-seon, a female Korean friend, were riding a bus near Seoul when a man in the back began hurling racial and sexist slurs at them.The man yelled racist comments and called "Arab! Arab!" at the Indian man while on a bus in July. The 31-year-old South Korean, identified only as "Mr.Park" had supposedly only objected to Bonogit Hussain talking loudly on a bus.

Mr Hussain had been in South Korea since 2007 and had studied for a master's degree from Seoul's SungKongHoe University, later working as a research professor there. However, this was not his first brush with racism. In crowded subways, people tend not sit next to him. In June, he said, he fell asleep on a bus and when it reached the terminal, the driver woke him up by poking him in the thigh with his foot, an extremely offensive gesture in South Korea.

“Things got worse for me this time, because I was with a Korean woman.” “Whenever I’ve walked with Ms. Hahn or other Korean women, most of the time I felt hostilities, especially from middle-aged men.”- Bonogit Hussain
The craze for a homogenous society is profuse in Korea. As a country often invaded by it's larger neighbours in the past, people focus is on “pure-blood” nationalism as well as traditional patriarchal mores, said Seol Dong-hoon, a sociologist at Chonbuk National University. Korean women who were taken as sex slaves to China centuries ago were shunned as tainted when they returned to Korea. The more recent tragedy of women sold to American G.Is during the Korean War of the 1950's were despised more and their children were referred to derogatorily as twigi, a term once reserved for animal hybrids,

Source - BBC

24 November 2009

Adam Lambert's queer,obscene antics draw

Now I know I ain't alone in my views. Lambert, of American Idol fame made his first performance outside of Idol also his most controversial one (yet). First, the show was BDSM-themed with dancers in leather and fishnet. That ain't obscene, for more and more celebs are hinting at it in both their attires as well as during their performances though in a generally milder way.

The singer,who confirmed he was gay in an interview with the Rolling Stones magazine arrived on stage, dragging a female dancer across the stage. "Hip-thrusting" Lambert then proceeded to pull a male dancer's head into his gyrating crotch. He then had a female grab him and he in turn snapped the bikini area of another female's costume. After ending his obscene act with a look of defiance, he later tweeted

"All hail freedom of expression and artistic integrity. :) fans: I adore u. " - Adam Lambert
Lambert fought back saying that if people had been upset by his performance that it is a "form of discrimination and it's too bad". Just because Lambert isn't straight doesn't mean he has a license to vulgarity and all those who dislike him are homophobics. If stimulating sex on stage is his idea of "freedom of expression", then it's time LBGT groups begin condemning him. That would be a good way to promote tolerance. The Parents Television Council (PTC), a media pressure group which campaigns against "indecent" content on US television, posted a statement on its website calling the show "tasteless" and "vulgar". "They just can't believe the nature of the content, the explicit nature, and how much graphic content there was" said the President, Timothy Winter.

Already 1500 complaints have been lodged in the United States against the singer who told US network CNN that the kiss was "in the moment."

Source - BBC

30 October 2009

Pakistan's secret war in South Waziristan...


Since the Pakistani Army launched Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Urdu for "Path to Salvation") the military has made significant progress. Last week recaptured the strategic town of Kotkai, the birthplace of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. The lawless, semi-autonomous South Waziristan region is a hotbed for Uzbek and foreign extremists and is a stronghold of the dreaded Tehrik-e-Taliban, or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, an umbrella of about a dozen militant groups fighting the government. The last time an offensive was launched in SW in 2004, heavy casualties forced the troops to strike up a peace treaty.

The biggest discrepancy in this battle is the casualties. While it's pleasing to know that the Army has inflicted heavy losses on the rebels, what is infinitely more pressing is the casualties on the army side. Information from the conflict is unreliable as access is denied to foreign media and journalists. So this means the only source of information is the Pakistani army and the drastic figures they give definitely doesn't sound very credible.

On the third of the offensive, the security forces reported 9 soldiers killed and 78 enemy fighters on the enemy side. I am not a military expert, but something is very wrong here. Evidently, the Army isn't the only belligerent giving dubious figures. The Taliban, who claim not to have lost a single fighter, say they have killed many more Pakistani soldiers than the nine reported by the army.

What makes this even more frustrating is the lack of pictures and media emanating from the battlefield. We just don't know what's happening there. I watch Al Jazeera English, as they usually have more footage and better coverage on such issues than Western media. However, the ban applies to them too and this means they have to relay on local men to be their eyes and ears on the ground. The army says 264 militants and 33 soldiers have been killed so far. Let's just hope the later doesn't rise much.

15 October 2009

Facebook The Movie- but Justin Timberlake NOT playing Zuckerberg !

A new movie based on the evolution of the social network Facebook is in the works, starring Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield produced by Scott Rudin, called "The Social Network". The famous online social network was set up in 2004 on-campus at Harvard by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and now CEO. Jesse Eisenberg will play Mark Zuckerberg, while Timberlake takes the role of Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and now the President of Facebook. Production work on the film will begin in October in Boston, before moving to Los Angeles.

It's disappointing Timberlake isn't playing Zuckerberg. Both of them have similar eyes, facial shape and you would even think they are brothers ! Sigh....

10 October 2009

The Getaway 3, Eight Days NOT abandoned !!

For fans of the 'The Getaway' series, June 4th 2008 was a black day. After all, it was on that day the makers of the franchise, Sony, announced that the work on the sequel to the popular action game will "cease immediately."

"It has been agreed that production of both 8 Days and The Getaway will cease immediately due to the redistribution of resources and budget. This decision was made following an internal review of all games and it was deemed that with the incredibly strong list of exclusive first party titles coming up both this year and in the near future, resource should be reallocated to enhance those projects closer to completion."
Both games were originally announced in tech demo form at Sony's 2005 E3 press conference and footage, allegedly "game footage", was released including a highly suspicious trailer of the new game Eight Days. Since then, virtually no news about it came out with the ambiguously worded statement suggesting the hiatus was only temporary while contradictory statements implied Sony "will not resume production."

Online petitions were set up to garner support for the redevelopment of games with more than 2600 people signing it. For most fans like me, Youtube was the source for the discussion though very little info of credibility came out of it.

Finally however, Nicolas Doucet, producer and creative art director at Sony Computer Entertainment's London Studio became the first official voice to confirm that the game hasn't been canned. In an interview mainly about 'Eyepet' (which were Sony's priorities and possibly the development for which the TG budget must have been allocated) reaffirmed that The Getaway 3 and Eight Days were "not abandoned, but put on hold".

GK: Before EyePet, the teams at Sony London were working on two projects that have since fallen by the wayside: Eight Days and The Getaway 3. Can you confirm that both of these have indeed been abandoned?

ND: I would not say they have been abandoned, just put to one side. Much work had been done. The studio just wanted to focus on its strengths, EyeToy and SingStar. Given the potential of EyePet, priorities have been changed, but the other projects aren't dead yet. Ultimately, the decision [to put those games to one side] has benefited everyone.
GK: How far through production were they?
ND: It depends. I think they were just over halfway through. They had a plan, everything was ready…
GK: How have you dealt internally with these strategic decisions from Sony?
ND: Many recruits to the EyePet team came from these projects, and contrary to popular belief, they are rather popular. First, because it was a much smaller team, they were able to integrate differently, but also with a different challenge.
Most importantly, The Getaway and Eight Days are still there. So, no, there haven't really been any regrets. This decision was welcome. And then everyone likes change, as is the culture of this community. There were no bad feelings.
GK: I guess you have another game currently under development…
ND: (Smiling) Yes.
GK: Is it linked to EyePet or is it unrelated to this franchise?
ND: No, it's a different concept, in addition to EyePet.
GK: So will you continue to be Sony's brand ambassador for social and casual gaming?
ND: While the whole studio won't, our group will, I think. There is a lot of interest around augmented reality. It surprised me to come to the Festival du Jeu Video (a gaming show held Paris in September) and see the number of magazines that want to do an article on this subject, as I thought it was too geeky. It is now very much part of the casual gaming space.

06 October 2009

Transformers 3 confirmed to be in 2011

The sequel to the Shia La Beouf and Megan Fox action series has been confirmed to be released in 2011, the date being 1 July 2011, just two days before the release of the first film. Transformers 2 has been hugely successful, grossing more than $100m more than it's predecessor ($832m). Fox and Bay obviously have some issues here, check out their exchanges !

Director Michael Bay announced a third "Transformers" movie will be hitting theaters on July 1, 2011 -- and not 2012 as originally thought -- on his web site on Thursday. And he also took the opportunity to further his war of words with his star, Megan Fox, by telling her to consult with a doctor before getting on board.

Fox originally drew Bay's ire while promoting this summer's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," when she said that "working with Michael Bay is not about an acting experience." Bay responded, "She says some very ridiculous things because she's 23 years old and she still has a lot of growing to do." Most recently, Fox compared Bay to "Napoleon" and said she and costar Shia LaBeouf "almost die when we make a 'Transformers' movie... He has you do some really insane things that insurance would never let you do."

In this latest blog post, Bay writes, "Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture." He goes on to say, "Please consult your Physician when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you."

Source -Yahoo

21 September 2009

Footage of Mexico Subway Shooting released

Watch the Video

The shooting at the Balderas station in central Mexico City happened after police stopped Luis Felipe Hernandez Castillo, 38, from writing graffiti on the wall of one of the subway platforms.

Two people died in the shootout including a police officer. Five of the injured suffered gunshot wounds, and three others were hurt by the stampeding crowds, officials said.

Hernandez Castillo was writing "Este gobierno de criminales," or "this government of criminals," Mexico City district attorney Miguel Angel Mancera said. As police tried to stop him, Hernandez Castillo drew a .38 special handgun and began firing. Castillo as an agriculturalist from the state of Jalisco.

The Mexican government on Saturday posted security camera footage of the shooting. It shows a busy subway platform as the train pulls into the station just before 5:15 p.m. Friday. As the train comes to a stop, there is a disturbance in the crowd, and Hernandez Castillo is seen shooting at an officer. The crowd disperses, and the officer runs out of view of the camera. The officer, who was a bank policeman, is later seen on the footage lying dead, face down on the platform. The footage shows a man in a white shirt running off the train and trying to wrestle Hernandez Castillo. The man chases Hernandez Castillo around the platform. He frequently falls either because he slips or is trying to avoid being shot. The man is on the floor facing Hernandez Castillo, about to get up and try to grab him, when he is shot in the head and falls to the ground.

At 5:23 p.m., the camera shows first one, then two, then three plain-clothes police getting into position on the platform. Within moments they rush Hernandez Castillo and pull him out of the train, with nearly a dozen police officers then wrestling him to the ground.

Full report : CNN

15 September 2009

Afghan special op leaves commando,interpreter dead

At least 4 people including a British soldier and an Afghan journalist were killed during an operation to extract a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped while covering last week's controversial NATO airstrike on an oil-container in the Kunduz province. Stephen Farrell was freed on wednesday in the pre-dawn military raid in Afghanistan. "Several people" were killed in the operation that also resulted in the death of Farrell's interpreter, a British commando and a civilian.

"There were bullets all around us. I could hear British and Afghan voices," Farrell, a 46-year-old dual Irish-British citizen, told the paper. Farrell and Munadi ran outside during the firefight. At the end of a wall, Munadi went forward, shouting: "Journalist! Journalist!" but dropped in a hail of bullets, Farrell said. He didn't know whether the shots came from allied or militant fire. Munadi's death (along with the commando) ruins any jubilance arising from the incident. Sultan was 34 and the father of two children, had worked regularly with The Times and other news organizations and was in the process of studying for a master’s degree in public policy in Germany. Back briefly in Afghanistan, he had returned to his role as a translator.

The success of any special operation depends not just on the achievement of the objective, but also to ensure minimal casualties on the SOF side. I'm not disparaging the audacious commandos.

Details are still somewhat scanty, especially about enemy casualties. When the fighting first broke out, several Taliban ran out of the room to confront the special forces. It's definitely safe to say a large no. of them must have been killed. On a slightly "casual" note, Farrell, who holds dual Irish-British citizenship looks (and dresses more Afghan) while Sultan Munadi looks more Western. As an NY Times reporter, their ordeal is described extensively and with more detail by NY Times, and page 2 especially offers extensive detail on how they were captured.

10 September 2009

Ellen DeGeneres replaces Paula Abdul - PERMANENTLY

Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was named Wednesday night as the replacement for Paula Abdul on "American Idol." DeGeneres will take her seat on the judges panel alongside Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi (yay, she's back) when the top-rated show returns to Fox in January. Degeneres, who hosts a popular day-time talk show (and later came out on it) has had previous experience with Idol. She hosted the 2007 version of "Idol Gives Back," a fund-raiser for children's charities, and was signed on to do the 2008 edition before dropping out for scheduling reasons.

Abdul, meanwhile, has a busy time ahead. She''ll be hosting VH1's "Divas" concert and she's done two episodes of Lifetime's drama "Drop Dead Diva." She responded to the news last night by posting a note on Twitter with a link to a promo for VH1's "Divas," poking fun at being unemployed and that she got the hosting gig at an employment agency.

"I'm thrilled to be the new judge on 'American Idol'" DeGeneres said in a statement Wednesday night. "I've watched since the beginning, and I've always been a huge fan. So getting this job is a dream come true, and think of all the money I'll save from not having to text in my vote."

"Idol" executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz said DeGeneres brings "an immense warmth and compassion that is almost palpable." DeGeneres, who is keeping her daytime gig, will also be able to promote the show on her talk show, which airs around the country."I'm going to have a day job and a night job," she told her audience. "The times we're living ... in we're all doing that."

It's great to see Fox executives sticking to their guns. One thing I had been fearing was the reinstatement of Abdul. It's not like I have got anything against her, but had it not been for the new changes in Idol (specifically the addition of an other judge,Kara DioGuardi) I wouldn't have watched Idol 2009. It was just too predictable. The spice in the show was out since 2006 and these changes would definitely rivet more attention and bring more viewers.

Source - NY Times

05 September 2009

Madonna's killer biceps sexy? Hell no !


The ever stout Miss In-shape Madonna has drawn attention again(no, not for baby-shopping in Senegal) but for her incredibly stringy muscles. Seeing her chubby arms in the '95 pic on the right, I had to remind myself : Hey this is Madonna. So expecting some thing like the Elissa Schlichter image, I checked out her muscle bound arms. They are freaking scary ! And don't get started on the ugliness of it.

It's a fact that a lot of guys have a thing for girls who take care of themselves, whether it's keeping themselves in shape or working out at the gym. But if these muscles were intended to be sexy, it's far from it. With all the veins bursting out with little body fat, shelooks anorexic.
Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, after seeing the photos,"Her body fat is minimal, and she does a lot of strength training workouts that are going to build her muscles to look more visible." She says that Madonna's amount of body fat is obviously low.

"When muscles look that way, it's often the result of pretty restrictive eating and dehydration," Bonci says, pointing out that bodybuilders get the puffed vein look by restricting their fluid intake. Of course, she says, taken too far and a person could collapse.
Perhaps she should stick to her routine she had when she left this Kabbalah center. Muscle bound, no doubt, but without making people cringe. Madonna's muscle show has brought attention to Michelle Obama's muscles, reportedly to be 10 inch in size.

Old madge simply proves she is untamable even @ 50, but if she keeps up this up, it's gonna be the gym that's going to see the end of the Jump.

Also! Check out a photo gallery dedicated to Madonna and her muscles

07 August 2009

Victoria Beckham to replace Paula Abdul !

... (for one episode at least)

Fans who have been hoping for a reconsideration of her decision to quit her 8 year long tenure as a judge on American Idol were devastated when Fox executives confirmed they were looking for a replacement. The chairman commented on replacing Abdul, of Syrian descent, [was] “not our choice, not what we wanted to happen” but the network is moving ahead with plans to temporarily fill her seat with guest judges. After months of speculation, Abdul finally posted a tweet on her official twitter feed with an air of finality that "with sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #IDOL. I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all [continued from the next tweet] I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent,but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day 1 become an international phenomenon.

Her decision must have something to do with Abdul's request for a pay raise during contract negotiations for the new season of Idol. Rumour has it that Paula was offered a mere 2-3m dollar per year while host Ryan Seacrest bagged a $45m deal for three years with Idol. Insiders say she asked for about $20m, but was offered a $10m multi-year contract, if these insiders are anything to go by.

Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry are being considered for being being judges for the show with Beckham already set to appear for one show at least, for a heft pay check of £155,000. Her spokesperson told Mail Online: Yes Victoria will be making a "one off" appearance as a guest judge.'

Paula was the "nice factor" in the three-judge formula that has made Idol so popular. Sitting between Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, she would often be at loggerheads with the blunt (and often rude) Cowell, fighting for the fans. Her "niceness" made her popular, something which Kara Diguardi, the 4th judge last year had so conspicuously tried to emulate. It's about time for change, as in the case of songwriter Diguardi who proved a new face is enough to stir up things and create new interest. For instance, while Diguardi was written off somewhat, for trying to be too nice, she didn't bother hiding her disapproval at Idol's "bikini girl" Katrina Darrell, who true to her name appears at Idol contests in her work attire.(oh, she is a swimsuit model, BTW) Labelled as her nasty stepsister, Kara finally had her say when she suddenly appeared during Darrell's performance and it ended with Diguardi revealing a black bikini.

I won't be winning hearts by saying this, but Idol would simply lose it's charm if it sticks on to the 3-judge formula forever. It'd surely be a nice change to have a new judge on board.

25 July 2009

Luck - Bollywood Movie Review

Luck 2009 bollywood poster

I'll confess, Luck isn't my first Bollywood movie (and neither will be it my last) but then, Hindi language movies often play here in the local theaters, with English subtitles. The dialogue is frequently peppered with English words and lines, including the word Luck. I simply love watching foreign films (especially if English subtitles are available) for they portray a part of the culture from their country of origin but what really enticed me to watch the film was partly due to the slick,promising trailer and mainly due to the presence of the pretty actress Shruthi Hassan in her debut role.

Luck begins with a rapper-style bling music video of Karim Moussa (Dutt) rolling in money with dancers providing eye-candy . We then get to know Ram Mehra (Imran Khan) , a man under abject financial problems as well as a sick mother requiring urgent medical aid. With his attempts to procure a US visa repeatedly denied, and a looming bank order, an ATM robbery seems to be the only way out. With the security on his tail, a mysterious stranger arrives with his car and rescues him. The stranger introduces himself as Tamang and tells him he is blessed with incredible luck, something which is proven when they try their hand at gambling that night. He is then informed he has been chosen for his luck along with other people who have luck and then and is "transported" to South Africa where they it is revealed that gangster Kareem Moussa (Sanjay Dutt) has taken gambling to an altogether new realm where millions of dollars are placed on the lives of the contestants as they battle it out fortheir lives. Needless to say, not everybody's luck is good enough to survive the 4 rounds.

Check out the trailer

The rounds which include jumping from a helicopter with defective parachutes among the them , having to find the right keys from a bunch for 300 as contestants chained to a cage are lowered into shark-infested waters are watched live by hundreds who have placed bets on the odds of survival. While the story is engaging at it's best (and preposterous at it's worst) , the film hold the majority of your attention for only the first half. While the movie does have its moments, the comedy scenes and else (including the club scene in the first half) the action scenes are poorly choreographed. Much of the characters are undeveloped and the chemistry between Khan and Hassan is flimsy. Somehow, the purpose of having a multiultural list of participants (China,Africa, Britain, Australia) is lost when all non-Indians except for a Pakistani girl fail to survive.
Shruthi Hassan in Luck 2009 Roaring Siren dot blogspot com

The dialogue of the film manages to include the film's title in every sentence in philosophical contexts and is extremely irritating. For instance, check this one out {Luck only favours those who play with their heart}. If any aspect of the film does not have heart, it's got to be the acting. Hassan, who's parents are acting legends in the Indian film industry, plays a highly stoical role. Hassan manages to avoid allegations of "excessive flaunting", a charge most Bollywood débutées are guilty of, as a poolside scene of her does not seem to be meretricious. The action scenes are somewhat disappointing, for most of the time, the editing is apparent : one exclusive shot of a huge dirty shark seaming through the water, and another of a Brit lady screaming without actually showing the two of them together. One exception is the opening train seuqence in blind-folded participants evade fast moving trains. The action culminates with the contestants now hunting each other on a moving train that is headed towards an oil tanker conveniently parked in the rail-tracks and Hassan is tied to the front of the train. Even here, there are several inconsistencies : a serial killer (Ravi Kissan) fires ceaselessly from an automatic gun at a running Mehra, yet none of the bullets manage to even scrape him. As is the norm with Bollywood movies, there is plenty of in-movie songs in there which are generally good (especially the opening music video) .

Over, and all, the film has several "moments", scenes worth watching and generally entertaining though that does not include all the action scenes. A slick, action thriller that pays more attention to action oriented scenes than to its characters, it'd be wiser to watch Luck rather than the mediocre Harry Potter 6, unless of course, you are an HP fan.

*Story : 7/10
*Action :6/10
*E! Factor : 6.5 /10
*Overall :6.8/10

08 July 2009

Why you should avoid Firefox 3.5 if you don't want a heart-attack

Steer clear of upgrading your Firefox to Version 3.5 if you can. I had a heart attack by the time I came to the conclusion. On the face of it, 3.5 was just amazing. It fixed most of Firefox 3.0 's loathsome browser like frequent crashes, inability to surf websites like Youtube and crashing under particular conditions such as clicking the back button on Yahoo Answers or searching using the search bar.

Now to the downside, Firefox 3.5 has grave problems that seriously undermines confidence of consumers in open-source browsers such as Firefox. For starters, it gets choosy and doesn't remember all the saved passwords !

After upgrading to Firefox 3.0 in the beginning of the year, the experience was horrible. I was such a fan of Firefox that if there was a 'Firefox religion' you could me a priest,fanatic, whatever. You get the picture. The main attraction of firefox was it's speed, the ability to open multiple tabs and surf much more smoothly as compared to the sluggish Explorer. Firefox 3.0 was not only extremely slow, it also crashed on various websites including Youtube and TheFreeDictionary.

However, once I tried to logon to Gmail, horrors of horrors ! Firefox was unable to enter any of my Gmail passwords, but to my bewilderment, retained passwords of other sites. It turns out that if you upgrade from a pre-3.5 version, some mix-up occurs with the passwords list and only some of the passwords are successfully migrated to the new browser. However, if this has happened to you don't panic. You CAN RECOVER IT.

Bluntly put, you need to install a pre-3.5 version of Firefox. Then you can access all of your previous passwords. As simple as that.

25 June 2009

World's Tallest Virtual Tower

Just stumbled upon this, a 2000+ m high 'virtual tower' with 406 residents and constructed out of top-quality pixels ! All floors seem to be added on request and each floor represents an establishment with it's website and email available next to it's 3D shot.
Mr.Wong's Soup'Partments

Unfortunately, Mr.Wong's Soup'Partments has stopped leasing on Nov 21,2003 just a year after it was launched (according to the website). You can,however, visit their apparel website. Check out his website for his latest projects.

20 June 2009

Russian woman on trial for abusing 10 men

UPDATE : Blogger Robert Bonnett's post about this has a partially-blurred image of Valeria K, supposedly got from life.ru

Valeria K, a 32-year old Russian from Tambov, Russia described as a good-looking woman is on trial for luring men to her residence, drugging them with clonidine and abusing them. At the moment, police have identified only 10 victims of the assault and suspect there might be more. But what is worse is what the victims had to say. Of course, they deserve sympathy, but listen to what one man had to say : "It was great," the Daily Telegraph quoted the unnamed man as saying. "I like hot women. I only wish she hadn't use the clonidine on me," he added. These are comments coming from a victim of a sexual assault ! . It's simply appalling. (sigh). Such comments are fodder for misandrists, who can once again claim upon the nature of 3 billion human species !

Russian woman nicknamed Black Widow drugged and raped 10 men

Fri, Jun 19 01:20 PM

Melbourne, Jun 19 (ANI): A young Russian woman, nicknamed the Black Widow for her collection of spiders, is on trial after being accused of sedating and raping 10 men.

According to Life.ru, Valeria K., 32, a quiet good-looking woman from the city of Tambov, shocked police when they discovered that she was the mysterious rapist who abused 10 local men after poisoning them with clonidine.

Valeria would get acquainted with the men and invite them to her place, where she would give them drinks mixed with the poison, causing them to fall asleep for almost 24 hours.

Once her victims were sedated, she would undress them and then rape them, tightening a rope on their male organs to keep them erect.

The men would wake up in the hospital with clonidine poisoning and penis trauma, and remember only a friendly brunette who had given them drinks.

When the police finally identified her, she was placed under arrest, but they presently know of only the ten victims, with one refusing to file a complaint against her.

"It was great," the Daily Telegraph quoted the unnamed man as saying.

"I like hot women. I only wish she hadn't use the clonidine on me," he added. (ANI)

10 April 2009

Movie Review - 12 Rounds

When I first walked into the theater with my family, the first thing on my mind was what I guess would have been on the mind of every Cena film bringing in his family : Pleassssee don't let this suck! Fortunately, this was the first time we were seeing a non-The Rock, WWE movie at the at the theater. First off, if you had seen Cena's last flick, The Marine in the theaters when it was released a couple of years back (sympathies,my friend), then here's the bottom line, this movie is light years away from the low-quality stuff WWE Studios usually produce.

While The Marine was a "made-for-the-fans" movie, destined to disappoint with one critic aptly describing the movie as "so dumb it might cause actual brain damage", 12 Rounds is easily the best WWE Studios-produced film yet, but also the one that's actually watchable (The Marine was pure torture).

The plot begins with cop Danny Fisher (Cena) , a cop in post-Katrina New Orleans, leaving his girlfriend Molly (and his dog) for regular night patrol just as an FBI operation to apprehend Miles Jackson (Aiden Gillen) goes awry. Needless to say, Miles escapes the numerous surveillance camera and agents and makes his getaway with his girlfriend in a car (with priceless diamonds) until Cena's patrol spots the car and stops it. A gun-fight ensues and a lot of running and bullets later, Fisher finally apprehends Miles. Miles's girlfriend,however, is struck down by a car and killed when she tries to make a run for it. A year later, Miles is back for revenge and kidnaps Molly and arranges "12 rounds of wits and strength " for Cena to get his girl back. If he doesn't do 'em all right, she dies.

Now that the "best WWE film ever produced" is over, it's time for the real low-down. There are scenes that could have been better and plot inconsistencies in the film that would be a delight for a WWE hater. For instance, when Miles escapes on car (in the initial part), Cena gives chase on foot ! Fat chance of him outrunning a speedy car ! Of course, we get to see him barging in through houses and seedy alleys of inner city New Orleans, but there should have been the proper camera positioning to show he was taking a shortcut.

Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2) brings his immense talent here, doing a good job getting Cena to be less of an android. There are definitely more emotions on his face, and yeah he actually smiles in 12 Rounds . However, most of the time the only expression on his face is a frown or that of exasperation. There are a few cliches too, but the movie delivers heavily on one aspect : Entertainment. The action is engrossing, generally intense and entertaining. I wish I didn't keep repeating that, but I just can't help it, considering how people would think 12 Rounds offers action scenes akin to the quality of The Marine (which is to say, non-existent). There is one elevator scene where Cena and an obese hotel employee are trapped in an elevator with a one-minue bomb ! That's was just too adrenaline-pumping for words.

Verdict : Overall, 12 Rounds proves that good direction from an experienced director and properly executed action scenes provide good entertainment value, albeit several missed opportunities.
Score : 7.5/10

Note : The official website of 12 Rounds now redirects to it's WWE.com page. It's still a plethora of content,pics,videos etc, so don't give it a miss.

01 April 2009

April Fools Candidates

I think it was National Geographic, who ran such an article on their website last year. Frankly speaking, this article is not as shocking as the one I read last year, but No 6,7, and 8 makes up for it ! 

10 stories that could be April Fools... but aren't

It's the day when some news stories are a little bit "out there", when jokers spring traps to make fools of the rest of us. But not every weird report is an April Fool. Here is a round-up of some of the day's seemingly hoax news stories which are actually true.

1. PE in schools is embracing yoga, martial arts and cheerleading because pupils don't like being outside in the rain. Some schools are also putting on Krypton Factor-style problem solving for pupils more interested in maths than sports, according to a report by Ofsted.

2. Porsche has announced a four-fold rise in profits, recession or no recession. The German car maker bucked the bad news coming out of the industry through its lucrative stake in Volkswagen, and despite selling 27% fewer cars.

3. Pubs are telling expectant mothers when they've had enough to drink. A pregnant woman was thrown out of a pub for ordering an alcoholic drink. Caroline Williams, on a night out in Hove, had drunk one pint of beer but was refused another half-pint. The brewery has apologised and is investigating.

4. Glamour model Jordan will run the London Marathon. She hopes to raise £250,000 for charities NSPCC and Vision.

5. Alan Shearer is manager of Newcastle United. Despite repeatedly being linked with the post in the past and resisting the temptation to leave the BBC's Match of the Day comfy sofa, the Toon footballing hero finally returns. But if Kevin Keegan was touted as the new Messiah, it's not clear what further superlatives can be used to describe the coming of the city's prodigal son.

6. The lottery tells jackpot winners by e-mail. Lottery winner Graham Forrest found out he had won £2.7m when he opened an e-mail sent to him at work. When the message from the National Lottery said it had some "exciting news" for him, Mr Forrest from Cumbria thought he had won £10. He rang his wife but at first she refused to believe him.

7. A man has won £400,000 in compensation after cutting his finger. Police mechanic Alexander Darg was checking an air bag fault in a police car when he accidentally slid his hand across a knife that had been left behind. He told the court he had been terrified of contracting the HIV virus.

8. Miss Universe says Guantanamo Bay is a "relaxing place, so calm and beautiful", after a five-day trip there. Dayana Mendoza, a model from Venezuela, visited the US base in Cuba as a morale-booster for troops and blogged about the experience.

9. A "magic torch" detects drug use. The torch, costing only £40, works when it is shone in the face of night clubbers. It uses UV light to detect the tiniest traces of cocaine or amphetamine on nasal hair and police in Blackburn are using it to stop drug users from entering clubs.

10. The White House is comparing the UK to Oregon. A briefing booklet accompanying Barack Obama on his European tour equates each country to a US state - Germany to Montana, the Czech Republic to Virginia and so on.

Chechen leader Assassinated in Dubai ALIVE- brother

Nearly two months after the apparent assassination of Sulim Yamadayev, his brother has come out with a shocking revelation : Sulim has survived the assassination attempt and is recuperating in a Dubai hospital . Yamadayev, a former Chechen military commander was supposedly assassinated on March 28th 2009 in the underground parking of a luxury apartment in Dubai. The Dubai Police arrested a few suspects within days and came to the conclusion that the President of Chechyna ordered the killing  - something which he animatedly denied. 

The Russian consul general in Dubai, Sergei Krasnogor, said: "Dubai police officials, including the police chief, have repeatedly confirmed to me that Sulim Yamadayev had been killed and buried at a local cemetery." Russian diplomats earlier acknowledged they had not been provided with documentary evidence of Sulim's death.

Cities, especially those in the so called 'Third World' countries, often serve as a safe haven for high profile refugees and political figures who need to flee from their country of residence for fear of persecution. Adolf Eichmann, an ex-Nazi figure, for instance evaded Nazi hunters for more than a decade by inconspicuously moving to Buenos Aires with his family before Israeli intelligence finally caught up with him. Another Nazi moved to an unlikely refuge - Egypt. Living under a false identity in the most populous Arab country ensured his safety till his natural death in the 1990s.

Yamadayev previously had good relations with the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov before their relations soured.
 The case is clear and there is no confusion over what happened. An organized criminal group was behind the assassination.
Major General Dahi Khalfan Tamim
                                                        Dubai Police                    
Major General Dahi Khalfan Tamim of Dubai Police told Reuters that,  Yamadayev was accompanied by two bodyguards when he was killed. A year earlier, one of Sulim’s brothers, a former State Duma deputy Ruslan Yamadayev, was shot to death in Moscow. The Dubai Police said Yamadayev was fatally wounded by a single shot to the back of the head in the basement of his luxury apartment building. A few days after the alleged killing, one of his other brother however, had an altogether different version. According to that version, Sulim was able to shoot back at his attacker and survived the attack. There is no doubt on my mind that Sulim is indeed alive. Why else would his brother claim him to be alive ?

20 March 2009

Torrent of Lawsuit falls upon Pirate Bay


When Robin Hood is arrested, the poor sure ain't gonna be quiet ! . After the owner of one of the most popular file-sharing website (and a few others) The Pirate Bay were put on trial for copyright infringement, the Swedish website have won the support of a political party Red, who have launched a campaign, urging users of torrent-sharing websites to upload pictures of themselves in support for the Pirate Bay.

Although file-sharing is pretty much as simple as it sounds (upload your files and let others download and "share" them) , the name has become synonymous with copyright infringement and a haven for downloading DVD quality movies online. Given the ease with which one can upload documents and the virtually no content checks, torrent sharing websites have often be subjected to lawsuits in the past.

Red Politician Elin Volder Rutle is the initiator of the campaign and she states to the media that "If the guys behind Pirate Bay are criminals, then so am I, and so are most other Norwegians".

So show your support and join the other (at last count) 3165 "criminals" if you download torrents !

06 March 2009

Under-equipped Pakistani police guarding Sri-Lankan team killed

On March 3, 2009, history seemed to repeat itself when unknown armed terrorists nearly hijacked a bus carrying a bus full of Sri Lankan cricketers, the first such attack on a national spoirts team since the 1972 Munich crisis where all 11 Israelis were killed.

While surprisingly none of the cricketers were killed (and only sustained minor-medium) injuries, what's most astounding is the casualties on the police side. Six of the elite forces guarding the tour were killed. As you can see in the video below aired by CNN, some of the officers were not armed !

First of, it's understandable when the earliest responding officers to an incident have lesser firepower, like the Mumbai attacks when many of the police constables at various sites only had handguns, against AKs and automatic weapons. It's not possible for every police officer to be armed with an assault rifle. But ballistic vests and automatic firearms are always supplied when escorting V.I.Ps. And it's superfluous to say that escort missions such as the one of the police team in Lahore nessicates the need for automatic weapons. When the Indian team pulled out of Lahore after the Mumbai Attacks, now known as 26/11, to entice the Sri-Lankan team to tour Pakistan, they were reportedly offered "presidential-style security." And what kind presidential security is that when the officers don't even have guns ?

The large interiors of the bus meant the cricketers could take cover by going prone.

The under-equipped police force retaliated with the little firepower they had (with fatal results) while the bus carrying the cricketers zoomed onto to the safety of the nearby Gaddafi Stadium. Not only did the militants accoutered with RPGs and AK-74s managed to make a clean and casual escape, not even one of them was killed. My views were reflected in the comments of General Musharaf, who questioned the training of the elite force and said "they should have killed the terrorists in less than 3 seconds."

The Sri-Lankan cricketers were really lucky though, to have made it out alive. The large bus provided adequate cover for them and a certain level of their luck was due to support from "up" was as even though a grenade was thrown under the bus, it failed to explode until the bus had driven over it.

01 February 2009

6 year old's huge wrapped Present


Gabriel Hurley had a huge present waiting for him. Guess what was inside ? 

Boy's wrapped birthday gift from Iraq

DAYTON, Nev. – Gabriel Hurles' sixth birthday party wasn't a surprise, but his present sure was. The kindergartner was so engrossed in the cupcakes his mother brought to his class on Wednesday that he didn't notice the enormous wrapped box off to the side.

"That's one big, giant present," a 6-year-old classmate told him. "See what you got, Gabriel."

Gabriel peeled back the wrapping paper to find the surprise of his young life — his father, an Army mechanic back in Nevada on leave from his second tour in Iraq.

"It's my dad!" he announced to his classmates at Sutro Elementary School in Dayton, a few miles northeast of Carson City. "Hi, Daddy."

Army Spc. Casey Hurles, 23, hadn't seen his son since he left in June. When he learned his leave would coincide with his son's birthday, he hatched a plan to hide out in the 4-foot-tall box.

"It was such a rush of emotion," said Hurles, who said he got butterflies in his stomach while waiting in the box.

After Hurles sat down and ate a cupcake with the birthday boy, teacher Dawn VanSickle presented him with a banner from the class that read, "Welcome Home. Thank you for your service."

VanSickle said she was happy to arrange the reunion in her classroom.

"One of the first things (Gabriel) shared about himself was that his dad was in Iraq and that he was waiting for his dad to come home," she said. "He talks about his dad all the time."

Hurles, who joined the Army four years ago, is a mechanic in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He completed one tour in Iraq and is seven months into his second tour. He expects to finish sometime this summer.

Gabriel said he looks forward to playing with his dad over the next two weeks but understands why he has to leave again.

"He has to work," Gabriel said. "He works in the war."

29 January 2009

Pope Benedict XVI's Special Forces Unit

It's of course, great to know that the Pope security is ramped up now, but why so late ?. Pope Benedict was installed as to succeed the late John Paul II and that was in 2005 ! . So does that really mean he had no armed protection in the Vatican City for two years ?!. Vatican guards traditionally have had halberds as their weapons.

Pope Benedict XVI sets up anti-terrorist squad

By Malcolm Moore in Rome
Last Updated: 12:21PM BST 12 Jun 2008

The Vatican has created an anti-terrorist unit in order to guard the Holy See and the pope from a possible attack.

 Vatican security forces now include an anti-bomb squad and a rapid response team, according to Domenico Giani, the head of the Holy See's 130-man gendarmerie.

The Vatican will also work more closely with Interpol to gather information on any threats, he said.

The deal with Europol, the pan-European police agency, will give the Vatican access to a large data bank of suspects and information on the latest anti-terrorism techniques.

"The teams report directly to the head of the Gendarmerie," said Mr Giani in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper.

"The rapid response team will carry out investigations across the spread of information channels and will be supported by a sophisticated technical team. It will be able to intervene immediately in case of danger," said Mr Gianni.

"The second group is made up of highly-specialised experts, armed with sophisticated and innovative technology," he added.

He said the two teams would not be confined to the Vatican, but would also travel with the pope.

The Swiss Guards have also been given anti-terrorism training, and now carry SIG P75 pistols and Heckler-Koch MP5 sub-machine guns, as well as their traditional halberds.

Earlier this year, Osama bin Laden repeated threats against Pope Benedict, who he accused of "leading a crusade against Islam".

The pope has been the subject of a series of attacks since 2006, when he used a quotation in a speech at Regensburg University that said Islam was an "evil and inhuman" religion.

Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded in St Peter's Square in 1983 by a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca.   

Source Pope Benedict XVI sets up anti-terrorist squad - Telegraph